Thursday, May 25, 2017

Day of the Orca

Port Townsend Marine Science Center kicks off Orca Month and it’s 35th Anniversary year with The Day of the Orca, June 3rd.  

Port Townsend Marine Science Center, 11am-5pm
Free Admission to Fort Worden State Park; Free Admission to PTMSC
Come help celebrate with us and learn about the Southern Resident and Transient Orca populations that swim these local waters. For thirty-five years the Port Townsend Marine Science has been dedicated to inspiring conservation of the Salish Sea for a healthier environment for orcas and all marine creatures. The Marine Science Center is home to one of only 8 fully articulated orca skeletons which is featured in the exhibit, Learning from Orcas. The exhibit tells this orca’s story and how our community came together to have her remains inspire all of us to take action for a healthier Salish Sea.
“What better way to begin our 35th year and celebrate Orca Month, than to partner with Puget Sound Express and the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce to create Orca Fest, a month long learning opportunity of these remarkable animals.” said Janine Boire, Executive Director, Port Townsend Marine Science Center. For more information and other events celebrating Orca Month go to: http://ptorcafest.com.
June 3rd activities at PTMSC will include:
  • Welcome – with Port Townsend Marine Science Center Executive Director Janine Boire, and Jamestown S’Kallam tribal member and Chief Chetzemoka descendent Marlin Holden
  • Introduction to Our Orcas – with Ken Balcomb, founder of the Center for Whale Research, PTMSC Executive Director Janine Boire, and photographer and Puget Sound Express Naturalist Bart Rulon (Seating is limited)
  • How to ID Orcas – with Puget Sound Express Naturalist Bart Rulon
  • Get To Know Your Orcas session for children and families
  • Tours of Hope – one of only 8 fully-articulated orca skeletons in the world
  • Free Boat Tours on Puget Sound Express whale watching vessels
  • Listen to Orcas – Learn how orcas communicate and listen in via the Hydrophone Listening Network
Family-Oriented Art Projects take place throughout the day

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Become a Member Today & Celebrate 35 Years with Us!


There is an African proverb, If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. And look how far we’ve come together over the last three and half decades.

In this our 35th anniversary year we celebrate all of you, our members through the years, who have helped the Port Townsend Marine Science Center flourish. With your ongoing support we can do so much more. Your membership, joined with 625 others, makes possible programs like the recent gray whale project, free science classes, and the new energy efficient lighting systems in the Marine Exhibit.

We want you with us this year as we revel in the stories and celebrate all of us coming together for a healthier Salish Sea. Please renew your membership today and join us for a year of celebrations both looking back 35 years and looking forward to PTMSC’s exciting new programs including Birding from the Pier and Tots Storytime.

Best,
Janine Boire
Executive Director

P.S. Renew or join now to help reach the goal of 700 members which is just 20 people for each of our 35 years! Take action now and you will get an invitation to our members-only Party-on- the Pier, August 5th.

P.P.S Here’s a fun challenge: find the hidden octopus logo in the above graphic and win a prize! Claim your prize in the gift shop during open hours before June 30th.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Thank You for Giving BIG!



Thank you for your generous donation during the recent GiveBig campaign. Because of you, the one-day campaign ended with a total of $24,794, exceeding our goal of $22,000.

Didn't get a chance to donate on the Big Day? You can Donate now and help support kids summer camps today! 

The funds are critical now as we receive camp scholarship requests for families with financial need and as we work toward increasing our capacity to offer camps to more kids. In this time of computer games and screens, getting kids out to the beach to get sandy and wet, is transformative. Your generous donation will change lives. Thank you!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Spring Migration Cruise May 26th


Just outside of Port Townsend is an amazing National Wildlife Refuge — Protection Island. Nearly 70 percent of the nesting seabird population of Puget Sound and the Straits nest on the island, which includes one of the largest nesting colonies of rhinoceros auklets in the world and the largest nesting colony of glaucous-winged gulls in Washington. The island contains one of the last two nesting colonies of tufted puffins in the Puget Sound area. About 1,000 harbor seals depend upon the island for a pupping and rest area.
This 364-acre island is covered by grass and low brush, with a small timbered area, high sandy bluffs for seabird nesting, and low sand spits on two ends of the island.
The Port Townsend Marine Science Center – in collaboration with Puget Sound Express – hosts special expeditions to Protection Island. Cruises are scheduled in spring and fall, timed to coincide with annual migrations, with special trips planned for Thanksgiving weekend and New Years Eve.
BOOK NOW

