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Chincoteague Bay Field Station

2014 Programs Guide

Message from the Director “You all really seem to love what you do!” “The staff know their stuff!”

“Everyone here is so welcoming!” These are the most common compliments I receive from our program participants, and they help me know that we are doing something right! Coming to Chincoteague Bay Field Station is a unique experience. Whether you are a Sea Squirt day camper, a middle school student visiting a coastal marsh for the first time, a college student taking summer courses, or a family participating in a family weekend, we want you to know that you are a welcome and a very important part of our mission. The Field Station exists to guide people towards a better understanding of the ecology and history of the Mid-Atlantic Coast. Our job is to help you get hands-on, feet-wet with our environment and to leave with lasting wonder and bone-deep awe for this special place. We also hope that your experience will instill a sense of stewardship for our environment that will resonate in your life. But, before any of this happens, we make sure that our learners are comfortable and feel a part of our organization. When you arrive at our campus, you become part of a large community of learners that include our staff. We are passionate about our eco-region and its natural and cultural communities, and we always want to know more! That passion and enthusiasm for learning is pervasive on our campus, creating a palpable energy. Everyone who visits us feels it, and we often hear someone say, “I don’t know what it is about this place, it just feels good to be here!” We agree! It is exciting to bring new people into our educational family and just as exciting to welcome returning family members. You know you are doing something right when someone returns because they “just haven’t had enough.” We hope you will join our educational family. Come place your hands on this coastal land. Get your feet wet and immerse yourself in our community of spirited learners. We promise to send you home energized and with a keen understanding of the science of and your place in our coastal environment. Naturally,

Amber L. Parker Executive Director

Table Of Contents 3

2014 Program Calendar


College Programs




School Programs


Summer Camps


Homeschool Programs


Family Programs


Adult Workshops


Photography Workshops




Become a Friend


About Us

2014 Program Calendar

Adult Courses and Programs


FEBRUARY 14 Nature Lovers Dinner Event 16-21 Coastal Basketry Workshop 21-23 Winter Naturalist Weekend APRIL 5 Hand Spinning and Natural Dyeing Workshop 5 Photography One-Day Workshop 13-18 Coastal Basketry Workshop 30-3 Bicycling the ES of Virginia MAY 4-9 Birding Virginia’s ES 11-16 Discover the Islands 11-16 Pictures With A Pro Photography Workshop

AUGUST 10-15 Adventures in Coastal Kayaking 17-24 SOF Kayak Building Workshop 24-29 Adventures in Coastal Kayaking 24-29 Discover the Islands 31-5 Adventures in Coastal Kayaking SEPTEMBER 7-12 Adventures in Coastal Kayaking 7-12 Discover the Islands 15-18 Bicycling the ES of Virginia 21-26 Adventures in Coastal Kayaking 21-26 By Land and by Sea: Exploring Virginia’s Coastal Habitats 28-3 Pictures With A Pro Photography Workshop 28-5 SOF Kayak Building Workshop

18-23 26-29 JUNE 1-6 7 8-13

Adventures in Coastal Kayaking Bicycling the ES of Virginia

15-20 16-19

By Land and by Sea: Exploring Virginia’s Coastal Habitats Bicycling the ES of Virginia

OCTOBER 11 Hand Spinning and Natural Dyeing Workshop 11 Native American Tools and Flint Knapping Workshop 11 Nature Journaling 13-16 Bicycling the ES of Virginia 19-24 Coastal Basketry Workshop 19-24 Pictures With A Pro Photography Workshop 27-30 Bicycling the ES of Virginia

Adventures in Coastal Kayaking Native American Tools and Flint Knapping Workshop Discover the Islands

31-2 Photography Weekend Workshop NOVEMBER 3-6 Bicycling the ES of Virginia 9-4 Discover the Islands 13-16 2nd Annual Delmarva Nature and Wildlife Photography Summit 16-21 Coastal Basketry Workshop 16-21 Birding Virginia’s ES DECEMBER 4-7 Photography Weekend Workshop 5-7 Winter Birding Colloquium

College Summer Courses May 18 - June 6 Coral Reef Ecology Intro GIS Invertebrate Zoology Marine Ecology Topics in Biology: Marine Biology June 8-27 Coastal Herpetology Coastal Ornithology Field Methods in Oceanography Ichthyology Intro to Coastal Literature Marine Ecology

