The Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC) is Oregon State University’s coastal research, teaching and marine extension hub, built on Yaquina Bay in 1965 with help from the Port of Newport and the federal government. HMSC was named in 1983 to honor Mark O. Hatfield, who served Oregon as a state legislator, Secretary of State and two-term governor before joining the U.S. Senate in 1966, where he served more than 30 years. Admission is by donation.
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. 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 expand academic programs at HMSC and build a new teaching and research building in Newport. See http://marinestudies.oregonstate.edu.
Agencies located at 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, including 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.
Oregon Sea Grant manages HMSC Visitor Center, which has exhibit space for interactive, hands-on exhibits and aquaria including its beloved touch pool. A webcam features the giant Pacific octopus: http://hmsc.oregonstate.edu/visitor/octocam. Computer simulations and frequently changing exhibits 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.
Bob Cowen, Director
Address: 2030 SE Marine Science Dr., Newport 97365