Pacific Northwest Field Course!

The Florida Tech Biological Oceanography class “Pacific Coastal Environments” is hosted in the Pacific Northwest by the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB) of the University of Oregon.  The goal for this course is to expose Florida Tech Biological Oceanography students to the organisms, habitats and environment of the Pacific Northwest, which is a key location in the scientific literature, but dramatically different from Florida.  Many thanks to Craig Young, Ph.D. and the faculty and staff of OIMB for accommodating our visit!

Most of the students from Florida Tech (the ladies) stayed in the Invertebrate Lab Dorms, which lie next to a freshwater stream and pond where one can find highly toxic newts and, on very rare occasion, migrating salmon.

We stayed in the “Invertebrate Dorms” and one of the cottages, and our lab was in the Research Building.

The cottages at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology where some of us lodged. The regional office for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is part of campus and visible here in the background.

The instructor and the male students stayed in a cottage and the TA stayed in the guest apartments.

Florida Tech students find some time to blow off steam, if the daily hiking to our field sites was not enough. This game was guys against gals…

There were opportunities for some recreation, but not a whole lot of time, as our schedule was beyond full!

The Loyd and Dorothy Rippey Library at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology.


The north side of the library and back lawn at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology.
Ashley examining the day’s catch in the flow through sea tables in our teaching lab.

The laboratory sea tables continuously flowed with the cold seawater drawn from the local bay at high tide, enabling the Florida Tech Biological Oceanography students to load the table with critters collected from the local environments for laboratory study and observation. The labs endearing design was published in the journal Architectural Record in the 1980’s and continues to endure and inspire.

Florida Tech often socialized with the students of other universities, but we also sometimes enjoyed sitting in the alcove as a group and debriefing about our day.

The dining hall provided many excellent meals and even accommodated the vegetarians of Florida Tech. The cooks were great! The Biological Oceanography students also took away meals at times in order to eat on the road or in the field. The office staff and the faculty and students of the lab were very friendly and accommodating.

Craig Young, Ph.D. at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology is spearheading the building of a new public aquarium at the lab, which will be integrated with their boatbasin and dockside operations. Here it is, more than half built!

Across the street from the lab, where they keep their boats in the boat basin, is the public aquarium which is being built and will be part of OIMB when it is completed sometime in the next year. The Biological Oceanography students from Florida Tech were pleased to know that their octopus will be the first display at this new aquarium.


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