New marine program staff -Dr. Vera Trainer, research lead for the ONRC marine science program

The University of Washington’s Olympic Natural Resources Center (ONRC) announces hiring Dr. Vera Trainer as the research lead for the ONRC marine science program and director of the Olympic Region Harmful Algal Bloom (ORHAB) program in Forks, WA.

The ORHAB program is a unique partnership of federal, state, tribal and local management and research agencies, marine resource-based businesses, and academic institutions focused on providing advanced warning of harmful algal blooms that threaten coastal fish and shellfish harvest as well as marine animal and human health.

Dr. Trainer is an affiliate associate professor in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington and conducted research for almost 3 decades during her tenure as an oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Her current research on harmful algal blooms focuses on the assessment of climatic factors that influence toxic bloom development and intensity. She has led international comparative approaches to study the intensity, geographical distribution and toxicity of harmful algal blooms that have increased our understanding of environmental stressors that promote these events across the North Pacific.

She has led efforts aboard NOAA ships to map toxic blooms and has participated in numerous research cruises as principal investigator. Her research on the impact of harmful algal blooms on the resilience of coastal economies and marine wildlife health has been featured in the Seattle Times, The Guardian, the New York Times, USA Today, Associated Press, National Public Radio, the San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, and numerous West Coast television news programs.

In 2022, Dr. Trainer was inducted as a member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences. She is a U.S. delegate of the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) and is actively involved in research to promote climate solutions during this United Nations Decade for Ocean Sciences (2021-2030).

She is a member of the steering committee of the Marine Mammal Commission’s Unusual Marine Mammal Mortality Events which supports research to understand the causes of marine mammal illness and death. She enjoys national and international collaborations, particularly with young scientists and underrepresented people, as a means to enhance our cultural, scientific and personal understanding of one another.

Her work in Forks will be focused initially on enhancing marine science outreach to local students of all ages and to enhance the research capabilities at the ONRC. She will initiate a series of listening sessions to align community needs with local research and outreach expertise.

Please share your ideas with Vera Trainer at

Other questions can be directed to: Bernard Bormann, Director ONRC,