Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon


Today is the 2015 World Oceans Day and it only seems fitting to write a bit about our recent trip to the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon. Affiliated with Oregon State University, HMSC is nearing its 50th anniversary and was originally established as a marine laboratory. “HMSC currently hosts¬†collaborative research and education programs from seven OSU colleges and six state and federal agencies on HMSC‚Äôs 49-acre campus.”

HMSCOpen to the general public, the HMSC Visitor Center is a working, learning research laboratory. “Our exhibits, programs and classes demonstrate how scientific research enhances our ability to interpret the natural patterns and forces that shape our world, and equips us to better appreciate, manage and sustain coastal and marine resources. The Visitor Center also provides opportunities for conducting research on devices, methods and concepts for informal science education that will advance the art of life-long public education.”

Admission to the HSMC Visitor Center is free, with a suggested donation of $5 (or $20/family). Exhibits (click here) range from a tidepool touch tank to an erosion tank, and science for sustainable fisheries.

Erosion Tank Many of the exhibits are interactive, including various educational games centered around biology and the web of life.

Interactive ExhibitExpanding beyond marine science, our kids enjoyed the touch-screen display showcasing the various fields of light.

Types of LightThe museum features clean restrooms, a small gift shop, and volunteers to field any questions you cannot answer. A family could easily spend an hour or two going through the entire facility.

Fish TankCheck the museum websites for various events (like whale watching week), animal feeding schedules, and other educator resources.


About the Author

Julie Henning
Julie Henning is a freelance writer and journalist based out of Eugene, Oregon. She is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and owner of the family-travel website RoadTripsForFamilies.com. She is a recent past member of the Midwest Travel Writers Association and the Association for Great Lakes Outdoor Writers. Julie is the Oregon Coast destination specialist for Bindu Media, an itinerary-focused website launching in Spring 2016 and featuring the work of 200+ professional, indie travel writers. Julie has been published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin State Journal, The Daily Journal (Kankakee, Illinois), the Rochester Post Bulletin, Wisconsin Natural Resources (DNR) Magazine, Sustainable Chicago Magazine, Group Tour Magazine, Student Group Tour Magazine, Silent Sports Magazine, Intercom Magazine, Roadtrippers.com, and FTF Geocacher Magazine. Julie has appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio, Ohio Public Radio, and KCBX FM Central Coast Radio and is an affiliate producer with the Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, a National Public Radio travel podcast. She has blogged for TravelWisconsin.com, Travel Oregon, and VISIT Milwaukee. Julie travels with her three kids and black lab as much as possible and lives by the motto, "Not all who wander are lost." Check out some of her best work at www.juliehenning.com.