Aug 27, 2019

Attend a session and learn about PTMSC and the volunteer opportunities available. 

Upcoming dates are:
Tuesday, September 10
Tuesday, October 15

Orientations are 4-5:30 pm in the Museum classroom (building 502, on the shore)

For more information or to RSVP, contact Gabriele at
For more information,  visit our volunteer page.

Jun 26, 2018

from Row For Climate blog

At age 10, Eliza Dawson volunteered at PTMSC on the Orca Project, preparing the bones of Hope the orca for display.

This summer, Eliza now 22, participated in the Great Pacific Race with Team Ripple Effect, an international team of young women to row across the Pacific from California to Hawaii to motivate environmental political action. While the team had to end the row due to a medical emergency, Eliza has chosen to continue by cycling "400 miles through the remote Alaskan and Canadian wilderness, getting an up-close view of rapidly receding glaciers, as well as bountiful wildlife and scenery".   


photo from

Jan 10, 2018

"Within the first few weeks of my arrival at PTMSC, Citizen Science Coordinator Betsy Carlson mentioned the possibility of PTMSC adding a sea otter skeleton to our Natural History Exhibit. After my experience at the Burke, I responded with an enthusiastic YESSS!"

Read the whole story
by AmeriCorps staffer Mariah Vane.

Nov 7, 2017

A whale vertebra measuring approximately 3-feet tall and 4-feet wide arrived at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center recently. A couple found the bone while beachcombing in Southeast Alaska back in the 60’s.

The unusual collectible was donated to PTMSC by their children all these years later with the intent to help the PTMSC inspire and inform others about whales. 

Read the whole story by AmeriCorps staffer Mariah Vane.

Oct 10, 2017

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center is pleased to announce that retired NASA astronaut John Fabian is the recipient of the 2017 Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award. Fabian received the award at the annual PTMSC Stewardship Breakfast at The Commons at Fort Worden on Oct. 4.
The prestigious award recognizes significant contributions in the protection and stewardship of the natural environment of the North Olympic Peninsula. The award, now in its 13th year, pays tribute to Eleanor Stopps whose vision, advocacy and determination exemplify the power and importance of citizen leadership.


Jun 26, 2017
Our 2016 Annual Report focuses on the year's Gray Whale Project, member spotlights, financial information and thanks to our donors, members, and volunteers. Read all about it here.
May 22, 2017

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.

Apr 10, 2017
Saturday, April 22 @ 3pm
Natural History Exhibit
Mar 22, 2017
Join the COASST Marine Debris program and help make a difference for the environment!
Mar 16, 2017
To all the people involved with this year's
Tides of March Benefit Auction!
Mar 13, 2017

What a great time to raise awareness about some local invaders and how we can help to stop the spread of invasive species.

Mar 8, 2017
FRIDAY, MARCH 17, 2017 | 6:30PM 

The Green Sanctuary Committee of Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship presents a screening of Ian Hinkle's acclaimed film, REACHING BLUE, on Friday, March 17th at 6:30 PM at the Fellowship, 2333 San Juan Avenue, Port Townsend.

Jan 17, 2017
It's time to register your children or grandchildren for the coolest summer
opportunity around! PTMSC summer camps allow burgeoning young scientists and adventurers to spend a week exploring beaches, uncovering treasures hidden in our exhibits, playing games, making crafts, and hiking through beautiful Fort Worden State Park. We hope to have you join us for a wet, sandy, adventurous, fun-filled week!

Find Out More & Register Online Now!
Jan 17, 2017
“What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird.” –David Attenborough

Snowy Owl in Acadia National Park
Photograph by Sarah Croston
Birds have weaved an invisible thread throughout my life and into my heart. My love for birds started at a young age falling in love with the majestic and ever so beautiful Snowy Owl. My love of Snowy Owls may have been influenced by the wooden carving my uncle made which stood proudly in our living room. Owls have fascinated me for as long as I can remember with their mysterious aura and wide eyes. As a young child, I was familiar with the feathered friends who would visit our bird feeder. I also spent lots of time flipping through the pages of The Audubon Society’s Field guide to North American Birds long before I knew how to read.
Dec 28, 2016

Saturday | December 31 | 1-4 pm

Enjoy an intimate journey to Protection Island with your family, while learning the history of Protection Island and spotting some of the sea birds and marine life that make the island their home. Book your spot today.

