NEWPORT, Ore. - An educational excursion this Sept. 22-28 to the inland passage of Vancouver Island will offer participants a closeup view of killer whales and other wildlife.

Organized by Oregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Center, the trip will be led by Bruce Mate, one of the world's most prominent marine mammal experts. Mate holds an endowed chair in marine mammal research at OSU.

Participants will travel on a 70-passenger ship equipped with zodiacs for exploring the area from the San Juan Islands to Johnstone Strait. In addition to whale watching, the tour will explore Princess Louisa Inlet, called one of North America's most beautiful fjords, as well as the San Juan archipelago and the Gulf Islands of British Columbia.

The trip also will include a stop in Victoria to view Butchart Gardens and local museums.

Joining Mate will be a group of naturalists and historians, who will offer a blend of science and history to participants on the expedition.

OSU's Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport also is offering a trip March 5-13, 1998, to visit breeding and calving lagoons of gray whales near Baja California, and an excursion to the Antarctic in January, 1999.

For more information on any of the trips, or to be put on a mailing list, write to the Marine Mammal Program, Oregon State University, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Newport, OR 97365, or call 541-867-0133 for more information.

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Bruce Mate, 541-867-0202