June 29 - July 18 Coastal Environmental Oceanography Conservation Biology Techniques in Bio and Chemical Oceanography Wetlands Ecology July 20 - Aug 8 Aquaculture and the Environment Marine Geology Marine Ichthyology Marine Invertebrates Selected Topics: Coastal Watershed Monitoring and Management

Youth Summer Camps and Day Camps APRIL 17-21 17-18 JUNE 16-20 22-27 23-27 29-4 29-4

Spring Break Day Camp SEA PERCH Day Camp Sea Squirts Day Camp Budding Marine Biologist Camp Marine Science Adventure Day Camp Dangerous Creatures Camp Junior Naturalist Camp

JULY 6-11 Budding Marine Biologist Camp 7-11 Marine Science Adventure Day Camp 13-18 Focus on Fishes Camp 13-18 Ichthyology Camp 13-18 Beginners Kayaking Camp 20-25 Intermediate Kayaking Camp 20-25 Marine Invertebrates Camp 21-25 Sea Squirts Day Camp 27-1 Coastal Mammals Camp

AUGUST 3-6 Young Coastal Explorers Camp 10-13 Budding Marine Biologist Camp 11-15 Coastal Studies Day Camp

Family Programs and Camps FEBRUARY 3-5 Homeschoolers Winter Animal Adaptations 5-7 Homeschoolers Winter Coastal Ecology 19-21 Homeschoolers Robots and Rockets APRIL 10-12 Homeschoolers Marine Science Adventure MAY 23-26 Memorial Day Weekend Family Camp 29-31 Homeschoolers Marine Science Adventure JUNE 4-6 Homeschoolers Coastal Sampler 6-8 Boy Scout Merit Badge Weekend 11-13 Homeschoolers Coastal Sampler

13 13-15 22-27 27 29-4 JULY 5 6-11 11 13-18 18 20-25 25 AUGUST 3-8 6-8 8

Wetlands of the ES Kayak Paddle Daddy and Me Marine Science Weekend Grandparent/child Summer Camp Under the Sea Workshop Grandparent/child Summer Camp Eastern Shore Summer Scramble Grandparent/child Summer Camp Fintastic Fish Workshop Grandparent/child Summer Camp Marsh Mysteries Workshop Grandparent/child Summer Camp Incredible Inverts Workshop

Grandparent/child Summer Camp Homeschool Advanced Marine Invertebrate Study Wonders of Wallops Island

15 Fish Printing Class 17-22 Marine Science Adventure Family Camp 18-21 Summer Coastal Ecology Family Camp 29-1 Boy Scout Merit Badge Weekend 29-1 Labor Day Weekend Family Camp SEPTEMBER 3-5 Homeschoolers Marine Science Adventure OCTOBER 5-8 Homeschooler Returners Marine Science Adventure NOVEMBER 5-7 Homeschoolers Robots and Rockets

Call us at 757-824-5636


College Programs

Seeking an unforgettable educational experience? Virginia’s barrier islands leave impressions that last a lifetime! Our field station features everything you need for a great field experience. From access to diverse habitats to a hot meal at the end of the day, we do it all so you can focus on research and education.


Facilities and Equipment The Field Station owns and operates a 50’ research vessel for offshore work, two 40’ barge-style vessels, small boats and kayaks. The campus boasts wet and dry laboratories, classrooms, dormitories, a dining hall, and recreational space. Field Station staff are available to assist groups on vessels, field trips or in the lab. We have a large collection of field and laboratory equipment available.

Field Experiences for College Courses Get out of the lecture hall and into the field! Unmatched biological diversity, pristine habitats, and unique culture are just a sampling of what we can share with you! During the academic year, faculty members typically bring classes over the weekends; seasonal breaks and summer classes allow for longer, more in-depth studies. Field trips can include research cruises, field site visits, use of laboratories and equipment , specimen collection, instruction from our staff, local speakers, lodging, and meals. Trip specifics are arranged to accommodate individual group needs. To plan a field trip, or for additional information and fees, visit our website. Activity Ideas • Research Cruise: Experience the bays or the open Atlantic. Introduce students to research equipment and methodology such as plankton tows, benthic grabs, water sample collection, trawling, CTD profiling, secchi disks, etc. • Kayaking: Immerse students in the environment or access smaller waterways. Up to 18 people can be guided through freshwater, brackish and saltwater environments. There are routes to suit every skill level. • Wallops Island: Explore a barrier island. Visit the beach, dunes, coastal forest, and marsh on this restricted access island. Learn about ecology through biotic and abiotic collections.