Nov 30, 2016


Canadian artist Ken Hall built Legacy based on 3D scans of the skeleton of Hope, an Orca that died on the cost of Washington in 2002

Sep 28, 2016

"Throughout his career, Dr. Pete Schroeder has taken his many opportunities to study marine mammals and directly apply his learning to improve the lives of these animals, whether through direct veterinary care, advocacy, or education." 


Sep 20, 2016

Experience a week at Marine Science Center summer camp through the eyes of seventeen-year-old volunteer camp counselor Hayden Rinn!

Aug 22, 2016

"Last week we raised the dead, guiding a seine net full of gray whale bones to shore with the help of a pile of barrels, hardy swimmers, some borrowed boats, and a gaggle of great volunteers." This is the story of our gray whale ...

Aug 16, 2016


"Can skeletons talk?" If someone had asked me this question before I came to the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, my answer would have been "of course not!"

Jul 27, 2016

"Two weeks ago, I received a call about a young seal pup on a busy dock in Quilcene. After viewing photos sent by the caller, I was able to identify it as a lanugo pup. A lanugo pup is a premature seal pup; they have a silvery coat that is normally shed within the womb before ..."

Jul 13, 2016

Know someone who's worked to conserve the North Olympic Peninsula? Honor them! Here's how ...

Jul 5, 2016

Since the industrial revolution, the concentration of hydrogen ions in the ocean has increased 29%, lowering the pH of the ocean by a staggering 0.11 units. This is called Ocean Acidification.

Jun 10, 2016

"In the dark of night, Mara lowered a bright light into the calm, black water. At first, all we saw was blue water and the glare from a huge net lying in wait below. Then, there was movement ..."

May 27, 2016

"In cooperation with students and community volunteers, the science center on the waterfront at Fort Worden plans to eventually articulate, or reconstruct, the whale's skeleton for educational use in classes and exhibits."

May 12, 2016

When asked how the water in the "plankton tank" felt, one student exclaimed, "Oh my goodness! It feels like I'm being tickled by a billion tiny creatures!"

Apr 29, 2016

"After almost two hours of not seeing any whales, we came across this Humpback Whale lobtailing (slapping its fluke on the ocean surface)."

Apr 19, 2016

Now that the Marine Exhibit is open, come learn about these fish and all the other awesome plants and animals we have in our collections. Maybe you will find something that inspires you!

Apr 14, 2016

Today I sat down with Betty Petrie to ask about her experience as a volunteer for the Port Townsend Marine Science Center.

Apr 12, 2016

Volunteers are the "vertebrae" of the Port Townsend Marine Science Center (PTMSC). PTMSC couldn't exist without the tremendous support, passion, and commitment our volunteers bring to our mission. 

Apr 6, 2016
Now is the time to apply for the annual $500 Anne Murphy Ocean Stewardship scholarship for a graduating East Jefferson County senior. 
Mar 29, 2016

Some people look for the first daffodil blossom. Others listen for bird song, count the hours of sunlight, or await the word of a clairvoyant rodent. Here at the Marine Science Center, we use other markers to note the beginning of spring.

Mar 22, 2016

Check out Volunteer Coordinator Amy Johnson's latest blog post for photos and highlights of this year's auction!

Mar 15, 2016

"Something about stumbling around with flashlights in the dark makes every jewel-toned star a treasured find."

Mar 10, 2016

Child: "Can you eat the sea peach?"
Volunteer: "You can, but it wouldn’t taste like a peach. But you know, some people eat sea cucumbers." (points at sea cucumber close by)
Child: "Yeah, but I bet it doesn’t taste like a cucumber."

Mar 1, 2016

Did you know that sea lions are the only known non-human mammal that has the ability to keep a beat? Rhythm may be more common in the animal kingdom than we thought!

