The Port Orford Field Station is located in Port Orford, on the wind-swept coast of southern Oregon, overlooking historical Battle Rock
The station is focused on supporting research of this biodiverse marine and coastal region, with ample internship opportunities.
There are dry and "damp" lab facilities used for sample processing and storage (there is a sample freezer). Gear preparation and storage, and dissections.
The lab does not have access to sea water, but the nearby Port of Port Orford does, and we can make arrangements for holding live samples when needed. A new Oregon Sea Grant funded research project studying the co-culture of purple sea urchins and edible dulse (red sea weed), will use sea water. The Port of Port Orford is developing a new sea water system, and OSU is developing lab facilities that will make use of this system.
Port Orford is located in a south facing embayment, providing shelter from harsh ocean conditions arriving from the north, but is exposed to southern storms. The Spring transition brings strong winds from the North, which give rise to upwelling, driving the nearshore ecosystem dynamics that make this region worthy of investigation. Typical summer days begin with calm seas and winds, which often build into the afternoon, making at sea work difficult later in the day. Please visit the sea conditions page and speak with the Manager for additional insights to help plan at sea work during your stay.
The Station is in the process of accepting a rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) donated from the Marine Mammal Institute, and we plan to station this vessel at the Port for research use. Reach out to the Manager for details.
The Station hosts an air fill station for filling SCUBA tanks, operated under OSU's Dive Safety Office. Air only fills are available for air tanks displaying current inspections, and for certified SCUBA divers. We appreciate advance notice of tank fill needs to help schedule. See the fees page for tank fill rates.
We operate the Port Orford Field Station in support of scientists and students from all research institutions and agencies seeking to study the marine and coastal ecosystems in the southern Oregon region. We partner with the University of Oregon's OIMB, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other organizations. The Station also serves regional community colleges and local schools with field trips and field intensive courses. Reach out to the Manager if you would like to schedule time at the Station.
The Station is located at 444 Jackson Street at 5th Street, one block seaward from Highway 101 in Port Orford (behind The Crazy Norwegian). It overlooks historic Battle Rock (once known to the indigenous people of this region as Ma'-na'-shay-Thet, or "mussel gathering place”). Port Orford is located between Bandon to the North, and Gold Beach to the South, about an hour from the Oregon/California border.
Yes, the Station offers two grant opportunities: Port Orford Science and Education Fund grants, which are offered once per year, and Port Orford Field Station Development Fund grants, offered quarterly. Visit the grants page for details and links to grant applications.
Port Orford is rich with opportunities to enjoy the coast, from surfing to hiking the Port Orford Heads State Park and other nearby hikes, bike rides, kayaking, fishing, snorkeling, SCUBA diving, or just hanging out on the beach nearby. It's a friendly, curious, and ocean aware fishing community, and you'll find many locals who are interested in your research.
The Station has limited shared lodging on site, and you should reach out to the Manager to make arrangements in advance of your stay. During the busy season, beds are usually limited, but there are times of the year when there is more availability. Reservations are first come, first served, so it's a good idea to plan ahead. Check the fees page for details on the cost of lodging. There is an equipped shared kitchen for preparing food, and an outdoor "quad" area with picnic tables and a grill that is available for use during your stay.
The Station follows OSU's current COVID19 protocols. See the homepage for up to date information. Please don't come to the Station if you are sick, and let the Manager know if you become sick while you are here.
Everyone is welcome at the Port Orford Field Station, and we strive to embrace diversity, promote equity, and include all in the experience of studying and living in Port Orford during your time here. The Manager is always open to discussing ways to improve your experience during your time here, and promotes an open environment.
Port Orford is a small, rural fishing community of about 1,200 people. About 30% of the local workforce is employed in commercial fishing and related work. The average age is over 60, with a growing population of young people and families. It is a friendly, artistic, and musical community, and there are frequent opportunities to enjoy live music or a simple jam at the beach.
The weather is dominated by ocean influences, and it is a good idea to learn to read the weather as you prepare for work or play. Conditions can change rapidly, so ask the Manager about helpful apps you can download to your smart phone or computer so you can learn how to make good predictions and stay safe when working near or at sea. The weather is highly variable geographically as well, with strong winds or chilly fog at the coast, and hot, calm weather just a few miles away up one of the nearby rivers. Your day can easily begin with a chilly field session, followed by a sunny, warm day at the river and refreshing dip to cool off. Check the ocean and weather conditions page for current conditions and forecasts.