Puget Sound Express hosts this special 2 hour expedition to Protection Island aboard the Red Head, with an on-board naturalist sharing information of bird and wildlife sightings.  On a recent Marine Science Center cruise, participants sighted a few tufted puffins, rhinoceros auklets, and an elephant seal among the harbor seals on the island beach. 

PS Express welcomes Marine Science Center members, volunteers, and the public with a special rate for the May 26 cruise of $45 for PTMSC members and $65 for nonmembers. The cruise departs from the Point Hudson Marina.
Location: 2333 San Juan Ave, Port Townsend, WA
Date: 5-26-2017

TIME: 3-5 pm

Apply Now for PTMSC Anne Murphy Scholarship for HS Seniors


The Port Townsend Marine Science Center is pleased to announce the annual $500 Anne Murphy Ocean Stewardship scholarship for a graduating East Jefferson county senior.  Applicants should be graduating seniors from a public or private school, or a homeschooled student who expects to complete high school level instruction by June 2017.  The person who wins this scholarship will be selected on the basis of his or her demonstrated interest in science and the environment. Having volunteered on behalf of education about or conservation of the Salish Sea is especially desirable.  The scholarship may be used for tuition, books, or living expenses while pursuing higher education. To apply for the scholarship, please answer the questions below.  Applications may be emailed to lslabaugh@ptmsc.org or sent to Liesl Slabaugh, Development Director, PTMSC, 582 Battery Way, Port Townsend, WA 98368. You may also apply through Washboard by creating an account here.



Applications are due by May 22, 2017.   If you have questions, please call 385-5582 x101.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Marine Mammal Stranding Network Training

Through global efforts, stranding data gathered by scientists and volunteers alike has changed how we as environmentalists respond to stranded and entangled marine animals.
The stranding network of the Port Townsend Marine Science Center is responsible for managing stranding reports and other animal calls year-long. The work and science we do benefits marine life and the global environment, as well as the local community. We can examine stranded animals to determine not only what may have caused their deaths, but also to complete valuable research. Whales and dolphin research on most species is limited due to the elusive nature of the animals and the funding for field research. Training for working with these animals is essential. As a volunteer or scientist, one needs to know what they’re up against and how to educate the public. Betsy and I have been working hard to prepare a wonderful and thorough training to prepare volunteers to work with these animals properly.

Mattie Stephens, Marine Mammal Stranding Network Coordinator AmeriCorps
I have been working with marine mammals for three years, starting in a lab with where I articulated a bottlenose dolphin skeleton to put on display at Galveston Island State Park. During my senior year at Texas A&M at Galveston, I traveled to New Zealand working with Professor Bernd W├╝rsig to take part in a dusky dolphin research team. While there, I worked with the Department of Conservation on the first response team to a stranded Cuvier’s beaked whale stranded half an hour from base camp. When we arrived, he had been dead 15 minutes. This whale is the deepest diving whale. In accordance with the Maori culture and their respect for these animals, you must ask Maori authority in order to collect more than basic samples due to the sacredness of the animal. Therefore, I only collected blubber and muscle tissue samples with a Maori-approved researcher.

Cuvier's Beaked Whale stranded in New Zealand
It is uplifting to see a culture with such appreciation of animals; a sentiment I brought back with me and hope to spread back in the U.S. Here at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, our stranding network has an upcoming training Saturday, May the 27. The network is important for the Salish Sea because it helps the animals, researchers, and legislators.
The EJC MMSN is looking forward to new volunteers at the upcoming training. Come by and receive a stranding kit that will allow you to respond to live and dead animal reports throughout the EJC area and learn about the mammals in the Salish Sea. If you have been a MMSN volunteer, please know that we need you to attend this training or speak with Mattie Stephens or Betsy Carlson to remain on our volunteer list.
IMG_0012.JPG
A healthy seal pup on the shores of Fort Worden - Photo Credit: Michael Tarachow
Marine Mammals play an integral role in the Salish Sea ecosystem, and volunteers are an important part of the stranding network! Become a trained responder through PTMSC and join in collecting important scientific data, working with live animals, and educating the public on our local marine mammals. Training attendance is required to join the network. Betsy and I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Today is the Day! Take action for kids!

Today is the big day for you to GiveBIG! Thank you for taking action in support of summer camps by helping us raise $22,000 Today!

Now more than ever nonprofit causes need your help. At the Marine Science Center, we are dedicated to getting kids outside this summer to make memories that last a lifetime. 

Your gift will provide scholarships for children who otherwise would not be able to attend because of financial hardship. Donations will also fund the capacity of the Center to offer more camps. Plans are in the works for expanded facilities and more camp offerings. But we need your help!

The GiveBIG campaign ends tonight at midnight so GiveBig Now! Keep following along on Facebook and the PTMSC blog for stories and updates.



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Hear From Our Summer Camp Instructors & GiveBig Tomorrow!

Sand, Sun, & Fun!


Just because school is out for the summer doesn’t mean that learning has to stop!  Longer days and lower tides mean more time to spend exploring the beach. At PTMSC we run several weeks of camp each summer, providing hands-on marine science activities for children 3 to 13 years old.

Carolyn guiding students in the Marine Exhibit @ PTMSC
I’ve spent the past three summers working on science camps, including two years at PTMSC. I enjoy the opportunity to spend a week with a group of kids exploring and learning about the marine environment, and it’s especially satisfying to see learning happen while kids are having fun. The ability for both staff and campers to experiment and try new things out is one of my favorite features of our summer camps. Many campers return to us year after year, which is a great opportunity to build on their knowledge and their relationship with the Marine Science Center.

Carolyn presenting science models to summer campers
I’m most looking forward to expanded camp offerings this year, including an additional week of Marine Biology Afoot and Afloat. Many children have already been turned away this year because of full enrollment. Plans are in the works for expanded facilities and more camp offerings. We couldn't do what we do without the amazing work of our Americorps members who are actively involved in the summer camp programs and engage with kids directly about the marine environment.


I learn more every year about which experiences inspire the most excitement and passion in our campers, helping make each camp more fun and memorable. While planning programs I often think back to the outdoor education experiences I had as a child, and the impact that those activities had in shaping my interest in the natural world and my passion for conservation.

 - Carolyn Woods, PTMSC Education Coordinator 






On Wednesday, May 10, the Port Townsend Marine Science Center invites you to help raise $22,000 for summer camps scholarships and capacity-building to offer more camps through GiveBIG, a one-day, online charitable giving event hosted by the Seattle Foundation, but we can't do it without your help! Thanks to a challenge match from a group of local donors, the first $11,000 donated will be matched dollar-for-dollar. The #GiveBIG campaign only lasts for one day, so follow along onFacebook and the #PTMSC blog for stories and updates before the BIG day.



Thursday, May 4, 2017

Summer Camps Change Lives Now More Than Ever!


"Hi, my name is Linnea Harrington. When I’m not in school I like to cook, read, and look in my microscope. My parents met at the Marine Science Center doing a beach seine, so I guess that explains why I have been going there for my whole life. I have attended summer camp since I was 5 years old, and in fact have done every camp that the Marine Science Center offers. I had my first camp the week before my fifth birthday and loved the Marine Science Center so much that my Aunt Jean and Uncle Eric bought me a birthday party (with an Orca shaped cake!) that was donated by the interns at the auction that year. 

My favorite camp so far was Afoot and Afloat. For part of the camp we went out on a little sailboat named Zaca and learned how to take pH samples. We took a water sample by lowering a special bottle called a Niskin bottle into the water. To lower the bottle, I had to lean way over and just then a big boat went right by us and the wake made our boat rock! It was scary, but I didn’t fall in and it was so much fun! Then we took the water and dipped in a piece of paper called litmus paper which changes color according to the acidity in the water. Knowing the acidity of the water is important because shells cannot be formed in water with too much acid. This is one of the reasons why the Marine Science Center is so important, kids like me get to go and learn about the ocean and what we can do to take care of it. 