Feb 24, 2016

"The day of our cruise was calm. We saw eagles circling overhead, several deer wandering around on Protection Island’s steep slopes, and a few mixed rafts of buffleheads, long-tailed ducks, and goldeneyes."

Feb 16, 2016

Outside of our time at PTMSC, several of us have been practicing yoga in a studio. But, who says you can't practice in, say...a fish tank? Without further ado, I present a behind-the-scenes view of your 2015-16 AmeriCorps.

Feb 11, 2016

"The brilliant blue sky beckoned me outside, away from the harsh light of the computer screen, and I eagerly welcomed the warmth of the sun on this not-so-frigid February afternoon. A mundane Monday became an exciting outdoor adventure on my lunch break, where I would take full advantage of this beautiful day!"

Feb 5, 2016
Wednesday | February 10 | 3 pm
Natural History Exhibit
Join us for an introductory talk about the history and ecology of the green crab invasion, and to learn how you can help protect your local shorelines.
Feb 2, 2016

The MLK Day of Service invasive weed pull is an important project for the Americorps team and a yearly tradition at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center (PTMSC). Each year volunteers from around the community gather to embrace the power of collective action, and this year was no different.

Jan 26, 2016

Identifying Dall’s Porpoises and Harbor porpoises can be difficult in the field. Can you tell the difference?

Jan 19, 2016
 Join us for a wet, sandy, adventurous, fun-filled week! Check out 2016 camps at
Jan 12, 2016

“One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, ‘What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?” —Rachel Carson

Jan 5, 2016

"The wind buffeted the car on the ride to Indian Island. I had consulted the other members of the Sea Star Monitoring Team and we had decided that the conditions might be uncomfortable but were unlikely to be dangerous."

Dec 29, 2015

Come learn more about the impacts of climate change on glaciers in Olympic National Park with a new interactive animation on Glacial Mass Balance.

Dec 22, 2015

Do you think you know the difference between a seal and a sea lion? There are a couple of noticeable differences between the two: their flippers and their ears.

Dec 15, 2015
On the first Saturday of every month, I get to hang out on the beach with three of Port Townsend's finest birders. Surveying seabirds with these citizen scientists as part of the Seattle Audubon's Puget Sound Seabird Survey (PSSS) is a real treat.
Dec 8, 2015
"For three days in November, almost fifty 5th graders toured the Marine Science Center and received hands-on lessons in marine biology and public policy. Students used an insulated "blubber glove" in a bucket of seawater to understand how whales keep warm and assembled a gray whale skeleton."
Dec 1, 2015

"I think this is the same pup we've seen playing and hunting by the pier for the past month or so. One of our smallest visitors decided to name her "Zella.""

Nov 24, 2015

"Nine days. It only took nine days to get my first stranding call. Actually, by the official definition, it was not technically a stranding. However, I am going to count it because it was a good, easy call to start of my Americorps term as the Marine Mammal Stranding Educator."

Nov 16, 2015

"During my first week at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, our tanks suffered a minor catastrophe. We had another small bloom of sea star wasting disease, a notorious viral infection that has been killing off sea stars all along the north pacific coast."

Read Rebecca's full blog post on our blog.

Nov 3, 2015

Guided by the light of the full moon (and headlamps) on October 27, 2015, three groups of PTMSC volunteers patiently awaited the arrival of the zero tide to place cages full of mussels at specific shoreline locations in Port Townsend, Port Hadlock, and Irondale.





Oct 26, 2015

We are excited to announce that Jude Rubin has won the Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award. Read about Jude's story on our blog!



Oct 15, 2015
The Port Townsend Leader profiles Port Townsend Marine Science Center naturalist Roger Risley in feature article.
Oct 4, 2015

We're so happy to have our new AmeriCorps team on board to help us inspire conservation of the Salish Sea. Stop by to say "hi" to them in our exhibits! We're open Friday - Sunday, 12-5pm.

Aug 18, 2015

Through our close relationship with the local officials at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the Port Townsend Marine Science Center (PTMSC) received a fisherman’s donation of a large squid specimen for use in our education programs.

 I was privileged to lead this unique dissection with our other staff for 15 exuberant summer campers and a dozen inquisitive onlookers.