Lobster fans who visit the Marine Science Center’s annual open house on Saturday in Nahant, Massachusetts, might find themselves saying, “Pinch me!” In addition to the many tours, talks, and research demonstrations, there will be two particularly unique aquatic guests. One is a calico lobster, which is 15 times rarer than a blue lobster. The other is RoboLobster, an autonomous underwater robot created by Northeastern biology professor Joseph Ayers.
But lobsters are just the tip of the iceberg for this annual event, which is free and open to the public. This year’s open house coincides with the Marine Science Center’s 50th anniversary. To celebrate, staff members have created a historic timeline installation that will be on display at the event.
“It feels significant to be celebrating five decades,” said Carole McCauley, outreach program coordinator at the Marine Science Center. “It’s wonderful to see everyone in the community coming together.”
Researchers from the center will offer guided tours, including a fossil walk led by Northeastern geology professor Richard Bailey. Visitors who follow Bailey will have the opportunity to see ancient markings imprinted on layers of limestone by the world’s earliest mollusks.
The open house will also feature learning stations focused on research that takes place at the center. One station will explore diseases that affect oysters. Another dives into water quality sampling. There will be an obstacle course designed to simulate the experience of fieldwork and a station examining how living shore lines can help protect against erosion.
The event offers community members a chance to interact with scientists and participate in hands-on activities. But the open house is also an opportunity for researchers to communicate their work to the public and explain why marine science projects are beneficial to society. More than 160 people—from faculty and staff to student volunteers—collaborated to make this event possible.
In case you go…
When: Saturday, Oct. 14, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: Marine Science Center, 430 Nahant Road, Nahant, MA 01908
Transportation from Northeastern: There will be two shuttles running from campus to the Marine Science Center for Northeastern students on a first come, first served basis.
Shuttle 1: Departs Chicken Lou’s at 9:30 a.m., and returns to Chicken Lou’s by 1:15 p.m.
Shuttle 2: Departs Chicken Lou’s at 11:30 a.m., and returns to Chicken Lou’s by 3:15 p.m.
Find more details about the open house here.