Home Back Issues September 2009 Watch your back, Woods Hole

Watch your back, Woods Hole

| Print |  Email
Archives - September 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
woodshole
Iselin Marine Facility at Woods Hole
PHOTO BY WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION

Add the facilities in Newport and Corvallis together, and Oregon is home to the third-largest ocean research community in the U.S., with a budget of about $120 million, says George Boehlert, director of OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. The coastal town of about 10,000 is a rising star in ocean research, behind only the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California in San Diego and Woods Hole, Mass., a Cape Cod village world-famous for marine research.

Newport’s research community leapt forward last month when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration signed a lease with the Port of Newport for a new facility, paid for by $19.5 million in lottery-backed bonds and $24.8 million in revenue bonds issued by the port. The facility’s economic impact is estimated to be $19 million per year, plus 50 to 100 construction jobs and a smaller number of NOAA jobs. Port manager Don Mann says building up the science sector will create high-paying jobs and diversify the economy in the long run. “We keep saying we want to be the Woods Hole of the West Coast,” he says.

Newport hosts researchers from OSU and at least seven federal agencies, making it more like Woods Hole’s multi-institutional community than San Diego’s university-based Scripps. Woods Hole is a coastal town with a small population that regularly swells with tourists, fishermen, second homeowners and oceanographers — much like Newport.

But Newport can’t exactly replicate the Woods Hole path to pre-eminence. Woods Hole’s science community developed after the U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries (now the National Marine Fisheries Service) was established in 1871, and started attracting marine biologists to the area who established more laboratories. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the largest of the 73 marine science firms in Cape Cod and its biggest employer with about 1,000 employees and a research budget of $129 million, was established in 1930. Woods Hole is also bolstered by its proximity to a host of top-rated universities.

One tangle in building an ocean research hub is that oceanographers can now do their work without the sea by monitoring satellite transmissions and even operating vessels remotely. Quick ocean access was a big factor in NOAA’s decision to move from Seattle to Newport, where the 30-minute cruise to the Pacific is a vast improvement over a lengthy slog through locks and Puget Sound. But a May 2008 report commissioned by the nonprofit Yaquina Bay Economic Foundation concluded that Newport must build high-tech facilities if it wants to draw oceanographers.

Newport’s research sector has grown rapidly in the past 40 years. But Bob Curtis, director of a Woods Hole nonprofit that works to maximize the research community’s economic impact, says it’s likely to be a long road to economic prominence. When asked what advice Woods Hole could offer Newport, he suggested patience.

ADRIANNE JEFFRIES
 

More Articles

Tight and Loose

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY JENNIFER MARGULIS

As schools implement more rigorous academic standards, holistic and flexible approaches to K-12 education flourish.


Read more...

Shipping News

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY JENNIFER MARGULIS

In 2012 The Dalles, a city of some 14,400 located 75 miles east of Portland and often seen as the poor cousin to adjacent Hood River, completed a massive project to revitalize its dock.


Read more...

College Hacker

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY KLINT FINLEY

Treehouse CEO Ryan Carson builds a 21st-century trade school.


Read more...

Managing family assets: The importance of planning ahead

News
Friday, August 22, 2014
Unknown-1BY CLIFF HOCKLEY |  OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

When business intersects with family, a host of  situations can arise. Without a clear vision and careful planning, hard-earned investments can become stressful burdens.


Read more...

Community colleges and sustainability

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 31, 2014
sustainabilityBY MARY SPILDE | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Faced with the aftermath of the “great recession,” increasing concern about the environment and dwindling family wage jobs, we have some very important choices to make about our future.


Read more...

Back to School

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY LEE VAN DER VOO

By now we’ve all read the headlines: Starbucks is giving away free degrees. Except it isn’t.


Read more...

South Waterfront's revenge

News
Thursday, July 24, 2014
MoodyAveBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Remember the naysayers?  Those who called the South Waterfront aerial tram a boondoggle?  Those who rejoiced at the massive sell off of luxury condos at the John Ross and Atwater Place?


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS