NEWPORT - The visitor center at Oregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Center has launched a new Web site combining highlights of its public aquarium exhibits and programs with information about the center's marine education programs for students, families and teachers.

The new site can be found at

"We hope our new, improved Web presence will encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to learn more about Oregon's ocean and coastal environment," said Nancee Hunter, director of education for Oregon Sea Grant, the OSU-based research and outreach program, which manages the visitor center.

Among the site's features:

  • A growing gallery of photos and descriptions of marine animals that populate the visitor center's living exhibits;
  • Up-to-date information about marine education classes, programs and tours for K-12 and home-school students, teachers and families;
  • The home base of Oregon Coast Quests, a place-based adventure in the natural and cultural history of the central Oregon coast;
  • A behind-the-scenes peek at the center's animal husbandry program;
  • An "Ask A Scientist" feature that allows visitors to submit questions about ocean and coastal science and have them answered by OSU researchers and Extension experts;
  • A gateway to the popular HMSC Bookstore and its secure online store.

The site was designed by Oregon Sea Grant graphic artist Patricia Andersson and webmaster Pat Kight and implemented by OSU's Central Web Services, with content provided by subject-matter experts and marine educators at the Visitor Center.

The HMSC Visitor Center has acquainted visitors with marine species, marine research and the coastal environment since June of 1965. It serves as the public face of OSU's larger Mark O. Hatfield Marine Science Center, a campus of laboratories and classrooms where scientists and students from the university, along with state and federal resource agencies, conduct research on topics ranging from whale migration and undersea volcanoes to global climate change. The visitor center helps bring their work to the public through exhibits, lectures, seminars and other activities.

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Nancee Hunter, 541-867-0357