NEWPORT, Ore. – Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center will allow the public to explore “behind the scenes” of this unique facility on Saturday, April 13, when the Newport facility hosts its annual Marine Science Day.
The free event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will feature scientists and educators from OSU, federal and state agencies, Oregon Coast Aquarium, and the new NOAA Marine Operations Center-Pacific. It is a chance for the public to explore one of the nation’s leading marine science and education centers.
An online schedule of events is available at: hmsc.oregonstate.edu/marinescienceday
In addition to a diversity of marine science presentations, two research themes will be highlighted. One is the science behind bycatch reduction devices, which will be featured by researchers from NOAA Fisheries, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, OSU, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, and Foulweather Trawl, a Newport netmaker.
Marine Science Day visitors will see actual bycatch reduction devices and have an opportunity to view videos showing how fish are excluded or retained, depending on their size, swimming ability or other characteristic. Other research will highlight genetics or other tools used to distinguish between wanted and unwanted catch. Scientists will be on hand to answer questions and discuss their research.
“Visitors will learn not only about the problem of bycatch but also about the solutions, which range from simple and elegant to complex and cutting-edge,” said Maryann Bozza, program manager of the center. “All of the different HMSC research displays on bycatch reduction will be grouped together.”
A second theme will be wave energy, highlighting the efforts of the OSU Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center to improve and facilitate testing of wave energy devices and evaluate their potential effects on marine habitats. HMSC’s Sarah Henkel, a senior research assistant professor in the OSU Department of Zoology, will present an update of wave energy developments on the Oregon Coast.
Henkel’s talk begins at 3 p.m. in the Visitor Center auditorium.
Among other highlights of Marine Science Day:
- Visitor Center activities will include new wave energy exhibits, the recently dedicated Japanese tsunami dock exhibit and a new interactive wave tank.
- The center’s new octopus, named “Miss Oscar,” will be featured in a 1 p.m. interpretive talk and octopus feeding demonstration.
- The public can take self-guided tours through the facility’s marine research labs, library and classrooms, where scientists will have interactive exhibits explaining their research. Visitors may also take guided tours of HMSC’s seawater facilities and aquatic animal husbandry laboratory.
A number of educational activities for children and families will be available, presented by Oregon Sea Grant, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
The OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center is located at 2030 S.E. Marine Science Drive in Newport, just south of the Highway 101 bridge over Yaquina Bay.