Summer Courses Want to spend your summer days baking on a beach, balancing on a boat and trekking through the marsh? You’ll emerge from a season of field work with experiences, knowledge and friendships that last a lifetime! The college summer program at the Field Station consists of 3-week sessions taught by faculty from member universities. Most courses are worth 3 credits. Students may take 1 course each session.

Session 1 (May 18 – June 6) Coral Reef Ecology Intro GIS Invertebrate Zoology Marine Ecology Topics in Biology: Marine Biology

Session 2 (June 8 – June 27) • • • • • •

Coastal Herpetology Coastal Ornithology Field Methods in Oceanography Ichthyology Intro to Coastal Literature Marine Ecology

Session 3 (June 29 – July 18) • • • •

Coastal Environmental Oceanography Conservation Biology Techniques in Biological and Chemical Oceanography Wetlands Ecology

Session 4 (July 20 – August 8) • • • • •

Aquaculture and the Environment Marine Geology Marine Ichthyology Marine Invertebrates Selected Topics: Coastal Watershed Monitoring and Management

full course descriptions and registration information are available on our website

Call us at 757-824-5636

• • • • •


Research at the Field Station Research From professional researchers to citizen science, research is a core part of our mission. We provide technical and logistical support for researchers from all institutions and of all ages. Our team of knowledgeable field assistants can help you plan and execute your activities. Interested in conducting research at our field station? Questions about equipment or vessels? Please contact the College Program Coordinator Ali Redman at (757) 824-5636 ext.105 or



When not in the field, our campus has everything researchers need. • Residence halls • Apartments • Laboratories • Classrooms • Computer lab • Conference Room & Auditorium • Saltwater aquaria up to 400g • Internet access in labs and classrooms • Full-service cafeteria

Lab and field equipment is available at no extra cost. Please call our college corrdinatior to discuss your equipment needs. Examples of commonly used equipment include: • YSI DO Meters • Nets (trawl, seine, dip, plankton, gill) • Live animal transport carriers • Water Sample Bottles • CTD • Handheld GPS • Core samplers • Sediment grabs • Microscopes • Drying ovens and sediment sieves • Labware • Aquaria and aquaria accessories • Saltwater supply

Research Vessels

The Field Station owns and operates two flat-bottomed Monitor vessels, a 50-ft steel-hull vessel and a small Whaler skiff. The Monitors are versatile boats that accommodate 23 participants and can access our shallow tidal creeks.The larger R.V. Parker can take groups further offshore and also accommodates 23. The Whaler is best suited to inshore work with groups of 5 or fewer.

Course-Embedded Research Summer courses at the Field Station frequently include research elements. Past examples of course-embedded research include: • Making and setting out Hester Dendy plates to study invertebrate settlement in a planned oyster reef restoration location • Monitoring herptofauna biodiversity on Wallops Island • Working with the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge to monitor small mammal populations • Using a CTD to study the tidal dynamics of Chincoteague Inlet and Bay • Taking a field trip to Mystic Aquarium to participate in a study of marine mammal behavior • Creating a sea-level rise attitudinal survey as a class and administering the survey to tourists and residents on Chincoteague Island

Collaboration with Private and Public Agencies


The Field Station partners closely with NASA, US Fish and Wildlife, and The Nature Conservancy as well as with other local organizations to achieve research and education objectives.

Graduate and Undergraduate Research Graduate and undergraduate students find support for their research projects at the Field Station. In the summer, the Field Station hosts multiple undergraduates working on short and long-term research projects both independent of and alongside faculty. Students have presented research at several regional and national conferences, as well as at the Field Station’s annual Coastal Zone Research Symposium.

