What can you expect to see in the Visitor Center? Our interactive exhibits help visitors learn about marine research conducted at HMSC and beyond. As you explore, you may notice that the space is arranged to show the Patterns of Science. Scroll down to see descriptions of many of our newest, seasonal and permanent exhibits!
Learn about the fish caught off Oregon's coast, the gear used to catch them, and the science behind managing for sustainability. The exhibit features detailed scale models by local craftsman Duke Rider of actual boats that set out from Newport in search of salmon, albacore tuna and shrimp.
NEW: DERELICT CRAB GEAR STUDY
The commercial fishing industry, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and many others recently partnered in a large scale effort to recover lost crab gear along the Oregon coast. During the two-year project, commercial fishermen recovered over 3,000 lost or derelict crab pots, which were nearly all re-usable and returned to their owners. This project successfully advanced our understanding of the impacts of lost crab gear on marine resources and users and engaged the fishing industry to continue recovering lost gear into the future. A video documentary of the project is now part of the Science for Sustainable Fisheries exhibit.
Roll up your sleeves and touch living marine animals in our tidepool tanks! Gently touch fish, abalone, and sea stars. Discover what happens when you touch the sticky tentacles of a sea anemone. Get a "hug" from the sea urchins. Friendly volunteers are on hand to answer your questions and help you explore.
Discover what happens to salinity (the amount of salt in the water) in the Yaquina Bay Estuary by using real-time data. Learn the story of what is happening in the bays and estuaries in the Pacific Northwest.
The NANOOS exhibit features a simple refractometer which is used to measure salinity. Curious to know how this refractometer exhibit was designed and constructed? Click here.
Check out the Web version of this exhibit from the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Sites (NANOOS), including real-time data sets!
From Asian clams to zebra mussels, aquatic invasive species are emerging as a major environmental threat. They harm native fish and wildlife, permanently alter habitats, and lead to billions of dollars in costs.
Invasion of the Habitat Snatchers uses live displays, video and hands-on activities to demonstrate how invasive species enter and affect new environments, the factors that influence an invader’s “success” and how each of us can prevent future invasions.
Learn about aquatic invaders that threaten the Pacific Northwest, how they arrive and how they can be controlled. Get a close-up look at ballast water “hitchhikers,” Spin the "Wheel of Misfortune" to learn about invasion risks or play the role of an aquatic invader in an interactive survival game.
An octopus has been greeting the public at the Visitor Center since shortly after we opened in 1965. It hasn't been the same octopus, of course. There have been many greeters, each with its own personality and level of enthusiasm for the job - and each with its own name, chosen by our visitors.
The octopus occupies the first large tank just as you enter our exhibit area. If the tank lid is open and you notice a crowd, that means it's feeding time, always a popular event for our visitors (and the octopus, too!). From home, you may be able to see our octopus on the OctoCam.
The devastating March 2011 earthquake in Japan resulted in tsunami warnings for the West Coast of the United States. Many people want to know more about how Oregon is impacted by earthquakes and tsunamis. Central Oregon coast residents rarely feel earthquakes, but does that mean there are none here? The entire West Coast is located along shifting tectonic plates, which can lead to increased seismic activity and the probability of a near shore earthquake and tsunami occurring within our lifetimes. Explore the topic of earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest with our Active Earth kiosk exhibit.
Explore the NANOOS Tsunami Portal for online maps of inundation zones and more.
Watch videos about what you can do to prepare: