in the news (145)

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december 2012 | by susan jurasz

Our second trip to Amman, Jordan, is really productive. After nearly 24 hours of travel, Peter and I are blurry-eyed but excited to visit our brand new bus at the Toyota dealership with our project partners: Suha, Ruba, and Natasha. We have all waited a year for this!

The new passenger bus will be converted into the Eureka Science Bus. The mobile lab will feature solar panels, a green roof, a wind turbine and a biodiesel generator. All of the seats will be removed to make room for student workstations, storage cabinets for lab equipment, and educational/interpretive exhibits.

By the end of the week, we have the measurements we need to finalize the interior design and are engaging three Jordanian businesses to assist us with the transformation-a large format printer, Sama Jordan Signs, who will be printing our bus wrap design on vinyl and applying it to the exterior; the young entrepreneur and owner of TAQETNA who will be outfitting the bus with solar panels and his newly patented wind turbine, and JMSS, part of KADBB, who will be removing all of the windows and seats.

By this time next year, students throughout Jordan will be conducting hands-on experiments and making scientific observations from the bus!

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december 2012 | by ben speidel

Sea Reach recently developed signage for the beautiful and historic Goodpasture Covered Bridge, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Goodpasture Covered Bridge was built in 1938 and was named for Benjamin Franklin Goodpasture, a pioneer farmer who had settled near the bridge site. At 165 feet long, it is the second largest covered bridge in Oregon and can be found two miles west of the community of Vida, spanning McKenzie River.

In 2010, Lane County received $2 million in a federal transportation grants to renovate the bridge to its former glory with work beginning in 2012. OBEC, the engineering firm contracted to define the bridge rehabilitation, hired Sea Reach to design and fabricate exhibits portraying the history of the bridge.

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november 2012 | by megan whitaker

Usually a job in the print shop involving 140 signs will also involve the use of a respirator during some point in the project. However, the quick, clean and scent-free application of vinyl letters makes 140 signs a nice daylong project with a variety of music playing in the background.

The most stressful part is the initial set-up to make sure that all will be centered correctly and as a bonus, a sequentially numbered job erases any fear of misspelling errors! After the set-up and wipe down of the panels-you are 140 signs from being done with the project and sent to a happy client.

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october 2012 | by ben harrison

The "Friends of Minidoka" Society asked Sea Reach to reproduce an historic sign that listed the names of all the members of the camp who had served in World War II. The Minidoka Relocation Center in Jerome County Idaho was one of 10 relocation centers where Japanese and Japanese-Americans living on the West Coast were moved in August 1942, eight months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Center operated for more than 3 years, closing in October 1945. The Friends of Minidoka educate the public about the internment experience and the center is now a National Historic Site managed by the National Park Service.

Approximately 1000 of the Minidoka Center internees served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Their names were painted by hand onto the original wood sign. Over time, the wood deteriorated and the paint faded.

The Friends of Minidoka wanted to reproduce the sign with materials that would endure time and withstand weathering. Our efforts to replicate the original sign with complete historical accuracy proved challenging, but everything worked out with a little detective work.

How would we accurately reproduce a sign from just 3 photographs? That's all we had to go on, as no one had measured the original sign, nor did an independent list of the names exist-we had to pour over the photographs of the old sign to recreate the list of names.

Then it was up to me to recreate all of the pieces and make them fit into these dimensions while keeping them easy to read, visually appealing and as true to the original as I could. The final product turned out great and as a designer, it was nice to have a positive influence on an important piece of American history.

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september 2012 | by peter reedijk | show project

Wyoming Centennial Scenic Byway extends from Dubois 163-miles (262 km) to Pinedale. The byway passes through Shoshone and Bridger-Teton National Forests, as well as Grand Teton National Park en route to Yellowstone. Crossing the Continental Divide at Togwotee Pass, sweeping vistas of the Absaroka Mountains and the Teton Range - these are spectacular sights at this 9,000-foot elevation. But what makes this byway most fascinating is the diversity of topics, people you meet, and breathtaking scenery.

The road parallels the largest pronghorn and elk migration route in the central US. Herds of these large mammals gather, to this day, in the same expansive plains as the big rendezvous of the late 1800s, when mountain men were making their fortunes supplying Europe with beaver pelts that would be made into hats.

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september 2012 | by heather julius | show project

I take it easy on our first day of hiking; I stop to rest when I feel slightly dizzy and my heart pounds as if I'm sprinting at top speed, though I'm only shuffling feebly up a small hill. Our home base for our research trip in the Spring Mountains is Mt. Charleston Lodge: 7,717 feet above sea level, just a few feet from the Cathedral Rock trailhead where you can ascend for panoramic views of Kyle Canyon.

