Monday, April 22, 2019

Low Tide Walk

Sunday, June 16th

9:00am - 11:30am

PTMSC Museum Portico

Free with price of admission
(members always free)

Meet at the Museum exhibit portico entrance for a guided Low Tide Walk on the beach with PTMSC naturalists. Explore tide pools and learn about how marine organisms are adapted for the challenges of living in the intertidal zone.

We recommend weather-appropriate clothing and shoes with good traction for moving around on wet slippery rocks.

Please RSVP to Carolyn Woods at or call
(360) 385-5582 x 109

Friday, April 19, 2019

Celebrating Our Volunteers - Sue Long

In celebration of National Volunteer Month, we are focusing our blog posts on recognizing our incredible volunteers that make everything we do here at PTMSC possible. 

Sue Long has held numerous roles in her time here at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center. Beginning as a volunteer with our annual auction and the eelgrass re-planting project, she eventually realized she didn’t really know very much about marine life. So she decided to put herself out there and become an aquarium docent. 

Sue Long alongside another volunteer, Karen DeLorenzo, while helping with the annual Party on the Pier. 

Sue explained that this was a huge deal for her back then because the field of marine biology can seem overwhelming – it is definitely a huge field and there is so much to learn.

Hard at work drilling bones for Hope's articulation!
Sue really became involved with the skeleton articulation of Hope the orca. As a trained radiology tech, she just had to step in when the PTMSC was getting x-rays of Hope’s flippers. Sue knew how we could do it better, and she began what became a major role in the project. 

Sue’s favorite part of volunteering is working with such a wide variety of ages. As an aquarium docent, Sue especially loves when individuals with absolutely no background knowledge of the ocean come in. Just like she once was, these are people who don’t know much about the grand underwater world of the Salish Sea and are afraid of touching the animals. Sue gets to help change that.

Sue with fellow volunteer, Dana Africa, cleaning the baby abalone tanks.

Sue is always doing something for the PTMSC and she always has a wonderful smile on her face!

Written by Mandi Johnson, Volunteer Educator AmeriCorps Member

Friday, April 12, 2019

Celebrating Our Volunteers - Toni Davison

In celebration of National Volunteer Month, we are focusing our blog posts on recognizing our incredible volunteers that make everything we do here at PTMSC possible.

This week I have the honor of introducing another of our fabulous museum docents, Toni Davison. Toni began volunteering at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center in 2014, and has since volunteered over 700 hours of her time with us. She is a powerhouse of both our public and private education programs, and can frequently be seen docenting in our museum—tablet in hand, ready for the next round of visitors.

Toni in her element during her docenting shift. 
When asked what she enjoys most about volunteering at PTMSC, she says that her work here gives her hope for the future. She looks forward to engaging in a two-way conversation with our visitors: One where Toni can learn something from one of the many places our visitors come from, and our visitors can leave feeling more connected to life outdoors.

Some of Toni’s favorite moments as a docent have been working with our younger visitors as they use a microscope for the first time. She treasures that “aha!” moment where they really get it and are amazed by what they can see—and the natural curiosity boost that follows.

It’s clear that our visitors value the care and thoughtfulness that Toni brings to her shift each week. It’s not just the visitors, either! I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve found myself in deep discussion with Toni about everything from the plight our local resident orcas to concerns over southeast Louisiana floodplains.

From all of us at PTMSC, thank you Toni, we are so lucky to have you!

Written by Ellie Kravets, Natural History Educator AmeriCorps Member

Friday, April 5, 2019

Celebrating Our Volunteers-Denis Keyes

In celebration of National Volunteer Month, we will be focusing our blog posts on recognizing our incredible volunteers that make everything we do here at PTMSC possible.

This week, we would like to recognize one of our wonderful docents, Denis Keyes! Denis began volunteering as a docent in our aquarium in 2012, and since then has volunteered just under 1800 hours. Currently, he works as a docent in our museum building.

Denis during his shift as a museum docent. Staff photo. 

