PORT ORFORD, Ore. – For the past two years, Oregon State University has operated a field station on the coast at Port Orford – a site where researchers could set up shop, public meetings were held, and OSU outreach specialists could interact with the public.
The facility is expanding its role in supporting coastal research, outreach and education.
An open house will be held on Saturday, Nov. 14, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the station, located at 444 Jackson St. in Port Orford. The event is designed to introduce the public to the station and to the research that is performed there. It is free and open to the public; light refreshments will be provided.
The field station is supported by numerous programs at OSU that have a role in marine studies, including Oregon Sea Grant, the Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station (COMES), the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and the OSU Research Office.
Port Orford Sustainable Seafood, a local fish processor, is also located in the building and its staff will be on-hand during the open house to describe its operation.
The station has a number of external partners, including the Oregon Marine Reserves Partnership, the Redfish Rocks Community Team, The Nature Conservancy, Oregon Coast Aquarium, the Port Orford Ocean Resources Team, The Surfrider Foundation, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and others. ODFW uses the field station as a base of operations in support of the ecological monitoring efforts at the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve and Marine Protected Area.
“The field station has been a place that professional scientists, students and citizen scientists can use as a base of operation to study topics ranging from the ecology of marine reserves to gray whale foraging behavior,” said Cynthia Sagers, OSU’s vice president for research. “The field station provides two laboratories, classroom and office space, and housing for visiting researchers.”
Station manager Tom Calvanese said that in June, the station installed a SCUBA air fill station to support scientific divers conducting underwater surveys. “Recently, we began to make this service available to recreational divers seeking to explore the rocky reefs in the area – a known diver destination,” he said.
Funding for the facility was launched with a $425,000 allocation by the Oregon Legislature in 2011 to purchase the building. OSU has funded its operation since.