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Oregon Sea Grant: Coastal science serving Oregon
Updated: 4 hours 30 min ago

Hatfield Center celebrates 50th anniversary next week

Mon, 07/27/2015 - 3:16pm

NEWPORT, Ore. – Fifty years ago this summer, Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center opened its doors as a fledgling research and education facility envisioned to help the depressed central Oregon coast economy revive.

Today it stands as one of the most important and unique marine science facilities in the country, bringing together a plethora of scientists from different agencies to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing the world’s oceans, educating a new generation of students about these issues, and reaching out to inform the public about their impacts.

Oregon Sea Grant has been part of the HMSC since the beginning. The program’s first marine Extension agent, Bob Jacobson, was stationed there, providing service and consultation to the commercial fishing fleet. Sea Grant marine educators Don Giles and Vicki Osis laid the groundwork for what would become an exemplary k-12 and public education program which now leads STEM education efforts on the Oregon coast. And we manage the HMSC Visitor Center, popular with tourists – and now serving as a living laboratory for studying how people learn in informal settings such as aquariums and museums.

OSU and the HMSC will commemorate their half century of success with a celebration and reception on Friday, Aug. 7, at the center. The public is invited.

“This is an opportunity to look at the past and honor the people and events that have made the Hatfield Marine Science Center such a special place,” said Bob Cowen, director of the center. “It’s also a time to celebrate the future, as OSU is launching its Marine Studies Initiative and working on plans to expand the center and its capacity.”

The 50th anniversary celebration will begin at 4:30 p.m. just outside the Hatfield Marine Science Center, located south of the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport. The celebration will feature speakers, displays, a historical slide show, and a video featuring faculty, student and community perspectives on the center’s future plans. A reception will follow from 5:30 to 7 p.m.; the events are free and open to the public.

Earlier in the day, a special presentation by Rick Spinrad, chief scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and former OSU Vice President for Research, will be held in the Visitor Center Auditorium. His talk, “How Oceanography Saved the World,” which begins at 3 p.m., is part of the 50th Anniversary Alumni Speaker Series.

Other speakers include former Oregon State President John Byrne, a former NOAA administrator.

Event information and links to HMSC archives, historic photos, video and a timeline of landmarks for the Hatfield Marine Science Center can be found at:


The post Hatfield Center celebrates 50th anniversary next week appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Cascadia earthquake: Finding the sweet spot between fear and action

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 11:04am

A recent national news article suggesting that everything in Oregon west of Interstate-5 “would be toast” in a major Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake certainly drew attention to the seismic reality facing the Pacific Northwest.

The concern, though, is that people are focusing on the most draconian or extreme scenarios, experts say, which can lead to a sense of fatalism. The reaction illustrates the state of earthquake and tsunami preparedness – or lack thereof – in the United States, said Patrick Corcoran, Oregon Sea Grant’s Astoria-based coastal hazards specialist, who works with coastal communities on disaster preparedness.

It’s a matter of feast or famine.

“The Cascadia Subduction Zone has shifted from a science project to a social studies project,” Corcoran said. “We need to find a sweet spot between fear and action. What I try to do is temper the tendency of people to toggle between the poles of ‘it won’t happen here’ and ‘it will be so bad that there’s no use worrying about it.’”

(Read the entire story from OSU News & Research Communication to learn how Corcoran and other OSU faculty are working with the state and coastal communities to prepare people, communities and infrastructure for a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and tsunami).

Learn more

Earthquake and tsunami preparedness material from Oregon Sea Grant:

The post Cascadia earthquake: Finding the sweet spot between fear and action appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

HMSC Visitor Center seeks a new octopus

Wed, 07/15/2015 - 2:39pm

NEWPORT – The Visitor Center at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center is looking for a new giant Pacific Octopus to occupy its central public tank, empty since the demise of its previous octopus, Patriot, a few months ago.

The octopus tank is one of the center’s most popular exhibits, and helps teach thousands of visitors young and old about cephalopod behavior and biology during three-times-a-week public feedings. It’s also the star of the OctoCam, a live, streaming, 24-hour Web cam that gives Internet users a glimpse of how the animals live in a simulated ocean environment.

The center’s animal husbandry staff typically receive young octopuses as donations from commercial or recreational fishermen who bring the curious, intelligent animals up in crab pots and other fishing gear, but none have been offered, so aquarists are trying to get the word out.

Donors get to choose the new octopus’s name, and know that they are helping teach the public about marine animals and conservation.

For more information, or to donate an octopus, call (541) 867-0215 or (410) 991-9753.

The HMSC Visitor Center is open from 10 am to 5 p.m. daily through Labor Day weekend. Admission is by donation.

The post HMSC Visitor Center seeks a new octopus appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Free overnight STEM camp for 7th-8th grade girls

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 8:49am

NEWPORT – Seventh and eighth grade girls on the Oregon Coast can get a taste of what it’s like to be an engineer or marine scientist at a free overnight camp Aug. 17-18 at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center and the neighboring Oregon Coast Aquarium.

Sponsored by the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, the camp will give girls a chance to work with researchers at Hatfield Marine Science Center in the labs and in the field, and enjoy behind-the-scenes tours with women in aquarium careers. They’ll also get to spend the night in the Shark Tunnel at the Oregon Coast Aquarium! Meals are provided.

Registration is limited; learn more and sign up at

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Now available: The 2015-16 Oregon Coast Quests Book

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 8:00am

The 2015-16 edition of Oregon Sea Grant’s popular Oregon Coasts Quests Book is now available for sale. This 216-page, spiral-bound book features:

Directions for 24 Quests
Updates to existing Quests
Two brand-new Quests
Ten Quests created by youth
Quests in four Oregon counties (Lincoln, Coos, Curry, and Benton)
One Quest with directions in both English and Spanish

The book retails for $10 and is being sold by booksellers around the state. To find out where you can buy a copy, visit the booksellers page on the Quests website: If you happen to be or know of a bookseller interested in selling Quest books, please contact for ordering information.

Find us on Facebook
Oregon Coast Quests now has a Facebook page, where you can get updates, “like” the page, and share your Questing adventures with friends and neighbors:

Happy Questing!

The post Now available: The 2015-16 Oregon Coast Quests Book appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Upcoming “Dock Shop” walks take the mystery out of buying fresh seafood

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 8:00am

NEWPORT – Want to learn more about the seafood caught off the Oregon coast – and have a chance to buy some while you’re at it? Join Oregon Sea Grant for a series of “Dock Shop” guided tours on July 10, 16, 22 and 28 at Newport’s commercial fishing port.

Led by Ruby Moon,  Oregon Sea Grant Extension fisheries specialist, the walks start at the entrance of Port Dock 5, across SE Bay Boulevard from Local Ocean restaurant at noon each date. They last from 1-2 hours, depending on what vessels are in port and who’s selling what.

Moon will lead the walks while talking about what seafood is in season, what local boats fish for and how, vessel types, fishing practices and sustainability.

Those interested in buying seafood should bring cash and a cooler with ice. Comfortable shoes with good traction are a must! There is no charge for taking part in the walk.

Learn more:

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs