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Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Summer Public Tours

Get a behind-the-scenes look at VIMS

Reserve space on our public tours to learn more about VIMS. These 1.5 hour guided walking tours are most interesting for adults and older children (9 and up welcome). All include a guided tour of VIMS’ Visitor Center, a visit to a laboratory, and the Preserved Fisheries Collection or Teaching Marsh. No Charge. All tours are 10:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. Space is limited and reservations must be made at least two days in advance. Choose the tour/date of your choice and register below.  Need assistance? Call 804-684-7061.

Friday, June 17 - See how scientists use CSI techniques to understand clam and oyster diseases in the Shellfish Pathology Lab; watch live animals in VIMS’ Visitor Center and hear about related research; and tour the Oyster Hatchery to learn about the breeding and feeding of oyster brood stock.

Friday, June 24 - Speak with a scientist to learn about a disease affecting the blue crabs in Chesapeake Bay; see live animals in VIMS’ Visitor Center and hear about related research; and tour our preserved Fisheries Collection with over 128,000 specimens from Appalachian mountain streams, Chesapeake Bay, and around the world.

Wednesday, July 6 – See how scientists use CSI techniques to understand clam and oyster diseases in the Shellfish Pathology Lab; watch live animals in VIMS’ Visitor Center and hear about related research; and tour the Oyster Hatchery to learn about the breeding and feeding of oyster brood stock.

Friday, July 8 – Visit the Electron Microscopy Lab to learn how chemicals and bacteria affect the fishes in our rivers; see live animals in VIMS’ Visitor Center and hear about related research; and tour our one-acre Teaching Marsh to learn about the benefits of wetland plants and animals. 

Thursday, July 14 – Get an up-close look at invertebrates from Chesapeake Bay and around the world as a scientist shares our Preserved Invertebrate Collection; see live animals in VIMS' Visitors Center and hear about related research; and tour our one-acre Teaching Marsh to learn about the benefits of wetland plants and animals.

Friday, July 15– See how scientists use CSI techniques to understand clam and oyster diseases in the Shellfish Pathology Lab; watch live animals in VIMS’ Visitor Center and hear about related research; and tour the Oyster Hatchery to learn about the breeding and feeding of oyster brood stock.

Tuesday, July 19 - Visit the Seawater Research Lab – the largest in the country – to speak with the director and learn about the state-of-the-art facility, including its bio-hazard rooms and capability of pumping in 900 gallons of seawater every minute; see live animals in VIMS’ Visitor Center and hear about related research; and tour our one-acre Teaching Marsh to learn about the benefits of wetland plants and animals. 

Friday, July 22 - Learn how the runoff and discharge from water treatment plants affects our water as we visit a scientist conducting research from Chesapeake Bay to Antarctica (Nutrient Biogeochemistry Lab); see live animals in VIMS’ Visitor Center and hear about related research; and tour our preserved Fisheries Collection with over 128,000 specimens from Appalachian mountain streams, Chesapeake Bay, and around the world.

Tuesday, July 26 - Speak with a scientist to learn about the larval fishes we swim with in the York River and how we track their populations; get an up-close view of live animals in VIMS’ Visitor Center and hear about related research; and tour our preserved Fisheries Collection with over 128,000 specimens from Appalachian mountain streams, Chesapeake Bay, and around the world.

Friday, July 29 – See the equipment and lab tools used as a scientist explains how sand, silt, and rocks move around our rivers and oceans (Coastal Hydrodynamics and Sediment Dynamics Lab); see live animals in VIMS’ Visitors Center and hear about related research; and tour our preserved Fisheries Collection with over 300,000 specimens from Appalachian mountain streams, Chesapeake Bay, and around the world.

Thursday, August 4 – Learn how the runoff and discharge from water treatment plants affects our water as we visit a scientist conducting research from Chesapeake Bay to Antarctica (Nutrient Biogeochemistry Lab); see live animals in VIMS’ Visitor Center and hear about related research; and tour our one-acre Teaching Marsh to learn about the benefits of wetland plants and animals.  

