Experimental Seawater Facility

The Experimental Seawater Facility (ESF)   


A state-of-the-art seawater lab, was newly added to the Oregon State University’s HMSC campus.  The new space provides a flexible seawater lab for both students, OSU researchers, and visiting scientists to conduct observations and research on live aquatic marine organisms. The ESF provides quality life support systems and ample room for experimental replication with the ability to manipulate seawater conditions.   

The space will accommodate a range of tank sizes, allowing quick build out for varied purposes.  Light, temperature and salinity can be manipulated for experimentation in up to six separate replicate stations. The ESF allows complex experimental design which benefits student researchers, as well as faculty researchers conducting pilot or short-term projects, relieving them of costly instrument investments and set-up time.  

HMSC also offers experimental design and construction support as needed.  Adding this new lab space allows HMSC to be agile and responsive to the research needs of a changing planet at a world class marine lab. 

Experimental Seawater Facility Capabilities

  • A new saltwater lab for students, visitors, & short-term (<1 year) experiments.
  • Indoor, outdoor, and covered work space
  • Reliable high quality seawater filtered to 50 um at
  • a 100 gpm delivered to the building with several 2”
  • or 1” ball valve access points
  • A 2256 sq ft new building containing 6 replicate 100 sq ft research bays with convenient floor drains
  • Tanks ranging in size and configurations are available for use
  • Banjo fitting compatible plumbing
  • Dechlorinated fresh water for salinity control
  • A dedicated heat pump for each bay to regulate water temperature (+/- 5 degrees ambient)
  • Three black out bays.  Each bay with colored LED volumetric lighting with color band control, 0-100% dimming, and programmable timers operated by
  • DMX –Q Pro lighting software on designated laptops.
  • A red working light in each blackout bay.
  • Continuous water quality monitoring (soon to be web accessible) and a hand-held probe to measure temp, pH, DO, salinity, pressure, and conductivity
  • Ceiling mounted cord reels and 3 electrical outlets per bay
  • Fresh water sink and fresh water access through out
  • HVLP air lines with access ports in each bay
  • WiFi access, 3 Ethernet ports per bay
  • Dry warm control room with bench space, WiFi and Ethernet ports, and locked equipment storage
  • Locked building with controlled access and surveillance camera