Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Anne Murphy Ocean Stewardship Scholarship

Accepting applications for the annual Anne Murphy Ocean Stewardship Scholarship
Please share this information!

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center is pleased to announce the annual $1,500 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 home-schooled student who expects to complete high school level instruction by June 2020.  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, particularly at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center. The scholarship may be used for tuition, books, or living expenses while pursuing higher education.

To apply for the scholarship, please go to and search for "Anne Murphy Ocean Stewards Scholarship". Questions, please contact Liesl Slabaugh, Development and Marketing Director, at or 385-5582 x101.

Applications are due by May 22, 2020. The winner will be selected and notified by May 30.  The award will be given at the school’s award ceremony or another event TBD.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Nature Break: Sound Mapping

If you’re looking for a reason to get outside (and learn something new at the same time) nature journaling is a great way to get started! We’re going to be posting prompts and ideas for journaling each week and encourage you to follow along and share what you create.  

Everyone’s heard the advice to stop and smell the roses but what about stopping and listening to the sounds of nature and your neighborhood? You might be surprised at what you hear when you focus on just one sense! Making a sound map can be a great way to keep track of what’s in the environment around you. What might be something nearby that you can hear, but not see?

Try this: divide your page into four equal sections, with yourself at the middle. You can label your quadrants like a compass if you know which way is North; or mark your orientation with landmarks you choose. Set a timer for a brief listening period (try one minute) while you close your eyes and focus on listening. Then, mark down what you heard!

Sound Map of Fort Worden beach, June 22nd 2018

  • How do the sounds you hear change depending on the time of day? What about changes depending on the day of the week, or the change of seasons? Make a series of sound maps to find out.  
  • How does what you hear compare with someone else? Create a sound map in the same time and place with someone else in your household, and compare/contrast!
  • Want a resource to identify the bird sounds you’re hearing? The Audubon Bird ID app is a great field guide for North American birds - and it’s free! 

If you choose to go outside for nature journaling, be sure to stay safe and follow public health guidelines for social distancing and local closure notices. Nature journaling can be done safely from home in your backyard, porch, balcony, or even a window! Tag us on Instagram @ptmarinescictr to share your journal. 

Friday, April 10, 2020

Take A (Nature) Break!

You can find things to journal about in your own backyard!

If you’re looking for a reason to get outside (and learn something new about the natural world at the same time) nature journaling is a great way to get started! It's a practice we often use in education programs and can easily be done at home. We’re going to be posting prompts and ideas for journaling and encourage you to follow along and share what you create by tagging us on Instagram: @ptmarinescictr

Not sure where to start? Here’s a previous post with some ideas on what tools might help you get started.

If you don’t have a journal or sketchbook handy, you can make your own! Here’s one method for a DIY journal; for an even easier version, you can find instructions on how to fold an 8-page mini zine online.

You can also use a stapler in Step 3 instead of a needle and thread. 

While taking breaks in nature is a great way to learn, it’s important to follow current public health guidelines to keep yourself and others safe. Keep trips local (ideally walking distance within your own neighborhood!) and avoid any unnecessary stops.

Happy journaling!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

BIOBLITZ 2020: Social Distancing Friendly!

Saturday, May 9th, 10 am 
Sunday, May 10, 10 am

Fort Worden State Park*

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center will be conducting its third annual iNaturalist BioBlitz! The goal for this project is to document as many living species as possible within a 24-hour period in Fort Worden State Park. For this year's event, we are making the entire experience available while still following all the guidelines for social distancing. If you aren't going to be outside of your home, you can still follow along throughout the day by watching the results roll in.

It's very easy to participate, and everyone is welcome. Before May 9th, sign up for a free iNaturalist account on their website ( or with the iNaturalist app. On May 9th, head to Fort Worden State Park and photograph any living thing (including plants, animals, fungi, and everything else) you encounter, then upload your observations to iNaturalist. You can take photos with your smartphone and upload them to the iNaturalist app, or with a camera and upload them to the iNaturalist website when you get home. All of the observations that you make in Fort Worden State Park during the BioBlitz will be automatically added to our iNatualist BioBlitz page.

PTMSC staff and volunteers will be online to review your observations as they are uploaded and help you identify what it is you saw. If you are interested in participating remotely, this is something you can do as well! As long as you have an iNaturalist account, you can review any observation on our BioBlitz page and help identify it.

The BioBlitz will officially begin on May 9th, 2020 at 10:00am and end on May 10th, 2020 at 10:00am. Any observation that you make during this time will be added to our BioBlitz.
PLEASE observe all social distancing guidelines. In order to help visitors to Fort Worden State Park maintain a safe social distance, we are requesting that all BioBlitz participants register for the event.
Register here

If you have any questions, please send them to the PTMSC Citizen Science Educator AmeriCorps Michael Siddel at

A guide for getting started with iNaturalist is available at

Helpful iNaturalist video tutorials are available at

photo by Wendy Feltham