Faculty Research Our teaching faculty are also active researchers. Faculty from member universities conduct a variety of research initiatives through the Field Station. Examples of faculty research: • Living Shore: Coastal Resiliency, Living Shorelines and Community Building (Sean Cornell, Shippensburg University) • Coastal Barrier Island Herptofauna (Pablo Delis, Shippensburg University) • Assessing Coastal Environmental Change: Monitoring Storm Response, Sea-level Rise, and Biodiversity at Wallops Island (Adrienne Oakley, Kutztown University; Sean Cornell, Shippensburg University) • LiDar Data Processing (Ajoy Kumar, Millersville University; Shixong Hu, East Stroudsburg University) • CubeSat Development (Haklin Kim, East Stroudsburg University) • Terrapin population study (Matt Stone, Kutztown University) • Inexpensive Tethered Aerial Data Gathering Platform (Jeff Sumey, California University) • Projecting the impacts of Climate Change and Identifying adaption options at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge (Ajoy Kumar, Millersville University) • Seasonal and spatial patterns of Penilia avirostris and three tunicate species in the southern Mid-Atlantic Bight (Julie Ambler; Ajoy Kumar, Millersville University)

Public Participation in Research LabNet Since 2002, all programs and ages have participated in a presence-absence species survey during research cruises and other organism collection classes. Chesapeake Bay Tributary Monitoring Families from Shore People Advancing Readiness for Knowledge (SPARK) accompany Field Station personnel once every month to monitor water quality on Chesapeake tributaries as part of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s Citizen Monitoring initiative. Living Shore Project, Greenbackville, VA Through a grant from Toyota TogetherGreen, families from SPARK, college students, and Field Station staff are working to restore oyster reefs and marsh habitat and to create a living laboratory for future research and education. Summer Camp Citizen Science Days Each year, summer camp interns choose a citizen science project to pursue weekly with campers. Past projects have included Balloon Watch, Measuring Dwarfism in Barrier Island Toads, and Assateague Island Beach Clean-Up.

Call us at 757-824-5636


School Programs What if your classroom included acres of pristine salt marsh, windswept coastal dunes, towering maritime forests, intertidal coves, and wild ponies? What if your lessons included a research cruise along tidal creeks and trips to a national park and national wildlife refuge? What if every discovery was met with wonder and a desire to know more? You experience all of this and more when you attend the unique and dynamic educational field trips of the Chincoteague Bay Field Station.

The School Program


For over 40 years the Field Station has offered students the chance to connect with marine and coastal environments through hands-on exploration and inquiry-based science. The mission of each experience is to instill an understanding and appreciation of interrelated marine habitats through scientific observation. The 3-day Coastal Ecology program is the Field Station’s signature experience for school students in grades 6-12. This program includes an oceanography research cruise, intertidal beach exploration, sand dune ecology trip, salt marsh trip, and maritime forest walk. The Field Station also offers a 1 to 2 day program option for younger students. The Young Coastal Explorers program is geared towards students in 3rd-6th grades and highlights the natural and cultural history of the Eastern Shore through standards-based, hands-on lab and field activities. The school program at the Field Station is engaging, hands-on and adaptable. We are glad to work with teachers to choose the classes that they think will most benefit their students. Although the Field Station staff conducts all field trips and labs, teachers are encouraged to take an active part by working with instructors to individualize the program in advance. Teachers may request changes in certain elements of instruction with the School Programs Coordinator to develop a program that best suits their curriculum and student needs.

Planning your Trip to the Field Station The school program is offered throughout the school year for 3rd-12th grade students. Your group’s experience can be customized depending on length of stay, curriculum requirements or instructional goals. Groups are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis, so reservations should be made early. Interested in special topics? Our education staff can develop specialized topics to meet your curricular needs. Contact our School Programs Coordinator at or 757-824-5636 ext.110 to discuss what we can do for you!

The Coastal Ecology Program

The Young Coastal Explorers Program

6th – 12th grade

3rd – 6th grade

The 3-day Coastal Ecology experience is Chincoteague Bay Field Station's signature program for school students. It includes the following half day field trips:

The Young Coastal Explorers program is geared towards students in 3rd-6th grades and highlights the natural and cultural history of the Eastern Shore through standards-based, hands-on lab and field activities.

Oceanography Lab and Research Cruise: Includes water sampling, salinity, temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, currents, turbidity, benthic sample, and a trawl. Students analyze collected data during the evening lab. Intertidal Beaches: Students begin by learning how tides work and interact with the coast. This class also involves sampling for various environmental parameters, species diversity and distribution, and adaptations. Organism Labs: Students use dichotomous keys, field guides and microscopes to examine plants and organisms, as well as plankton, collected in the field. Salt Marsh: Identification of flora and fauna, food webs, trophic levels, nutrient cycles, marsh formation and tidal zonation. Students will also do a “productivity plunge” where they will get to experience the marsh in true fullimmersion style. Dune Ecology: Explanation of littoral currents, wave energy, beach formation, sediment deposition, distribution of flora and fauna, and ecological succession. This class also includes beach exploration and shell collection and identification. Maritime Forest: Students will walk through the Maritime Forest on Assateague Island to learn more about forest ecology and the flora and fauna of the upland areas.

