Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center

Hatfield Marine Science center boat
The Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center is located on Yaquina Bay in Newport. (Oregon State Archives Photo)
The Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC) is Oregon State University’s coastal research, teaching and marine extension hub. It was built on Yaquina Bay in 1965 with the help of the Port of Newport and the federal government. Currently, HMSC facilities accommodate over 300 researchers and students from OSU and six state and federal agencies. Facilities include a Visitor Center, research and teaching laboratories, including a seawater wet lab, and on-site housing for undergraduate and graduate students in residence and visiting scientists.

The HMSC was named in 1983 to honor Mark O. Hatfield, who served Oregon as a state legislator and two-term governor before joining the U.S. Senate in 1966, where he served more than 30 years.

It is a base for oceanographic research vessels and is adjacent to the site of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Operations Center – Pacific. As part of OSU’s Marine Studies Initiative, HMSC has plans to significantly expand academic programs at HMSC and build a new teaching and research building in Newport. See http://marinestudies.oregonstate.edu.

Agencies located at the HMSC include the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Marine Resources Program, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Pacific Coastal Ecology Branch, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex, the U.S. Geological Survey, the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, and NOAA, which includes elements of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, the Northwest Fisheries Science Center and the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory.

HMSC research and education activities work to increase understanding of coastal and ocean ecosystems and foster sustainable management of marine resources.

The HMSC Visitor Center, managed by Oregon Sea Grant, has over 15,000 square feet of exhibit space featuring interactive, hands-on exhibits and aquaria. The public wing with its beloved touch pool, wave tank and octopus tank, features frequently changing exhibits. Computer simulations enable visitors to experience being scientific explorers learning about some of the current research underway at the center.

Informal education programs and hands-on laboratories can be reserved by school and organized groups, and a dedicated corps of trained volunteers assists visitors with their individual explorations. 

Admission to the Visitor Center is by donation. For more information, see https://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/visitor-center.


Bob Cowen, Director
Address: 2030 SE Marine Science Dr., Newport 97365
Phone: 541-867-0100
Fax: 541-867-0138