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Marine Science Day This Weekend at Central Oregon Coast's Hatfield

Published 04/04/2016 at 5:11 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

The Hatfield's octopus, Montgomery

(Newport, Oregon) – The Hatfield Marine Science Center on the central Oregon coast opens its doors to a behind-the-scenes look at its inner workings this Saturday, April 9, with its Marine Science Day. Visitors get to peek at the fascinating research going on there, with an opportunity to visit laboratories, connect with scientists and look into the emerging finds and technologies in the facility's cutting edge research. (Photo: The Hatfield's octopus, Montgomery).

The free event also features a variety of hands-on exhibits along with the chance to talk to scientists from OSU and several federal and state agencies that have operations at the Newport center, including NOAA. The event goes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the center, located southeast of the Highway 101 bridge over Yaquina Bay.

One of the highlights is a public feeding of the octopus Montgomery, happening at 1 p.m. in the Visitor Center, along with special activities for children and families found throughout the event.

An amazing array of research goes on at the Hatfield Marine Science Center, which is run by Oregon Sate University in Corvallis. Marine Science Day will cram much of it into talks, exhibits and other activities to held over the course of the day. You'll get an opportunity to check out jaw-dropping scientific efforts in underwater tech, growing of oysters, whale research and more.

These include:

Whale and seal research by the internationally-known Marine Mammal Institute. Aquaculture including oysters and a newly-developed variety of dulse, a seaweed that when cooked tastes like bacon. The Ocean Observatories Initiative, which includes high-tech underwater sensors, platforms and robots, recently deployed in the Endurance Array off the coast of Newport. Also, 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.

There will be several multimedia exhibits that provide fascinating glimpses into the scientific challenges of these times. These include a new film on the problems caused by ocean acidification. Also featured: films on the undersea exploration of fisheries, volcanoes and marine mammals using video and acoustics; and fascinating images of microscopic plankton by the Plankton Portal program.

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 will also get to learn about the progress of OSU’s Marine Studies Initiative, where the programs hopes to host 500 students-in-residence in Newport by 2025. The Hatfield has already embarked on fundraising efforts to create 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.” Where to stay for this event - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour

Hatfield Marine Science Center is at 2030 SE Marine Science Drive. (541) 867-0226. More about Newport and the Hatfield below, and at the Newport Virtual Tour, Map.



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A famous little family eatery where the seafood practically gets shuffled from the sea straight into your mouth. Soups and salads include many seafood specialties, including cioppino, chowders, crab Louie and cheese breads. Fish 'n' chips come w/ various fish. Seafood sandwiches with shrimp, tuna or crab, as well as burgers. Dinners like pan fried oysters, fillets of salmon or halibut, saut�ed scallops.
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