But it’s also about education. About research. About public service. And about fun.
If you’ve been to the Hatfield Marine Science Center’s visitor center, you’ve seen a variety of sea and estuary life, and you’ve probably even touched an octopus or other sea denizen.
While you were learning a little about marine science and the coastal environment–and having fun, a lot was going on behind the scenes at the HMSC. The center is an integral part of Oregon State University’s programs.
It’s about education. Many university classes are held at the center, but the educational component goes far beyond that. Special courses and camps are offered throughout the year for children, school teachers, and the general public.
It’s about research. Top scientists work at the HMSC, either as visiting researchers or as full-time residents. The center serves as a laboratory for scientists and as a home base for far-ranging oceanographic studies, often involving OSU’s three ocean research vessels.
It’s about public service. The HMSC sponsors such programs as twice-a-year whale watch weeks, CoastWatch for kids, and estuary and dock exploratory walks. Opportunities are available for school groups from preschool through high school, and a number of seminars, lectures, and meetings are held there to keep members of the public up-to-date on coast- and ocean-related issues.
It’s about fun. And that starts at the Visitor Center. Stop by, look around, and take advantage of whatever programs might be offered during the time you’re there. You’ll learn something, and you’ll enjoy yourself.
And if you want to experience more than the typical visitor, stop by during HMSSeaFest, a single day each summer that the center is open to the public for tours and a behind-the-scenes look. HMSSeaFest2003 is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 21. Check the current events link for more information.
The HMSC is located on Yaquina Bay at Newport on the central Oregon coast. Admission is by suggested donation. Donations help offset operational costs and allow for expanded educational programs.