Participating in place-based investigations leads to greater understanding, knowledge, and stewardship of our marine environment. PTMSC carries out a variety of research projects in partnership with scientists and research institutions that value our support in answering real-world scientific questions. These projects are conducted by our trained citizen science volunteers. We are always looking for new volunteers who are interested in an enriching way to form a relationship with their local ocean.
As part of a regional Marine Mammal Stranding Network, PTMSC staff and citizen science volunteers respond to reports of stranded marine mammals such as seals and sea lions, educate shoreline users about how to keep the animals safe, and collect data from dead animals.
PTMSC is also a part of the regional hydrophone network in the Salish Sea, the goal of which is to monitor the critical habitat of endangered southern resident killer whales by detecting orca sounds and ambient noise levels in real time. The hydrophone node at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center is located beneath the pier in about 10 meters of water. Visitors to our marine exhibit can listen to our hydrophone directly beneath their feet. Online visitors can listen by clicking the “Hydrophone Network” button on the left side of this page.