Group Tours

Get a behind-the-scenes look at VIMS

Group tours for 2020 have been suspended at this time. Please check back for updates.

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 that your group would like to participate in from the table below and 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:

  • Tours are for adults and children in 6th grade or above.
  • A minimum of 12 attendees is required.
  • Our typical tours can accommodate up to 28 individuals. If your group is larger than 28, 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.

Tour Offerings
Name
Offered
Duration (Hours)
Start
Time(s)
Visitors
Center
Lab Visits
Bonus

Investigators
Tour

Year-Round

2

10AM or 1:30PM

2

N/A

Naturalists
Tour

mid-May through September

2

10AM or 1:30PM

1

Teaching
Marsh

Navigators
Tour

Year-Round

2

10AM or 1:30PM

1

Nunnally Ichthyology Collection

Explorers Tour

May - September

2

10AM or 1:30PM

1

Oyster
Hatchery

Voyagers Tour

mid-May through September

2.5

10AM or 1:30PM

2

Teaching
Marsh

Adventurers
Tour

Year-Round

2.5

10AM or 1:30PM

2

Nunnally Ichthyology Collection

Mariners
Tour

June - September

3

10AM or 1:30PM

1

Teaching Marsh plus Beach Seining

OR Nunnally Ichthyology Collection
plus
Beach Seining

OR Oyster Hatchery plus Beach Seining

Oyster Tour

May - September

2

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