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About us

HMSC under the rainbowOregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Visitor Center creates a unique, dynamic environment for lifelong exploration and discovery. The Visitor Center encourages adults and children to enjoy marine science as they learn more about the natural world.

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.


The Visitor Center has acquainted visitors with marine species, marine research and the coastal environment since June of 1965. Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and NASA provided funds to remodel the Visitor Center and its exhibit spaces in 1997. Today, Oregon Sea Grant manages this unique facility, which continues to provide a valuable link between the public and the exciting world of marine research and education.


The Visitor Center is proud to be a Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center, one of 22 such centers nationwide that teach, share research, and inform the public about our coastal and marine habitats.

This exciting public facility is part 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 numerous state and federal resource agencies, conduct world-class 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.

9/17/2013. Please Note: HMSC Visitor Center is a working learning research lab. We are recording the visits of our visitors to better understand what they choose to do and with whom in order to improve the visitor experience.  More info


Looking for someone at the HMSC Visitor Center?  Here is a list of our staff pages:

Critter Corner