Saturday, May 5 – The Oregon field course, Pacific Coastal Environmental Issues taught by Florida Tech Oceanography, has begun! We met at 3:00AM (ugh!) at Clemente Center to depart for the airport (thanks Chris for getting us to Orlando!). The flights went well. We flew into Eugene, Oregon, and then drove 2 ours to the coast to our host lab. The vegetation and landscape are quite different from what we are used to, but there are some marked similarities. Florida’s “Brazilian pepper,” or in other words, its pervasive terrestrial invasive, is replaced by “gorse” or “scotch broom” in Oregon. It is similar to Florida’s Brazilian pepper problem in that it is colorful and appealing to some, and it occurs along heavily trafficked corridors, suggesting that they both may be spread in that way. We will also be touching on invasive species issues when we start our field trips and head out to the cape (Cape Arago, pronounced “air-uh-go”), but more on that later. We ended up arriving just before dinner, which was great because the excellent dining hall was expecting us and the food was great. There was a miscommunication with regard to the Florida Tech vegetarians, but they improvised for that meal and ever since the vegetarian options have been great. The young men from oceanography and Dr. Johnson are staying in a cottage, and the young ladies are staying in private dorm rooms. The accommodations are excellent, and they have two small research vessels which will be at our disposal for oceanography work.