Teachers can choose from a range of evening activities offered by the Field Station staff, or they can opt to use one of the Field Station’s teacher-led activities. The Young Coastal Explorers program will be offered as a 1 or 2 night experience; individual classes will be available to schools as day programs.

Why should your students participate in programs at the Field Station? • • • • •

In-depth, hands-on science taught by experienced staff Great food and comfortable facilities Reasonable rates which cover all costs Support throughout the year to make planning easy Close to many major cities and airports, 3 hour drive from Washington D.C., Baltimore, and 2 hours from Virginia Beach • Our program is correlated to Virginia State Education Standards

Call us at 757-824-5636

Evening programs include an oceanographic equipment overview and micro and macroorganism laboratories. One evening is left free for you to choose one of many available group activities.

The program includes both 1.5 and 3-hour class options in a wide-range of topics such as Beach and Dunes, Maritime Forest and Beginner Birding, Team Building, Organism Adaptations Lab and Watersheds. Each class includes journal questions and is aligned with State Standards of Learning, Common Core and Maryland Environmental Literacy Standards. They will explore how the dunes form through interactive games and investigate the environment of beautiful Wallops Island, brainstorming about different stresses and organism adaptations in dune systems. Maritime Forest and Beginner Birding takes students on a walk through the forest on Assateague Island to discover the differences between mainland forests and barrier island forests. Students will also visit beach and marsh habitats to identify some of the many bird species that frequent Assateague and learn about the unique characteristics that have enabled them to specialize in particular habitats. Students will work on communication and teamwork in the Team Building class while playing games and solving challenges: an ideal opportunity to build a sense of community among classmates.


Residential Summer Camps


Summer Camps Summer Programs at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station give campers the opportunity to investigate beaches, marshes, and mud flats as they explore the amazing variety of life in and around coastal bays. We have great counselors with a low camper/staff ratio to assure safety and personal attention. Along with educational marinebased lessons and activities, campers participate in a variety of arts and crafts, games, and many other traditional camp activities. Fees for week-long summer camps are $680. Fees for 3-day summer camps are $335 and $365. Camp fees include instruction, meals, lodging, research cruises, and materials.

Young Coastal Explorers (Ages 8-9) This camp is for students who have completed 2nd, 3rd or 4th grade and are excited to venture into the great outdoors of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Campers get an introduction into coastal environments with hands-on, feet-wet fun. Young Coastal Explorers August 3-6 (Fee is $335) Kids will have a blast at our newest camp offering! During this three night overnight camp, campers will explore the beach, learn about all of our cool coastal ecosystems and play fun nature games! We will spend our evenings enjoying traditional camp activities like campfires with s'mores. Our experienced Field Station Educators will provide instruction, and Summer Camp Counselors will stay overnight in the dormitories.

Budding Marine Biologist (Ages 10-12) These camps are for students who have completed 4th, 5th or 6th grade and are new to the worlds of biology and summer camp. Campers explore coastal habitats, interact with marine and terrestrial creatures and spend the evenings enjoying traditional summer camp activities. Budding Marine Biologists I and II June 22-27 and July 6-11 (Fee is $680) Explore the variety of barrier island environments, ranging from sandy beaches to protected wetlands. Come face-to-face with many of the wondrous marine organisms that call Chincoteague, Assateague, and Wallops Islands home. Collect plants and animals to observe and identify during interactive lab sessions aboard one of the Field Station's research vessels. Budding Marine Biologists 3-Day August 10-13 (fee is $365) Many of the same great camp experiences as our full week Budding Marine Biologist Camp, but for fewer nights! Great for first time campers who don’t want to spend a full week at camp.

