Group Tours

Get a behind-the-scenes look at VIMS

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) offers tours for civic clubs, middle- and high-school students, and other organizations throughout the year Monday through Friday during business hours. Please choose the tour you would like to participate in from the table below and email [[programs]] to see if the date you would like to reserve is available. Requests for specific labs are accepted. For additional information, call 804-684-7061 or contact [[programs]].

Please note:

  • Tours are for adults and children in 6th grade or above
  • A minimum of 12 attendees is required, with a maximum of 30 per group
  • All tours require walking and standing for the entire scheduled time
  • Closed-toe, comfortable shoes are required for all participants
  • Arrival of a group more than 20 minutes after scheduled tour start time will result in cancellation

We also offer regularly scheduled tours on select mornings during the summer months.

All tours begin in the Visitors Center in Watermen's Hall. Click for directions and a campus map.

Tour Offerings
Name
Offered
Duration (Hours)
Start
Time(s)
Visitors
Center
Lab Visits
Bonus
Advanced Registration Required?
Investigators
Tour
Year-Round
1.5
10AM or
1:30PM

2
NA

Naturalists
Tour
Year-Round
1.5
10AM or
1:30PM

1

Teaching
Marsh

Navigators
Tour
Year-Round
1.5
10AM or
1:30PM

1

Fisheries
Collection

Explorers
Tour
Seasonally
1.5
10AM or
1:30PM

1

Oyster
Hatchery

Voyagers
Tour
Year-Round
2
10AM or
1:30PM

2

Teaching
Marsh

Adventurers
Tour
Year-Round
2
10AM or
1:30PM

2

Fisheries
Collection

Mariners
Tour
Seasonally
2.5
10AM or
1:30PM

1

Teaching Marsh
plus
Beach Seining
OR
Fisheries Collection
plus
Beach Seining

Oyster Tour
Year-Round
1.5
10AM or
1:30PM


Shellfish Pathology

Oyster
Hatchery


Available Labs

The following labs may be requested in conjunction with the tours listed above:

  • Coastal Hydrodynamics & Sediment Dynamics—Coastal and estuarine physics with a focus on processes responsible for sediment resuspension, transport, and deposition
  • Comprehensive Coastal Inventory—Efforts to map and monitor the condition and use of Chesapeake Bay shorelines
  • Disease Ecology—Studies of how diseases affect important commercial species in Chesapeake Bay and what can be done to manage affected populations
  • Environmental Chemistry—Methods to detect and  study environmental pollutants
  • Harmful Algal Bloom Microscopy—Techniques to detect and identify algal species that may produce toxins injurious to marine life and humans
  • Molecular Detection—Use of DNA fingerprinting and other tools to identify marine species
  • Multi-Species Monitoring & Assessment—Monitoring the diet and age of Bay fishes
  • Sedimentology Program—Using sediment cores to reveal the human and natural history of the marine environment
  • Shellfish Pathology—Research to understand the life history, transmission, and impacts of  oyster and clam diseases
  • Zooplankton Ecology—Studies of the distribution and abundance of the drifting animals that play a critical role in the marine food web and carbon cycling