NEWPORT, Ore. – Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center will open its doors to the public on Saturday, April 9, for its annual Marine Science Day, when visitors will have an opportunity to visit laboratories behind-the-scenes, connect with scientists, and learn more about emerging oceanographic technologies and current marine research.
The free event also features hands-on exhibits and opportunities to talk to scientists from OSU and several federal and state agencies that have operations at the Newport center. It runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the center, located southeast of the Highway 101 bridge over Yaquina Bay.
The science to be shared with the public includes talks, exhibits or information on:
- The Ocean Observatories Initiative, which includes high-tech underwater sensors, platforms and robots, recently deployed in the Endurance Array off the coast of Newport;
- Aquaculture including oysters and a newly-developed variety of dulse, a seaweed that when cooked tastes like bacon;
- Whale and seal research by the internationally-known Marine Mammal Institute; and
- A behind-the-scenes look at the Visitor Center’s animal husbandry program and a chance to meet the aquarists, hosted by Oregon Sea Grant and Oregon Coast Community College
A lecture at 2:30 p.m. by oceanographers Bill Peterson of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Jack Barth of OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences will look at the past, present and future technologies of ocean observing. The talk will be in the Hennings Auditorium.
“Marine Science Day will highlight the rich history and emerging technologies around ocean observing,” Barth said. “With a long-standing legacy of off-shore research, OSU is ushering in a new era of oceanography centered around the Endurance Array now in operation off the coast of Oregon. Visitors will have a unique opportunity to learn about the diverse ways scientists observe the ocean.”
Visitors may also learn about the progress of OSU’s Marine Studies Initiative, which seeks to host 500 students-in-residence in Newport by 2025. Fundraising is well under way for the new teaching and research facility in Newport.
“Marine Science Day offers a great opportunity to understand why we are so excited about bringing the Marine Studies Initiative here,” said Hatfield Center Director Bob Cowen. “The hands-on experiences for students are remarkable.”
Multimedia exhibits will include a new film on the challenges of ocean acidification; undersea exploration of fisheries, volcanoes and marine mammals using video and acoustics; and fascinating images of microscopic plankton by the Plankton Portal program.
A public feeding of the octopus Montgomery will take place at 1 p.m. in the Visitor Center and special activities for children and families can be found throughout the event.
More information on the event is available at: http://hmsc.oregonstate.edu/marinescienceday/