CBNERR Public Programs

Community outreach is a priority for the CBNERR Education Department. Reserve staff provide environmental programs at Estuaries Day and Marine Science Day, as well as offering a Discovery Lab series open to the public on various marine science topics.

Discovery Labs

The Discovery Lab series provides fun, family-friendly experiences and lifelong learning. Each lab focuses on a specific topic through a series of stations that provide hands-on activities for kids and adults. Participants look through microscopes, observe live animals, partake in crafts and games, and view research posters. Both VIMS faculty and students participate as speakers, sharing their research with the general public in an intimate setting. 

The Discovery Lab program is transitioning back to in-person programming starting with the February lab, but we plan to continue to host the labs in a hybrid space for the time being. You are encouraged to attend the lab in person, but if you cannot make it, we will offer the expert talk live via Zoom webinar.

To ensure our programs are as safe as possible for participants and staff, the Discovery Lab registration will be limited, and masking indoors will be required for all attendees. Anyone not properly wearing masks indoors will be asked to leave.

Upcoming 2022 Dates and Topics

  • April 19: Shells (in-person or attend the live-streamed webinar) - Register here!
  • May 17: Nitrogen, Carbon, and Marshes, Oh My! (in-person) - Register here!

Registration is required for all labs.  

Time and Place
  • Discovery Labs typically take place on the third or fourth Tuesday of each month.
  • The labs run from 6-8:00pm, starting with exploration of the lab, the speaker at 6:30pm, and then more lab exploration. 
  • In-person labs will take place on the VIMS campus in Gloucester Point, at the Catlett-Burress Education Lab.

Discovery Labs are appropriate for all ages. **Currently, participants are limited to those 5 years old and above.


Discovery Labs are free. 


Contact Sarah McGuire Nuss, 804-684-7878 for more information.