Last summer I had the opportunity to be a Junior Counselor for the Seal Pup camp for 3 and 4 year olds. I really enjoyed learning to be more responsible with the kids and getting to watch them learn about the ocean. It feels good to give back to the Marine Science Center which has given me so much. I don’t know what my future will hold but I do know that I will keep loving the ocean and will always want to protect it."



On Wednesday, May 10, the Port Townsend Marine Science Center invites you to help raise $22,000 for summer camps scholarships and capacity-building to offer more camps through GiveBIG, a one-day, online charitable giving event hosted by the Seattle Foundation, but we can't do it without your help! Thanks to a challenge match from a group of local donors, the first $11,000 donated will be matched dollar-for-dollar. The #GiveBIG campaign only lasts for one day, so follow along onFacebook and the #PTMSC blog for stories and updates before the BIG day.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Now More Than Ever Help Support Kids Summer Camps



"Hello my name is Willy, I like going to Afoot and Afloat because I get to sail and get samples and do tests in deeper water. Sailing is one of my other favorite things to do. I also like looking at things through the microscope, especially when we found the creature that had 6 legs and this funny tail and big giant eyes, pinchers for a mouth! I also like dissecting things because it’s interesting. The squid was fascinating last year (and gooey and stinky – but that made it great!). I’ve learned a lot about environmental concerns for the ocean, but mostly for Puget Sound. Studying pH and its effect on creatures with shells has been interesting as well as studying sea star waste.

I’m a big Star Trek fan, so I like marine biology because it’s like finding new life and new “civilizations” and “boldly going where no one has gone before.” I also love submarines, the history of science (just discovered George Dyson), and I’m interested in life forms near underwater volcanoes. I’m interested in how discovering interesting life in the ocean is related to looking for life in space. I look forward to coming back again this year and to helping with the Seal Pups camp as well.


Thank you for this opportunity."





On Wednesday, May 10, the Port Townsend Marine Science Center invites you to help raise $22,000 for summer camps scholarships and capacity-building to offer more camps through GiveBIG, a one-day, online charitable giving event hosted by the Seattle Foundation, but we can't do it without your help! Thanks to a challenge match from a group of local donors, the first $11,000 donated will be matched dollar-for-dollar. The #GiveBIG campaign only lasts for one day, so follow along onFacebook and the #PTMSC blog for stories and updates before the BIG day.

Spring Migration Cruise

May 6 | 1-4pm
$80 ($60 members)
Enjoy an afternoon on the water learning the history of Protection Island and the sea birds and marine life that make the island their home. The Port Townsend Marine Science Center - in collaboration with Puget Sound Express - hosts special expeditions to Protection Island. Cruises are scheduled on Saturdays in spring and fall, timed to coincide with annual migrations.


















The three-hour cruises depart from the Point Hudson Marina with Naturalists from the Port Townsend Marine Science Center serving as on-board interpreters to provide commentary on local birds, mammals, geology, history and weather. On-board refreshments are available, or you may bring a sack lunch.




On Wednesday, May 10, the Port Townsend Marine Science Center invites you to help raise $22,000 for summer camps scholarships and capacity-building to offer more camps through GiveBIG, a one-day, online charitable giving event hosted by the Seattle Foundation, but we can't do it without your help! Thanks to a challenge match from a group of local donors, the first $11,000 donated will be matched dollar-for-dollar. The #GiveBIG campaign only lasts for one day, so follow along onFacebook and the #PTMSC blog for stories and updates before the BIG day.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Now More Than Ever Take Action and Support Summer Camps for Kids


"Hi my name is Journey,  I have been to almost all of the Port Townsend Marine Science center camps. On my first day of camp I was so nervous I thought I might die. By the second day, I had a ton of friends all because the staff helped be more comfortable and helped me break out of my shell.
I also went to Water World which is a weeklong overnight program that involves art, dance, writing, and marine science which was one of the funnest experiences I have ever had! I even made 2 best friends. I cried the whole ride home because I missed them so much. At Water World we put a whale skeleton together which was so cool especially because I love whales. We looked at plankton under a microscope and that was the ice cream on the cake for me because I want to go into marine biology. When we took out the seine net the waves came into my boots and I said I had plankton on my thighs!