Friday, August 5- Speak with a scientist to learn about a disease affecting the blue crabs in Chesapeake Bay; see live animals in VIMS’ Visitor Center and hear about related research; and tour our one-acre Teaching Marsh to learn about the benefits of wetland plants and animals.

Wednesday, August 10 – See the equipment and lab tools used as a scientist explains how sand, silt, and rocks move around our rivers and oceans (Coastal Hydrodynamics and Sediment Dynamics Lab); see live animals in VIMS’ Visitors Center and hear about related research; and tour our preserved Fisheries Collection with over 300,000 specimens from Appalachian mountain streams, Chesapeake Bay, and around the world.

Friday, August 12 - See how scientists use CSI techniques to understand clam and oyster diseases in the Shellfish Pathology Lab; watch live animals in VIMS’ Visitor Center and hear about related research; and tour the Oyster Hatchery to learn about the breeding and feeding of oyster brood stock.

Thursday, August 18 - Visit a lab that studies animals, some microscopic, some as large as cars, that drift around our rivers and oceans (Zooplankton Ecology); see live animals in VIMS' Visitors Center and hear about related research; and tour our preserved Fisheries Collection with over 300,000 specimens from Appalachian mountain streams, Chesapeake Bay, and around the world.

Friday, August 19 - Speak with a scientist to learn about pollutants in our food and household furnishings, and see the equipment used to detect these toxins; get an up-close view of live animals in VIMS' Visitors Center and hear about related research; and tour our one-acre Teaching Marsh to learn about the benefits of wetland plants and animals. 

Wednesday, August 24 - Visit with the Center for Coastal Resources Management scientists to learn about solutions for lost crab pots, microplastics in our waters, and the use of drones to survey wetland animals; get an up-close view of live animals in VIMS’ Visitor Center and hear about related research; and tour our Nunnally Ichthyology Collection with over 128,000 specimens from Appalachian mountain streams, Chesapeake Bay, and around the world. 

Friday, August 26 - Visit the Seawater Research Lab – the largest in the country – to speak with the director and learn about the state-of-the-art facility, including its bio-hazard rooms and capability of pumping in 900 gallons of seawater every minute; see live animals in VIMS’ Visitor Center and hear about related research; and tour our one-acre Teaching Marsh to learn about the benefits of wetland plants and animals. 

Wednesday, August 31 - Speak with a scientist to learn how we’re using the power of the immune system to create a biosensor capable of detecting and tracking oil spills, harmful algal blooms, and toxins; see live animals in VIMS’ Visitors Center and hear about related research; and tour our Nunnally Ichthyology Collection with over 300,000 specimens from Appalachian mountain streams, Chesapeake Bay, and around the world. 

Friday, September 2 - See how scientists use CSI techniques to understand clam and oyster diseases in the Shellfish Pathology Lab; watch live animals in VIMS’ Visitor Center and hear about related research; and tour the Oyster Hatchery to learn about the breeding and feeding of oyster brood stock. This tour is at capacity. 

Friday, September 9 - See the equipment and lab tools used as a scientist explains how sand, silt, and rocks move around our rivers and oceans (Coastal Hydrodynamics and Sediment Dynamics Lab); see live animals in VIMS’ Visitors Center and hear about related research; and tour our Nunnally Ichthyology Collection with over 300,000 specimens from Appalachian mountain streams, Chesapeake Bay, and around the world. 

Friday, September 23 - Visit a lab that studies animals, some microscopic, some as large as cars, that drift around our rivers and oceans (Zooplankton Ecology); see live animals in VIMS' Visitors Center and hear about related research; and tour our Nunnally Ichthyology Collectionwith over 300,000 specimens from Appalachian mountain streams, Chesapeake Bay, and around the world. 

Friday, September 30 - Visit with the Center for Coastal Resources Management scientists to learn about solutions for lost crab pots, microplastics in our waters, and the use of drones to survey wetland animals; watch live animals in VIMS’ Visitor Center and hear about related research; and tour our one-acre Teaching Marsh to learn about the benefits of wetland plants and animals. Register Now.