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. These tours include an introduction and a look into two active labs.

To request a tour, please fill out our online request form. Once we receive your form, we will contact you to schedule your tour. You may request specific labs or we can suggest labs that may be of interest to your group. For additional information, call 804-684-7061 or email [[v|programs]].

Please note our tour requirements:

  • Tours are for adults and children in 6th grade or above.
  • A minimum of 10 attendees is required.
  • Our typical tours can accommodate up to 14 individuals. If your group is larger than 14, please indicate such on the request form. 
  • All tours require walking (both inside and outside) 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.

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

Looking for youth specialized activities? Please visit our friends at CBNERR!

Looking for youth curriculum for your SOPs? Check out BRIDGE!

Available Labs

The following labs may be requested:

  • 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
Tours of the VIMS campus are made possible by the generous support of:


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