When my family and I went to Mexico, my dad and I got scuba certified. I was ten years old and the smallest person our instructor had worked with. If I hadn’t gone to camp at the Marine Science Center I would never had gone scuba diving. Also because of my experience at camp and Water World, I participated in Project Oceanology which is a marine science program through the University of Connecticut. While out on the research vessel, scientists asked questions and I was able to raise my hand and answer questions that no one else could! That made me feel proud.

Going to a marine science camp was a lot of fun and I know it changed me. I am more confident and I tried new things because of it, like scuba diving and an oceanography class. I don’t know exactly what I am going to do when I grow up, but whole new worlds are open to me now. Thank you for helping make this experience possible for me and thousands of other kids too."



On Wednesday, May 10, the Port Townsend Marine Science Center invites you to help raise $22,000 for summer camps scholarships and capacity-building to offer more camps through GiveBIG, a one-day, online charitable giving event hosted by the Seattle Foundation, but we can't do it without your help! Thanks to a challenge match from a group of local donors, the first $11,000 donated will be matched dollar-for-dollar. The #GiveBIG campaign only lasts for one day, so follow along on Facebook and the #PTMSC blog for stories and updates before the BIG day.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Save the Date for Give Big!

On Wednesday, May 10, the Port Townsend Marine Science Center invites you to help raise $22,000 for summer camps scholarships and capacity-building to offer more camps through GiveBIG, a one-day, online charitable giving event hosted by the Seattle Foundation, but we can't do it without your help! Thanks to a challenge match from a group of local donors, the first $11,00 donated will be matched dollar-for-dollar.

The #GiveBIG campaign only lasts for one day, so follow along on Facebook and the PTMSC blog for stories and updates before the BIG day.


Thank you for helping ALL kids get outside and learn to love the ocean by donating on Wednesday, May 10th! 
Your gift will provide scholarships for children who otherwise would not be able to attend because of financial hardship. Donations will also fund the capacity of the Center to offer more camps. Many children have already been turned away this year because of full enrollment. Plans are in the works for expanded facilities and more camp offerings. But we need your help.

Learn more about GiveBig here!


Monday, April 17, 2017

Free Science Classes 2017

The time has come and gone for 2017's free science classes (FSC) at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center (PTMSC). Free science classes have been going strong for the past nine years, and this year was no exception. The AmeriCorps led program provides science classes for local schools free of charge. FSC are important as some schools do not introduce inquiry-based science curricula until 5th or 6th grade. Throughout the program, with the help of essential volunteers, AmeriCorps led bird and barnacle based science classes to 3rd and 4th graders. Free science classes are a grant funded program made available by the Wells Fargo Foundation, the MacRae Foundation, and the Dietze Charitable Foundation; this funding is essential as more school funding is cut and field trip budgets are slashed. Programs such as FSC provide a memorable field trip for the students while they employ new aspects of logistical and scientific reasoning.  
AmeriCorps Juhi LaFuente working with students from Queen of Angels.
  I headed the FSC ship’s course this year, working with my fellow AmeriCorps to decide the curriculum. I took a lead role in organizing the classes; the first time I have experienced something like this. A total of seven schools made eleven visits to the PTMSC, giving us an opportunity to introduce new concepts and styles of thinking to these wonderful youths through FSC. This year’s Free Science Classes were Barnacle Lab and Birds of Shore and Sea. Barnacle Lab is an introduction to the scientific method where students brainstorm simple, harmless experiment ideas, and then perform them on their own terms. They were so interested! The barnacles were a fun thing for them to experience. The class Birds of Shore and Sea exposes children to science in their backyard. They learned how to use binoculars, spot bird anatomical differences and derive their purpose. An outstanding moment I recall is teaching the scientific method to 2nd and 3rd graders. The scientific method is a complex and abstract idea for students in this age group, and I was amazed at how quickly they picked it up and how excited they were to complete an experiment on their barnacle friends. Juhi LaFuente, Marine Exhibit Educator AmeriCorps, noted how excited these naturally inquisitive children were, asking loads of interesting questions during classes they normally would not get a chance to take part in.

