Marine science center seeks new director

PORT TOWNSEND — In the wake of the announcement by Janine Boire, Port Townsend Marine Science Center executive director, that she’ll step down in March, the search is already underway for her successor.

Boire, who has headed the nonprofit center at Fort Worden State Park for eight years, gave thanks for what she called “an octopus hug of love” from the community.

The outgoing director, 60, doesn’t call this retirement.

Instead, she said, “there are other life journeys I would like to explore,” while she’ll continue to live in Port Townsend and help with the transition to a new chief.

Boire spoke of two especially fulfilling actions taken during her tenure: First, the formation of the Community Marine Center Collaborative, which has resulted in projects such as “Shared Home, Shared Waters,” the exhibit now on display at the marine science center’s museum opposite Fort Worden’s beach. The exhibit tells the story of the Southern Resident orcas and their impact on the local ecosystem.

Boire also helped form the Pacific Northwest Crab Research Group, some 24 organizations championed by a coalition of coastal tribes. Its members gather data on larval-stage Dungeness crab to inform management of that fishery.

This past August, Boire, her staff and board celebrated the $2.2 million purchase of the Flagship Landing building at 1001 Water St. in downtown Port Townsend. It will be the marine science center’s future headquarters, to include its exhibits, gift shop, laboratories and offices.

Visitors and participation in the center’s programs are expected to grow fivefold, Boire estimated, as the move progresses over the next few years.

Meantime, the job posting for the executive director is found at

Candidates are encouraged to apply by Oct. 31, when screening will start. The position will remain open until filled.

“First and foremost, we’re looking for someone who has a passion for environmental education, someone who is creative and not afraid to innovate,” said Diane Baxter, board president.

“We’re looking for a leader who can see opportunities,” especially those not imagined in the past.

The position is being advertised globally through social media and nationally through professional organizations, Baxter said.

The salary range is $70,000 to $80,000.

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center, founded 39 years ago, has two buildings: the aquarium on the pier at Fort Worden and the nearby museum at 532 Battery Way.

Citizen science programs, youth camps and a lecture series are among the offerings alongside the exhibits of marine flora and fauna, educational and historical displays — and field trips such as the Thanksgiving voyage around Protection Island.

This season, the center’s sites are open from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For information, go to or phone 360-385-5582.


Jefferson County senior reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected]

Marine science center seeks new director