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. 

2019 Topics

Check out more information about each of the labs on the Discovery Lab flyer!

  • January 22: Animal Tagging
  • February 19: Sustainable Fisheries
  • March 19: Marine Careers
  • April 16: Plastics
  • June 18: How the Ocean Works
  • July 9: Marine Invertebrates
  • August 20: Art in Science

Registration is required. Registration forms are available for the current month's lab only.

Time and Place
  • Discovery Labs typically take place on the third or fourth Tuesday of each month.
  • The labs run from 6-8 pm with a speaker at 6:30 pm.
  • The labs take place in the Catlett-Burress Research and Education Teaching lab (Building U13 on VIMS campus map).
  • Driving directions (pdf).

Discovery Labs are appropriate for all ages.


Discovery Labs are free.

Discovery Days (Homeschools)

Discovery Days are daytime sessions of our January, February, March, and April labs for the families of homeschool students. These labs take place the day immediately following the original Discovery Lab. We will have a CBNERR educator provide a presentation, and all of the activities and exhibits that are available at the nightly labs. 

There will be two sessions offered for each Discovery Day. The first session will take place from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM, and the second session will take place from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM.  While Discovery Days are free, registration is required due to limited space. Registration information will be sent out approximately one month in advance of each event by CBNERR. If interested, please email so that you may be included in the monthly email correspondences.


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