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Atlantic Estuarine Research Society

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Thursday Field Trips


Join us to tour two of VIMS' most visited facilities!  

Space is limited, a sign up sheet will be circulated to meeting registrants closer to the tour date

Acuff Center for Aquaculture

Photos courtesy of Quinn Evans

Completed in 2022, the Acuff Center for Aquaculture is a 22,000-square-foot shellfish hatchery that supports collaborative research, education, and advisory teams within VIMS’ Shellfish Aquaculture Program. The building has an expansive, open floorplan allowing flexibility to meet the changing research and husbandry needs of many users, with capacity for shellfish spawning, larval culture and setting, as well as a specialized algae and broodstock rooms, 4 labs, 4 offices, and a workshop. There is ample space to accommodate hundreds of distinct shellfish cultures in their early life stages, from spawning through settlement. State-of-the-art seawater filtration and climate-control systems maintain optimal conditions for ripening broodstock, culturing shellfish larvae, and growing microalgae for feeding animals throughout the facility.

The Acuff Center serves as a resource for not only researchers and educators, including the Aquaculture Genetics and Breeding Technology Center (ABC),  but for stakeholders and partnering organizations in the aquaculture industry as well. The collaborative efforts of these groups to advance and support a thriving, sustainable shellfish aquaculture community will help answer questions and solve problems in shellfish aquaculture through globally relevant science, outreach, and education.

Haley Uliaz, Acuff Center Algologist, will lead attendees on an educational visit through all areas of the Acuff Center for Aquaculture to foster a broader understanding of how oyster larvae are spawned and reared and what this work means for oyster consumers

Nunnally Fish Collection

Photos courtesy of Virginia Wildlife Magazine

The VIMS Nunnally Ichthyology Collection serves a broad community of basic and applied research scientists and fisheries managers, and it provides an important resource for local community outreach. Through its history, the VIMS collection has grown from an uncatalogued teaching collection to become one of the largest repositories for freshwater, Chesapeake Bay, and coastal fishes in Virginia. The VIMS collection currently maintains over 35,000 catalogued lots of fishes (c. 350,000 total specimens) and includes specimens from 316 families and more than 1,000 genera.

The VIMS collection also houses a number of specimens of significant general scientific interest, including two specimens of the Coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae), a whole-body specimen of a juvenile Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias), and unique distributional records (e.g., an Ocean Sunfish, Mola mola, from the Chesapeake Bay).

Join Dr. Sarah Huber, Curatorial Associate, for a tour of this extensive collection and see specimens, big and small in this exciting behind the scenes tour. 

Thank you to our field trip sponsors!

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