Public Programs

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science and its federal partners offer a wide variety of free public programs, both on the VIMS campus in Gloucester Point and at venues throughout Hampton Roads and the lower Chesapeake Bay region.

After Hours Lecture Series

This monthly series of public lectures by scientists from VIMS and elsewhere explores hot issues facing the Chesapeake Bay and the ocean. Learn more and register here.

Discovery Labs

These monthly labs provide hands-on opportunities for adults and children to explore selected aspects of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. Offered by the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve program at VIMS.

Marine Science Day

VIMS' annual open house is a fun-filled event for the whole family. Join us in Gloucester Point for exhibits, children's activities, seining, lab tours, seafood cooking demonstrations, mini-lectures, and more.

Public Tours

We offer guided tours of VIMS on select mornings during the summer months, as well as special group tours throughout the year. The tours are most interesting for adults and older children, and reservations are required.

Science Under Sail

This unique partnership between VIMS and Yorktown Sailing Charters LLC allows paid guests to learn about the Chesapeake Bay and its marine life from VIMS researchers during two-hour cruises on the York River aboard the 105-foot schooner Alliance. The program typically runs from 2-4 pm on Wednesday afternoons in April and May. Visit our events calendar for details of the upcoming cruises. For details, reservations, and pricing information, visit

A Scientist Walks Into A Bar...

Join us at a local tavern for good food, good times, and good information as a VIMS scientist initiates a casual conversation on a relevant environmental topic. Visit our events calendar for details and upcoming programs.

Speakers Bureau

Invite VIMS faculty and staff for talks or other outreach activities at your school, club, business, community organization, or other venue. Call 804.684.7061 or e-mail [[programs]] for more information.

Seafood Symposia

The Chefs' Seafood Symposium is an annual educational program for culinary professionals, culinary students, and representatives from the seafood industry and related businesses. Participants leave with information, resources, and recipes to help them make more informed seafood choices as well as tastier dishes!

Technical Training

VIMS offers several programs designed to meet the needs of Virginia's coastal decision-makers. The Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM) at VIMS offers Tidal Wetlands Workshops in the spring and fall for members of citizen Wetlands Boards. The Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (CBNERRVA) at VIMS offers a Coastal Training Program that promotes science-based decision-making and targets identified training needs.

Maury Lecture Series

These lectures are aimed at a scientific audience but are open to the public. They typically take place on Friday, and begin with a reception at 3:00 pm in the Watermen's Hall lobby; the presentation follows at 3:30 pm in McHugh Auditorium.