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Oregon Coast's Popular Hatfield Marine Center Reopens with Science Festival

Published 02/09/2018 at 12:05 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Oregon Coast's Popular Hatfield Marine Center Reopens with Science Festival

(Newport, Oregon) – Newport's popular visitor center at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center will partially reopen on February 17, but do so with a bang: on that day it also hosts the Marine Science Fair, an in-depth look at the workings of the famed Oregon coast research facility.

The Marine Science Fair is part of OSU's larger celebration, the OSU150 Sea Grant Festival, which celebrates 150 years of research by the college and its satellite facilities. The festival also hosts a small film festival and dock walks in the Newport area of the central Oregon coast.

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The visitor center has been closed since early December for some maintenance and construction, and will fully reopen on or around March 24.

“There are six large aquariums or tanks that have been in place since 1997, and the stands they were sitting on needed to be replaced, so we had to shut down for a while,” said Visitor Center manager Maureen Collson. “Visitors will notice a few new exhibits when we reopen, but the biggest changes will be to the tanks themselves.

“Some of them have changed location, and others have added rockwork. We also are working to create a ‘habitat’ theme for each large tank by placing animals found in those habitats, and adding exhibits at or near the tank showing research being done in those habitats.”

The Hatfield Marine Science Center is at 2030 SE Marine Science Dr. Newport, Oregon.

Marine Science Fair begins at 10 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. at the center. It's a chance to enjoy its popular touch tank and wave energy exhibit as well as special Sea Grant Festival activities and a traveling exhibit celebrating Oregon State University’s 150th Anniversary. Note that some visitor center ongoing exhibits will be limited due to renovation.

Get behind-the-scenes at the Hatfield Marine Science Center. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. From the razor-sharp cutting edge of science, to the time-honored tried-and-true, bring your inner scientist to learn the how and why of better understanding the world around us. See exhibits made by Hatfield scientists and students.

Have you heard about the new Marine Studies Building? This state-of-the-art research and teaching building under construction on the Hatfield campus in Newport will double as a tsunami vertical evacuation site. See the design and learn about the exciting new academic programs the building will host beginning in 2019, or visit http://marinestudies.oregonstate.edu.

Schedule of Related Activities (Where to stay for these events - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour)

February 17. Research Vessel Tour. 1 - 2 p.m. and 3 - 4 p.m. Visit the dock and learn from Ship Operations during this unique opportunity to get up close OSU's research vessels. Cranes and small boats will be on display, plus talk with staff to learn more about daily life at this location. Ship Operations. 2020 SE OSU Drive, Newport.

February 17 and 18: Dock Walk in Newport. Learn about Newport’s commercial fishing industry on the Oregon coast with Oregon Sea Grant’s marine extension agent, Kaety Jacobson. Guests will go on a guided walk of Newport’s Port Dock 5 (located across from Local Ocean Seafood) to learn about the various types of commercial fishing vessels, what they catch and the families that own them. Participants need to be dressed for the weather and wear sturdy walking shoes. Accommodations for disabilities available with advance notice. Registration is full for this dock walk. 1 - 3 p.m. Dock 5, Newport.

Wednesday, February 21. Hatfield Film Festival and Sneak Preview of Saving Atlantis. The Hatfield Film Festival is a mini-film festival outlining some of the latest in coastal research and marine initiatives. The series of short films will begin at 5:30 at the Newport Performing Arts Center. The HMSC Film Festival is free and open to the public. The festival will be followed by a preview of Saving Atlantis at the Newport Performing Arts Center, a feature film about scientists and communities fighting to save coral reefs. Newport Performing Arts Center. 777 W. Olive Street. Newport, Oregon.

For event questions or accommodation requests, contact Shelly Signs, (541) 737-0724 or shelly.signs@oregonstate.edu.

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