Surrounded by Ponderosa pines, I do not think of the sea. But some of the rocks we are surrounded by started out far away in a shallow coastal sea on the westward rim of north America. It's still a shock to discover rocks with fossilized coral at our feet, so high in the mountains, in this dry region where a splash of water on skin dries almost instantly.

It becomes a game then for the four of us, we exclaim with each lucky find and share and compare. We photograph each rock for posterity and add our finds to a pile that will be encased in a wall for visitors to view.

It is only later when I try to date our fossils finds that I begin to appreciate how truly ancient our rocks are. They can be no younger than about 250 million years old and it is quite possible that they are quite a bit older than that.

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september 2012 | by ben speidel | show project

6 people, 12 miles of trails, 125 wooden markers, 187 acres of park, 266 signs, 1300 holes drilled, 1350 screws. The change to Hoyt Arboretum? Priceless.

The installation of 266 new signs for Hoyt Arboretum is just one phase of a new comprehensive wayfinding plan for Hoyt Arboretum.

Sea Reach was contracted in 2010 to develop a comprehensive wayfinding plan for Hoyt Arboretum, located two miles west of downtown Portland, Oregon. This project includes updating all of the maps, signage, brochures and interpretive elements that assist people in finding their way around this lovely place.

The Hoyt Arboretum is a shining example of what makes Portland great. It's an urban oasis with miles of beautiful trails that showcase scenic views of Mount Hood and downtown Portland as seen by the trees themselves. If you have never visited, you are truly missing out.

The Arboretum staff is wonderful and is supported by an amazing group of regular volunteers. There are seventeen trails that vary in length and difficulty, ask them to help pick the best one for you!

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august 2012 | by susan jurasz

The air in Alaska smells like cold wet rocks, sweet cottonwood trees, and the salty reminder of the ocean.

We hike four hours along the Trail of Blue Ice. We smell plants, taste berries, stalk salmon, and relish the moment in such a magical place.

Starting at Portage Lake filled with stranded icebergs the size of houses, we cross over a moraine - a gravel ridge 30-50 feet high, deposited by the glacier fewer than fifty years ago.

Long, serpentine stretches of boardwalk elevate us above the wetter areas.
The terrain and vegetation change as we walk: wildflowers and then a mono-textural thicket of willow shrubs so dense only Brer Rabbit would venture through.

The next day, we bike the trail in a fraction of the time - literally a quarter of the time. It is great fun, but we are amazed at the difference in the experience.

Riding bikes made the trail more manageable with respect to time, but we felt so much closer to the landscape when we walked.

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july 2012 | by susan jurasz

This has been a fascinating week. As part of our Jordan Mobile Science Bus project, we attended the Mobile Laboratory Coalition workshop in Seattle for three days with our Jordanian clients from the Princess Basma Youth Resource Center and the International Programs coordinator from the Forest Service. Then, we returned to Sea Reach and spent two days of intensive brainstorming planning the bus design and educational programming.

One of the resounding messages at the conference was the concern that students are not receiving the level of science education they need in order to be successful in scientific fields. Our Jordanian partners are also looking at this as a problem facing their students. No matter where they are in the world - whether its Jordan or the United States - we want students to feel empowered to make the changes we need to live in harmony on this planet. We want to pique kids natural curiosity for the world around them, and introduce them to the tools and disciplines of science. That way, they will be better equipped to choose any course of study.

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june 2012 | by ben speidel

I recently had the opportunity to leave my desk and get into the field for the installation of the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway sign that we developed for ODOT. I was surprised at both the beauty and ruggedness of the terrain in Southern Oregon!

I was seven the last time I visited the Crater Lake area and all I remember of that trip was the inside of my grandparent's motor home, feeding slightly overweight chipmunks, and how Gramps used duct tape to fix everything from a hole in his pants to a cut my brother received when he "tripped" right in front of me. Needless to say, I was able to appreciate the majesty of the mountains and high desert forest in an entirely new way this time around.

The sign we installed is just northeast of Crater Lake in Chemult, OR at the crossroads of HWY 138 and HWY 97. When we arrived on site, the four - hour drive from Portland seemed well worth it. Standing at the base of Oregon's beautiful Cascade Mountains - a mountain range born of the Pacific Ring of Fire - I couldn't help but contemplate for a moment the ominous and fiery origins of the lofty peaks that rose before me.

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