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OSU Researcher Testifies at House Environmental Technology Hearing

June 21, 2017
Press Release

Bonamici Invited Dr. Hales to Underscore the Importance of Federal Investment in Research

WASHINGTON, DC [06/21/17] – Today Oregon State University’s Dr. Burke Hales testified before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Subcommittee on Environment about his work to help Pacific Northwest shellfish growers adapt to changing ocean conditions that affect shellfish growth. Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, the top Democrat on the Environment Subcommittee, invited Dr. Hales to testify about his technology and the importance of federal investment in funding his and other scientific research.

“Strong federal investments can incentivize and drive the development of new, innovative technologies that can help us find creative solutions to our most troubling problems,” said Congresswoman Bonamici. “Dr. Hales’ research at Oregon State University is an excellent example of this. Dr. Hales used federal research grants to start developing the ‘Burke-o-Lator,’ which now helps shellfish growers across the Pacific Northwest analyze ocean acidification and determine the best time to grow larvae. The testimony of Dr. Hales and the witnesses today underscores the importance of EPA, NOAA, and other federal investments in research to help our economy and our environment.”

“I will focus my testimony here to highlight an example of the important role federal investment in ocean monitoring systems and technology innovation had for my work on the Oregon Coast to address a unique industry’s concerns for ocean acidification,” said Dr. Hales in his prepared testimony. “Ultimately, I devised a system for the robust constraint of carbonate chemistry of natural waters, popularized by shellfish aquaculturist (aka oysterman) Mark Wiegardt as the ‘Burke-o-Lator’. … With technological developments motivated by my own ocean carbon cycle research and supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, I was able to develop systems for these measurements that were significantly lower-cost, faster-analysis, and more-robust for dynamic coastal waters than much of the research community, and were unparalleled by any existing technology in the commercial sector.”

You can watch the hearing titled, “Leading the Way: Examining Advances in Environmental Technologies,” here.