AmeriCorps Matthew (Mattie) Stephens instructing Barnacle Lab.
Sarah Croston, Natural History Exhibit Educator AmeriCorps, feels the impact on children visiting PTMSC for FSC is powerful. Through small things like using binoculars for the first time, or larger moments like marking previously unnoticed differences in bird anatomy, children dive into the science and excel. During activities like bird-watching, children can learn the value of scientific observation in everyday instances. Sarah recalls the excitement of the students as three bald eagles made an appearance as a true mark of the value of the classes.
AmeriCorps Sarah Croston choosing an eager class volunteer.
The outstanding impact of FSC was "the opportunity for students who would not otherwise get hands on experience in science in the world outside of a traditional classroom setting," says Brooke Askey, Citizen Science Coordinator AmeriCorps. The effects Brooke could see were a lot for students getting excited about the marine environment in aspects they had never seen before. Introducing new concepts to kids and see them applying those to other things in their lives later on, like adaptations in the bird class, is a cool feeling.
After the classes wound down, a post-exam was issued to gauge the level of learning. On average, the students increase in knowledge was impressive. The field trip itself is an incredible experience for young people, and the statistics prove that it is a productive and educational time. We would not have this kind of impact if it was not for our fantastic volunteers that lend their time and expertise. Volunteers provide a lot of support for our organization, and their involvement in FSC is a testament to that.
FSC were beneficial to the kids as they learned new things and experienced a great program while the AmeriCorps honed and grew their skills in passing knowledge down to younger generations.
AmeriCorps Brooke Askey talks Salish Sea with a group of excited learners
Free science classes are an integral part education and outreach at the PTMSC. At the PTMSC, we stand behind the importance of education of youth. The youth we saw were impressive, and their future looks bright. To see children excited about learning (whether they know they are learning or not) is itself exciting. The PTMSC is a kid favorite – interesting marine creatures that most students do not have a chance to observe in detail, a fantastic experience outside of the classroom, a wonderfully helpful volunteer base - and will continue providing FSC and enriching lives.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Apply Now for PTMSC Anne Murphy Scholarship for HS Seniors


Now is the time to apply for the annual $500 Anne Murphy Ocean Stewardship scholarship for a graduating East Jefferson county senior.  Applicants should be graduating from a public or private school, or be a home-schooled student who expects to complete high school by June 2017.  The person who wins this scholarship will be selected on the basis of demonstrated interest in science and the environment. Having volunteered on behalf of education about/conservation of the Salish Sea is especially desirable.  Applicants need not intend to study marine science to apply. The scholarship may be used for tuition, books, or living expenses for college or vocational school.  Please download the scholarship form, answer the questions, and email the application to lslabaugh@ptmsc.org. Applications may also be mailed or hand-delivered to Liesl Slabaugh, Development and Marketing Director,  PTMSC, 582 Battery Way, Port Townsend, WA 98368 by May 15, 2017.  
The winner will be selected and notified by May 30, 2017.  The award may be given at the senior awards ceremony at the winner’s school,  at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, or other agreed-upon venue.  Questions? Please call 385-5582 x101.


The Port Townsend Marine Science Center inspires conservation of the Salish Sea. A new initiative—Gone Green? Go Blue! Support Your Local Ocean—encourages collective action and civic engagement. Located on the beach at Fort Worden, the PTMSC offers two public exhibits: the Marine Exhibit and the Natural History Exhibit. The Natural History & Orca exhibit is open Friday through Sunday, 12 to 5 pm. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for youth, and free to PTMSC members. The PTMSC also offers a wide variety of educational programs and special events. For more information, call 360.385.5582, e-mail info@ptmsc.org or visit www.ptmsc.org/events.