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Hatfield Marine Science Center
Hatfield Marine Science Center, EPA aerial.jpg
Campus on Yaquina Bay
General information
Location Lincoln County, Oregon
Country United States
Coordinates 44°37′09″N 124°02′44″W / 44.61917°N 124.04556°W / 44.61917; -124.04556
Opened 1965

The Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC) is a marine science research and education center next to Yaquina Bay of the Pacific Ocean in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is operated by Oregon State University in cooperation with five state and federal agencies co-located on site. Named after Mark Hatfield, a former U.S. Senator from Oregon, the HMSC occupies a 49-acre (20 ha) site in Newport.


The Hatfield Marine Science Center was opened in 1965. The center was preceded by the Yaquina Bay Fisheries Laboratory, which was established in 1939 on the opposite side of Yaquina Bay.


More than 300 people work at the HMSC, including Oregon State University faculty, graduate students, researchers, and staff from agencies including Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA employees at the HMSC are affiliated with the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, or the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, all of which are headquartered in Seattle, Washington.

Visitor Center

Hatfield Marine Science Center Submarine
The Newmas submarine outside the HMSC Visitor Center

The Hatfield Marine Science Visitor Center is the public education wing of the HMSC. The visitor center's exhibits focus on marine species, marine research, and the coastal environment. The visitor center offers public programs and tours and is open year-round. Admission is by donation.

Live marine animals on display include a Giant Pacific octopus. Other exhibits focus on weather, tsunami, commercial fishing, ocean resource management, microscopic sea life, and tide-pool creatures and habitats. The Newmas, a locally built, 13 foot two-person submarine is on display outside the visitor center.


Undergraduate and graduate students study at HMSC. The center is the future site of the new Marine Studies Initiative (MSI) building, with a proposed year-round body of 500 undergraduate students.

Research Partnerships

RV Oceanus Newport Yaquina Bay Bridge Surface Mooring
An OSU marine technician prepares a surface mooring

HMSC hosts multiple research partnerships between Oregon State University and external organizations.

The Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies (CIMRS) conducts interdisciplinary research covering fisheries science, aquaculture, marine ecosystems and climate, oceanography, geology, acoustics and marine-resource technology. In addition to HMSC employees, CIMRS involves staff from NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center, the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, and Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory.

The Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station (COMES) is an agricultural research station dedicated to research and development for Oregon’s fishing, aquaculture and seafood, and helps to facilitate Oregon State University's service as a land-grant university for coastal communities. COMES is the largest of 12 branch agricultural research stations in Oregon. COMES is also hosted at the Seafood Research & Education Center in Astoria.

The Marine Mammal Institute (MMI) focuses on research on marine mammals, incorporating research on ecology, genetics, veterinary medicine, engineering, aquaculture, and communications.

The Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC) is a collaboration between Oregon State University and the University of Washington, and was founded with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy. It is one of three Marine Renewable Energy centers for Oregon State University, with research focused on wave and tidal energy.

The Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS) is a collaboration between Oregon State University and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which hosts oceanographic monitoring data collected at Yaquina Bay.

Research fleet

RV Oceanus at dock in San Francisco
R/V Oceanus at dock in San Francisco

The OSU College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences operates two research vessels out of the home port adjacent to the center. In addition, the NOAA Marine Operations Center-Pacific (MOC-P), adjacent to HMSC, is also the home port for the NOAAS Bell M. Shimada and the NOAAS Rainier. These research vessels are frequently used by HMSC staff.

Current vessels

  • R/V Taani – 199 feet long, under construction
  • R/V Oceanus – 177 feet long
  • R/V Elakha – 54 feet long
Original Collection- Historical File, OSU (4616475709)
R/V Yaquina at sea

Retired vessels

  • R/V Acona
  • R/V Cayuse – 80 feet long
  • R/V Wecoma – 184.5 feet long
  • R/V Yaquina – 180 feet long


Dan Panshin and Bob Jacobson talk to an albacore tuna fisherman, 1965 (5857916261)
HMSC researchers talk to an albacore fisherman in Newport
See also: List of Oregon State University faculty and staff


  • Bob Cowen 2013 – Present
  • George Boehlert 2002 – 2012
  • Lavern Weber 1977 – 2002
  • John Byrne 1972 – 1977

Notable faculty and staff (past and present)

  • Scott Baker
  • Lisa Ballance
  • Michael Banks
  • Willy Breese
  • Wayne Burt
  • Bill Chadwick
  • Louise Copeman
  • Christina DeWitt
  • Roland Dimick
  • Steve Hammond
  • Joe Haxel
  • Joel Hedgpeth
  • Sarah Henkel
  • Scott Heppell
  • Selina Heppell
  • Robert Jacobson
  • Christopher Langdon
  • Cathy Lannan
  • Jim Lannan
  • Don Lyons
  • Bob Malouf
  • Bruce Mate
  • Haruyoshi Matsumoto
  • Bill McNeil
  • David Mellinger
  • Jessica Miller
  • George Mpitsos
  • Bob Olson
  • Kathleen O'Malley
  • Rachel Orben
  • Daniel Palacios
  • Jae W. Park
  • Marilyn Potts Guin
  • Anja Robinson
  • Shawn Rowe
  • Ivan Pratt
  • David Sampson
  • Su Sponagle
  • Rob Suryan
  • Gil Sylvia
  • Leigh Torres
  • George Waldbusser
  • Janet Webster
  • Will White

Notable alumni

  • Rick Spinrad, NOAA Chief Scientist (2014-2016)
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