When asked what he enjoys most about volunteering at Port Townsend Marine Science Center, Denis replied that he loves working with kids and being able to share with them the wonders of the Salish Sea. He also enjoys the opportunity to share his passion for the southern resident killer whales and spread awareness about the threats they currently face.

Working with Denis is nothing but a treat. He’s helpful, loves to tell jokes, and can tell you some fascinating stories from when he was a diver. Plus, he makes a delicious blueberry pie!

If you ever get the chance to see Denis in action as a docent, you will see that he is passionate, kind, and incredibly knowledgeable. We are very lucky to have him!

Thank you Denis!

Written by Michael Siddel, Citizen Science Educator AmeriCorps Member

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Earth Day at PTMSC

One Earth, two events!
Join us on this special day to encourage environmental stewardship for our only planet.
Remember: Earth Day is Everyday.

Earth Day Beach Cleanup 2019
Saturday, April 20
9:30 am - 1:30 pm

Meet at in the PTMSC Museum Portico

Help us collect and sort debris as we contribute data on our findings to the Ocean Conservancy’s international database. This clean-up is listed as part of WA CoastSavers annual clean-up with registration run through their site.
Sponsored by the PT Food Coop―get a $5 food gift card to participants and help with promotion. Olympic Disposal provides free trash and recycling service for this event.

Citizen Science Day Bio-Blitz
Saturday, April 20 
9 am

Meet at in the Museum Classroom

Join us in a Bio-blitz! Using the iNaturalist app we’ll conduct a Bio-blitz at Fort Worden. Use your smartphone to record all living things you see in Fort Worden over a 24 hour period.
Instruction on how to use the app will be provided at 9am at the Museum classroom. Anyone can participate at anytime in the 24 hour period. We’ll show a live feed in the museum to track the number of species identified.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Aquarium Docent Trainings

Interested in helping visitors to the Port Townsend Marine Science Center explore the aquarium and learn about the wonders of the Salish Sea? This is the first of a two-part series for new docents, knowledgeable guides who can guide visitors through our exhibits.

Volunteers need to attend both Part A and Part B. It's best to take them in order and in the same month, but we understand that it won't fit everyone's schedule. The dates are:

May 13: Part A
May 20: Part B

Both sessions are 9 a.m. - noon

If you are brand new to volunteering with the PTMSC, you will also attend a volunteer orientation. More information about volunteering, as well as an application, can be found in the volunteer section of our website.

Upcoming dates for volunteer orientation are:

April 16: 4-6 p.m.
May 14: 4-6 p.m.

Please contact Ali Redman for more information: or 360-385-5582 x122.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Pinto Abalone Release

Graduation time has come!

The time for our baby abalone has come. They have grown big and strong. They have officially graduated! And they are on mark to be released...

Volunteers measured and counted the abalone monthly in order to monitor growth. Photo by Wendy Feltham.

Many of you know by now that for the past year, the Port Townsend Marine Science Center has been collaborating with the Puget Sound Restoration Fund on raising a cluster of pinto abalone to be released once they are a bit bigger and they are more likely to survive. This project hopes to aid in replenishing their decreasing populations in the Salish Sea.

"Tagging" the abalone so that once released scientists can continue to measure their growth and success. 
Staff photo.

Morgan Adkisson (l) from the PSRF, PTMSC Aquarist
Ali Redman (lr) and volunteers 
Sue Long (r) and Dana Africa
(rr) retrieving abalone. Photo by Lee Merrill.

Last week, Lily Haight at The Port Townsend Leader reported the story and explained why this work being done by the PSRF is so vital.

Cheers to all the work volunteers Sue Long, Dana Africa, and Lee Merrill have put in this past year to care, feed and count our beloved babies. And another big thanks to the guidance and oversight of PTMSC Citizen Science Coordinator Betsy Carlson and PTMSC Aquarist Ali Redman!

Abalone Crew featuring PTMSC Citizen Science Coordinator Betsy Carlson (rr) and volunteers (l-r) Dana Africa, 
Sue Long and Lee Merrill. Photo by Wendy Feltham.

Written by AmeriCorps Volunteer Program Educator Mandi Johnson.