University of Oregon

Marine Life Center


This page shows CMLC programs and events. 

For general information, or to  become a volunteer or member, please visit

Public Programs

Teen Marine Science Exploration Program

Free! Ages 13 – 18, no exceptions

The CMLC has an exciting new addition – our Teen Marine Science Exploration Program! Participants will investigate a variety of marine science concepts, issues and animals, explore local habitats, and talk with experts in various fields. Students will also delve into a project of their choice.
This program is led by our AmeriCorps Member, Dani Miller, and will be offered in three unique sessions:
Spring Session: April 12 – May 31, Wednesdays 4:15 pm – 6 pm. Low-tide field trips Saturday, April 15, April 29, May 13, May 27
Summer Session 1: June 19 – July 1, Monday through Thursday, 10 am – 4pm
Summer Session 2: July 17 – July 29, Monday through Thursday, 10 am – 4pm

NOTE: Spots are limited, so sign up soon!

  • • If interested, please complete and return this Application
  • • Questions? Email us at or message us on Facebook
  • • This program is not an overnight camp and does not include meals

April 29 – Ahh Shucks! Charleston Oyster Feed

Oysters pair well with an exploration of the CMLC!

The Charleston Community Enhancement Corporation is holding their annual Ahh Shucks! Charleston Oyster Feed in the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology Dining Hall.  Enjoy oysters and live music, and then wander across the street to the Charleston Marine Life Center. For more information, check out the event flyer.

  • • Saturday, April 29
  • • Noon to 4 pm
  • • OIMB Dining Hall (across the street from the CMLC)

May 25 – CMLC/OIMB goes to Science Pub Night at 7 Devils

Invasion of land and sea: cause and effect

Zofia Knorek, OIMB graduate student

Not all accidents are as appreciated as the chocolate chip cookie. The era of globalization has facilitated the propagation of invasive species, who stealthily stow away on ships and planes. These marauders cost the United States over $120 billion in control, eradication, and reconstruction per year. Join us to learn about local terrestrial and marine invasive species and find out if scotch broom and colonial tunicates will take over Oregon. 

NOTE: This event will happen at the 7 Devils Brewing Company, a family-friendly restaurant at 247 S 2nd St, Coos Bay. For more information, check out the Facebook Event page.

  • • Thursday, May 25
  • • 8 – 10 pm
  • • 247 S. 2nd St., Coos Bay


School Programs – Advance Registration Required

Teachers – Bring Your Students to the CMLC!

To arrange school group visits, please fill out our School Group Registration Form.

Class Tours

img_0234Bring your students to tour the CMLC Monday through Friday, 8:30 am – 5 pm. Center staff and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions.

  • • $1.50 per student
  • • Teachers and first 5 chaperones are free, additional chaperones are $5 adult/$4 senior (60 and above)
  • • Must have 1 chaperone for every 6 students (preK-6th grade) or every 10 students (7th – 12th grade)
  • • Contact us regarding special needs


Class Programs

We offer guided educational programs geared to NGSS standards. NOTE: We are still developing and testing programs, so check back throughout the year for more options.

  • • $3.00 per student
  • • Teachers and first 5 chaperones are free, additional chaperones are $5 adult/$4 senior (60 and above)
  • • Must have 1 chaperone for every 6 students (preK-6th grade) or every 10 students (7th – 12th grade)
  • • Contact us regarding special needs

Marine Mammals in Motionfullsizerender

The skeletal architecture of marine mammals is very different than that of terrestrial mammals due to the nature of the medium they move through: water.  In this program students will investigate and compare the skeletons of whales and dolphins to develop hypotheses as to how skeletal anatomy relates to swimming, diving, and feeding capabilities.  Based on the observations and knowledge gained from these comparisons, students will put together the skeleton of a “mystery” cetacean and identify its method of moving and feeding.  The program emphasizes the diversity of ways whales and dolphins move and feed in the water.

Concepts covered:
Cetacean diversity
The mechanics of motion
Anatomical form & function
Developing hypotheses from observations

  • • Grades: Middle and High School
  • • Time: This program takes a full 2 hours. We recommend you plan for 2 1/2 hours so students can also look around the CMLC

Sharks of the Oregon Coast — Designed to Survive

This program introduces students to the variety of sharks found off Oregon and to the adaptations of sharks that make them successful in their various environments.  Sharks come in a range of sizes and shapes, eat a variety of prey, and are found in just about every ocean habitat.  At least 16 species are found off the Oregon coast.  Students will handle and examine shark jaws, teeth fossils, and skin, and learn about Oregon’s sharks and how shark sensory systems and physical adaptations have allowed them to roam the ocean for more than 400 million years.

Concepts covered:
Shark Diversity
Sensory Systems
Ecosystem Health

  • • Grades: 4th – 6th
  • • Time: Program lasts 45 min, but please plan on 1 hour 15 min total so students have time to explore the rest of the CMLC


cmlc with wind turbine



Wind Turbine

The CMLC is the first net-zero building in the area, getting all of its power from a wind turbine on the OIMB campus.

This is part of the University of Oregon’s Sustainability program and is the UO’s first venture into wind power.