Education Van Donated To Aquarium

September 27, 2006

Van will bring marine education to all corners of the state

One of the Oregon Coast Aquarium’s objectives is to be a center for ocean literacy and it will now be able to reach more students thanks to a colorful new van which was donated through a grant. The foundations that provided the funding for the purchase of the van include the James F. and Marion L. Miller Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation, The Jackson Foundation and Trust Management Services, LLC.

Anna and Paul Wiancko-Chasman donated the cost of the artwork on the van, which includes anatomically correct portrayals of sharks, octopuses, wolf eels and other marine life that live at the Aquarium. The artwork was designed and painted by Aquarium artist Michael Cole with input from the education staff. Cole’s work can be seen throughout the Aquarium on murals and in colorful illustrations in the Claws exhibit. Cole’s painting for the van was photographed, sent to Gillepsie Graphics in Wilsonville and transferred to a special “wrap” which was applied to the van.

“I think it’s really going to generate some excitement and draw attention to the Aquarium’s many outreach programs,” said Aquarium Director of Public Programs, Kerry Carlin-Morgan. “It’s also a great educational tool in itself because all the animal depictions on the van are accurate.” Carlin-Morgan said until now the Education Department has been renting vans and incurring higher expenses in order to do outreach. “The van will allow us to reduce costs so we can consistently offer quality programming to the entire state of Oregon. No matter where you live, whether it’s eastern Oregon or the southern corner of the state, you still make an impact on our oceans, so it’s important to be able to take marine education to those areas.”

“I won’t miss breaking down in the middle of eastern Oregon,” said Aquarium Education Manager, Charlie Plybon. “We used to have to make do with whatever we could get.” Plybon said the new van will make it easier and more fun to “bring the shore to your door.” Upcoming outreach destinations include fifteen Oregon counties, the first of which will be about whales in two programs to be held in Klamath County. The 45-minute assembly programs feature slides, prepared animal specimens, costumes and life-sized inflatable animals. The programs target two age groups; kindergarten through second grade and third through fifth grade.