Benjamin Miner

Peninsula volunteers pitching in on sea star wasting disease research

Peninsula Daily News
The efforts of volunteers across the North Olympic Peninsula have been vital in recent months as scientists work to uncover the secrets of a mysterious affliction eating its way through sea star populations up and down the West Coast. “Citizen scientists” have braved slippery rocks along the northern coasts of Clallam and Jefferson counties to seek signs of the disease, called sea star wasting syndrome, in the multi-armed creatures that live on the craggy shorelines.

Free summer programs at Padilla Bay nature center

The Bellingham Herald
Many openings remain for free summertime programs and classes for all ages at the Breazeale Interpretive Center, part of the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in coastal Skagit County. Most classes for "junior ecologists" in the 6- to 9-year-old age group are filled and have online waiting lists, but many other offerings have space available - including family and adult programs and "mini-explorers" in the 3- to 5-year-old group.

Scientists search for clues in sea star die-off

Nature
In their waterproof orange overalls, Hannah Perlkin and Emily Tucker look like commercial fishermen or storm-ready sailors. But they are biologists on their way to tide pools along a remote stretch of northern California coast. There they are searching for the cause of a mysterious and unprecedented die-off of sea stars along North America’s Pacific shores.

Professor studies disease decimating local sea stars

This image from Oct. 9 shows a healthy colony of sea stars near Croker Island, Vancouver, BC. A second photo taken just 20 days later shows the same rock outcrop and a decimated colony. All that is left of the sea stars are the white mats of bacterial ooze that covers the rock. Courtesy photo

This image taken Oct. 29 shows a rock outcrop near Croker Island, Vancouver, BC, and a decimated colony of sea stars. All that is left of the sea stars are the white mats of bacterial ooze that covers the rock. A photo taken just 20 days earlier shows a healthy colony. Courtesy photo

John Thompson
WWU Communications and Marketing

From Alaska to Southern California, something is killing the West Coast’s sea stars ­– the ubiquitous, child-friendly favorite of tide-pool explorers everywhere –­ and nobody knows why.

Yet.


Student from Black Diamond to assist with Sea Star study

Maple Valley Reporter
From Alaska to Southern California, something is killing the West Coast’s sea stars ­– the ubiquitous, child-friendly favorite of tide-pool explorers everywhere –­ and nobody knows why. Yet. Benjamin Miner, as associate professor of Biology at Western Washington University, has received, along with his colleague Ian Hewson, a geneticist at Cornell University, a one-year research grant from the National Science Foundation to begin to explore the potential reasons for the region’s dramatic loss of sea stars due to what is known as Sea Star Wasting Disease. Undergraduate biology student Warren Kohl from Black Diamond will be working alongside Minder during the project.

Wizards At Western: 'Creatures of the Salish Sea'

Daniel Berman
University Communications intern

Western Washington University’s College of Sciences and Technology presents its Wizards @ Western youth lecture series with “Creatures of the Salish Sea” on the WWU campus.

The Wizards @ Western events, free and open to the public, are geared toward children in grades 4-8.


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