NE Pacific Expedition Day 1&2

I didn't get into marine biology for travel to distance ports and just happens to be a benifit

I didn't get into marine biology for travel to distance ports and just happens to be a benefit. Photo by Dr. M

After several hours of flying followed by several hours of driving, I arrived at Newport, Oregon last night.  Although not planned, the Rogue Brewery next door to my lodging is a pleasant surprise.  A couple pints of their fabulous Mocha Porter and burger were a nice start to this trip.

This morning, the Whale’s Tail for breakfast and a science meeting.  If you find yourself in Newport definitely visit this spot and tackle a stack of poppy seed pancakes.  Finished off this morning loading equipment on the Western Flyer.


The Research Vessel Western Flyer. Photo by Dr. M

A trip out a little north of Newport to the Yaquina Head Lighthouse this afternoon to partake of the local sites.  The lighthouse at 93 feet, and 370,000 bricks, is the tallest in Oregon and in operation since 1872.  The lighthouse emmits its own unique lighting pattern, 2 seconds on, 2 seconds off, 2 seconds on, 14 seconds off, 24 hours a day. Much like my attention span.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

Yaquina Head Lighthouse. Photo by Dr. M

Later today, I plan a dusk scuba dive to view a few shallow-water invertebrates before 10 days of viewing their deep brethren.  Afterward, the other Dr. M should be around and well its will probably be time for another trip to Rogue Brewery.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse. Photo by Dr. M

Yaquina Head Lighthouse. Photo by Dr. M

Dr. M (1729 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (, connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

3 comments on “NE Pacific Expedition Day 1&2
  1. Just curious, who pays for these and does you wife ever go along with you? I know if I could I would so I could SHOP. I love the pictures, what kind of camera are you using and is it waterproof? I am looking for one I can take under water when I begin scuba diving lessons. I have to start with baby steps.

  2. The pictures are all taken with my iPhone. The serious parts of my expedition, i.e. the work part, is covered by NSF grants. The tourists parts are on me. My wife does not typically go with me. We reserve her travel and vacation time to not work related trips.

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