We hope to see you soon!

We are delighted to announce that we are open and once again welcoming people into the Visitor Center. Read below for more trip details.

What to expect when visiting

Trips to the Visitor Center will be a little different than before lockdown. For the time being, we require visitors to make a reservation which is good for an hour-long visit. Up to 50 guests per hour will be allowed in the Center.

  • Reservations required: Reservations must be made online. 
  • Days/Hours: Thursday - Monday, 10 AM - 4 PM; closed Tuesday - Wednesday
  • Fee: $3 for visitors ages 5 and up; payment is online, Visa or MasterCard accepted, no cash, please.
  • Time: Visits are 1 hour long.
  • Occupancy: A maximum of 50 visitors will be in the Center per hour with reservations available for 25 people per half hour.
  • Face coverings: Per OSU guidelines face coverings are required.

Snap Shots from the VISITOR CENTER

Cynthia Resendiz (left) holds up a sea star and the shell of a sea urchin for a recent visitor to see. Resendiz is a volunteer at the Visitor Center, as well as the new director of the Oregon Coast STEM Hub.

Visitor Feedback: "Thank you for the amazing training that your volunteer Jeff provided! We were VERY prepared for tide pool viewing at Coquille Point. We read the tide charts and got amazing views. This place is an exceptional value at only $3 per person!"

octopus NEWS

We are delighted to report that a giant Pacific octopus is on exhibit!

When you visit, you might notice a variety of toys in the octopus tank. Our aquatic animal husbandry staff use toys, as well as routine interaction, with these animals to keep them engaged and active. Octopuses are extremely intelligent and inquisitive creatures who need social time to stay healthy and happy. If you are curious about these eight-armed wonders, check out this frequently asked questions page. You can also check out the octopus online via the OctoCam. Below is a video of a resident octopus playing with its toys.

Regional Class Research Vessel

This interactive simulator let's you experience what it feels like to be at the helm of a large research vessel and steer it through Yaquina Bay. 

Crustacean Station

This exhibit showcases crustaceans found along the Oregon coast. By displaying these animals in smaller interconnected tanks, it is possible to keep more than one species in harmony.

 

More Exhibits

Augmented Reality Sandbox

Visitors of all ages are welcome to play in this sandbox. At this exhibit, you move the sand in the sandbox and watch how the contour lines, projected on the sand, change.

What is this creature?

A Basket star

(Gorgonocephalus eucnemis)

Contrary to appearances, this fantastical creature is a living animal. While a bit bizarre, this creature has some amazing adaptations that help it survive!

What is a Basket Star, exactly?

A Basket Star is a cousin to brittle stars and sea stars (which you can find in our touch pool)! Both basket stars and brittle stars have thin, “brittle” arms that easily break off, which make them a little different from the sturdy Ochre stars and Bat stars in the touch pools. All of these animals can regenerate an arm that has been lost.

How do they eat? I don’t see a mouth!

Basket Stars are suspension feeders, which is a specialized type of filter feeding. They live in areas where there is fast flowing water, and use their branched arms to grab anything floating by! This can include various plankton, fish larvae, small mollusks and crustaceans, and even jellyfish!

Where are they found; I’ve never seen one on the beach?

Basket Stars are found subtidally, which means you won’t find them in the tidepools. Most observers find them from 30 feet depths, all the way down to 1,800 feet! What a range!

Upcoming Events

Do you have a group interested in exploring the Visitor Center? You can make a reservation for your group here.

Hours

Open: 10 AM - 4 PM Thursday - Monday
Reservations Required

Closed: Tuesday - Wednesday
Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day

Location

Hatfield Marine Science Center Visitor Center
2030 SE Marine Science Drive
Newport, OR  97365-5229

Phone: 541-867-0100; Option 2
Email