The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) has a three-part mission (1) to conduct research in coastal ocean and estuarine science, (2) to educate students and citizens, and (3) to provide advisory service to policy makers, industry, and the public. VIMS provides these services to Virginia, the nation, and the world. Chartered in 1940, VIMS is currently among the largest marine research and education centers in the United States.
The School of Marine Science at VIMS is the graduate school in marine science for William & Mary. It offers outstanding education and research opportunities for students who seek advanced careers in academia, government, or the private sector.
The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) is mandated by the Commonwealth of Virginia to conduct research and provide sound scientific advice concerning the often-contentious issues surrounding use and conservation of marine resources. In the years since our founding in 1940, we have developed unique capabilities in people, practices, and infrastructure that allow us to provide the honest, unbiased science and guidance needed to help address the pressing issues facing our rivers, estuaries, coasts, and ocean.
Some of the services and community outreach VIMS provides:
- Researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science have developed a number of recurrent data products—including annual forecasts and real-time monitoring sites—for use by individuals, businesses, and government agencies. While most of these products focus on Chesapeake Bay and adjacent coastal and watershed areas, a number also provide value to residents of coastal areas nationwide
- The Marine Advisory Services program at VIMS works closely with schools, businesses, government agencies, and individuals to provide information and guidance on a wide range of marine-related programs and activities. The Bridge, a web-based clearinghouse of the best on-line resources for marine science education, is developed and maintained by Sea Grant marine education specialists, and ChesSIE provides resources and information specifically for mid-Atlantic teachers.
- VIMS 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.
- 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.
- The Speakers Bureau at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science provides opportunities to invite VIMS faculty and staff for talks or other outreach activities at your community organization, school, club, business, or other venue. The topics available are as varied as VIMS' research (see list below). General VIMS presentations are also available for those wishing to learn more about VIMS’ research programs, advisory service, and outreach education. VIMS offers a variety of public tours. Visit the VIMS Public Tours page