hatfield marine science center


NEWPORT - A day of discovery awaits visitors when Oregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Center opens its doors for the third annual SeaFest celebration on Saturday, June 19. Doors open at 10 a.m. for the event, which combines marine science education outreach and family activities.

The center is OSU's 49-acre coastal facility of laboratories and offices where scientists from the university as well as federal and state agencies conduct research focusing on marine and coastal issues.

Speaking at the opening ceremony will be OSU President Edward Ray and Mark O. Hatfield, former Oregon governor and U.S. senator, whose leadership and support for marine science research over three decades is credited with helping develop the capacity that exists at the center today. The OSU marine science center was re-named in his honor in 1983.

"It will be especially appropriate for Sen. Hatfield to open SeaFest, because it highlights the research activities that his support fostered over the years," said , director of the HMSC. "This event provides an opportunity for the Newport community to come and express their thanks, and for people around the state to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the world-class research that goes on at the center."

Co-sponsoring the event with OSU are the university's partner agencies at the Hatfield Center: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

In addition, more than 20 community organizations are also participating with activities and displays ranging from fossil displays to environmental education to use and understanding of our marine and coastal resources.

"We try to provide a wide range of interesting hands-on activities for visitors of all ages to enjoy at SeaFest," said Ken Hall, program manager at the center and coordinator of the event.

A new live turtle exhibit is being installed next to the popular touch tanks in the Visitor Center, where children are invited to touch starfish, sea urchins, anemones and other species from the intertidal zone on display. Lectures and special presentations will be held in the Hennings Auditorium throughout the day, and other buildings at HMSC will be open for back-wing tours, demonstrations, exhibits and scientific displays.

Visitors will also be able to walk out to the dock to see an OSU research vessel, the Elakha, and a visiting research vessel from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Researchers from OSU's College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences will also be on hand to demonstrate the use of oceanographic sampling gear, and answer questions about research.

A demonstration of a hovercraft vehicle is also planned, along with a display on land of the Canadian-built underwater research vehicle, "Aquarius," allowing visitors a rare chance to step inside a submersible.

For those interested in learning more about SeaFest 2004, information can be found online at the OSU website: http://hmsc.oregonstate.edu/seafest/ or by calling 541-867-0212. Website information will be updated as activities are added to the schedule.


Hatfield Marine Science Center, 541-867-0234


NEWPORT - The popular OSU Hatfield Marine Science Visitor Center has a new exhibit whose short acronym underlines the effect the center thinks it will have on visitors: WOW.

The "World Of Wet" Pets exhibit is the first at the center to highlight ornamental fish, and is also the first major, permanent exhibit in several years.

It's likely to be a crowd-pleaser, with its own room where five large tanks are devoted to a kaleidoscope of ornamental fish species, including opalescent koi from an Oregon koi farmer, fancy goldfish from China, freshwater cichlids from Africa, and the multi-striped clownfish of "Finding Nemo" fame.

With the exhibit, the science center is addressing the interests of the very large number of Americans of all ages. The keeping of ornamental fish has become one of the top two or three hobbies in the United States, said Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan of Oregon State University.

The exhibit is the brainchild of Miller-Morgan, a doctor of veterinary medicine and the Oregon Sea Grant Extension veterinarian specializing in ornamental fish health and husbandry. Oregon Sea Grant manages the Visitor Center.

"The WOW Pets exhibit room is intentionally different from most of the rest of the Visitor Center," said Miller-Morgan. "It's a quiet place, where you can stop to think about what you've seen at the center, or simply enjoy the colorful ornamental fish."

The room also shows its relationship to the educational mission of the center with a display and free brochures that provide basic information about the hobby and the ornamental fish industry.

At a recent grand opening celebration, Robert Malouf, the director of Oregon Sea Grant, invited guests to look below the colorful surface of the exhibit and appreciate how the exhibit was a reflection of a new and broader interest in ornamental fish health and husbandry, not only at the center but at OSU.

Dr. Howard Gelberg, dean of the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine, voiced his support of the outreach and teaching being undertaken by Miller-Morgan.

"He's a real pioneer," said Gelberg of Miller-Morgan. "There was nobody to teach him some of the ornamental aquatic animal health information he's now offering our students."

Gelberg shared his own lifelong personal interest in ornamental fish, saying that it had helped spark his fascination with life sciences, and he predicted that veterinarians would play an increasing role in the ornamental fish industry in the future.

George Boehlert, director of the Hatfield Marine Science Center, noted that the World of Wet Pets exhibit is consistent with an emphasis of the center to attract the public to the facility and better acquaint them with the "research enterprise" there.

Miller-Morgan acknowledged several sponsors of the exhibit, including Bill and Judy Saunders, owners of Springbrook Koi Farm; Dr. Paul Jensen, a Lincoln city dentist; Northwest Koi and Goldfish Club of Portland; and Steve Weeks, owner of Pacific Coast Imports. He also acknowledged the support of the Oregon Coast Community College and students in the college's aquarium science program.


Tim Miller-Morgan, (541) 867-0265

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Ornamental fish

A new "World of Wet" Pets exhibit at OSU's Hatfield Marine Science Center is now open, showcasing the types of ornamental fish that have become one of the most popular hobbies in the nation. OSU is one of the few universities in the country with an educational program in ornamental fish care. (Photo by Eric Rasmussen)