Call us at 757-824-5636


Residential Summer Camps Junior Marine Biologist (Ages 13-15) These courses are for students who have completed 7th, 8th or 9th grade and are interested in learning about selected topics in biology, ecology, and the natural world. Fees for week-long summer camps are $680. Focus on Fishes: July 13-18 There’s nothing fishy about this great opportunity! Ever wondered exactly how fish affect their ecosystems and how ecosystems impact fish? Or how people and fish influence each other? During this camp, participants answer these questions as they discover the world of fish through hands on activities like a collecting trip on our research vessel, seining and sieving for organisms in tidal creeks, and more! Beginners Kayaking Camp: July 13-18 See the Shore from a new perspective! Paddle through areas only accessible by kayak, visit our salt marshes, secluded beaches and more during this week-long adventure. Participants will split their time between campus classrooms and the great outdoor classrooms of Eastern Shore waterways. They also get to trade in their kayaks for a trip on one of our research vessels to collect marine plants and animals. Campers learn proper paddling instruction and nautical skills, so this course is perfect for beginners! Dangerous Creatures and Ocean Predators: June 29- July 4 It all comes down to food! Whether self-protection is their main priority or outsmarting and overwhelming the defenses of others is more their style, most dangerous creatures are the way they are because of the food chain. Throughout the week, explore areas of Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology to determine what it takes to survive the jaws and talons of some of nature’s most finely tuned predators.

Junior Naturalist: June 29- July 4 Are you the type of kid who likes to turn over every rock and log to see what’s underneath? Then this is the camp for you! Explore the many habitats of the Eastern Shore and learn about the plants and animals that call this unique region home. Kayak in one of the northernmost cypress swamps, take a cruise on one of our research vessels, hike through the maritime forest, bird-watch at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, and more! We’ll explore on a microscopic scale as well – have you ever seen a copepod? Do you even know what a copepod is? This is your chance to find out!


Coastal Mammals: July 27- August 1 The Eastern Shore is home to a unique collection of mammals, including the endangered Delmarva Fox Squirrel, and the famous wild ponies of Assateague Island. During this camp, participants will learn the basics of mammalogy and how mammals survive and interact in the coastal habitats of Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Intermediate Kayaking Camp: July 20 – July 25 Ages 13-18 Embark on a week of kayaking that will put you up close and personal with the diverse ecology of the Mid-Atlantic coast, including flora and fauna of the salt marshes, brackish bays, cypress swamps, and secluded beaches. Use field guides to identify animals and plants in the field and create your own coastal field journal to take home. Using scientific sampling and observation equipment, you will engage in remote, hands-on science like never before. This camp is for the more advanced kayaker. If you have been kayaking before, know the basics and are comfortable being in a kayak for most of the day, then this camp is perfect for you!

Aspiring Marine Biologist (Ages 16-18) These courses are designed for high school students who have completed 10th, 11th or 12th grade and are looking for in-depth exposure to an area within the field of marine biology. Participants in these programs are engaged in educational activities throughout most of the day and evenings. During each in-depth course, students will have the opportunity to meet with a college professor and college students taking classes on the Field Station’s campus. Fees for week-long summer camps are $680. Ichthyology: July 13-18 Fascinated by fishes? This is the program for you! Use seines to collect fish from various habitats, and then try your hand at using an otter trawl aboard the research vessels. Using the local fishes we’ve collected as an example, we will then illustrate the morphological adaptations, anatomy, physiology, and systems of this major vertebrate group. Field collections will also provide an opportunity to observe the relationships of these animals to their biotic and physical environment. Marine Invertebrates: July 20 - July 25 Attention Vertebrates! A stunning 97% of the world's organisms lack a backbone! If you are interested in spineless marine creatures, such as squid, blue crabs, and sea stars, then this program is perfect for you. Participants will discover the remarkable life history, behavior, development, physiology, and anatomy of the main phyla of invertebrates. We place special emphasis on Mid-Atlantic species. Fieldwork and laboratory time will focus on collection and identification of local invertebrates, with opportunities for behavioral experimentation.

Call us at 757-824-5636

Intermediate Kayaking Camp: July 20 - July 25 Embark on a week of kayaking that will put you up close and personal with the diverse ecology that the Mid-Atlantic coast has to offer, including flora and fauna of the salt marshes, brackish bays, cypress swamps, and secluded beaches.


Homeschool Programs

Don't have a laboratory in your basement or an oceanic research vessel in your backyard? Don’t worry, here at the Field Station we provide special courses for homeschooling families that get you into the outdoors and experiencing marine environments first-hand!


Homeschool Programs Homeschoolers Workshops at the Field Station are tailored for the budding scientist and marine biologist in your home. Ideal for the homeschooling family, these programs offer the opportunity to learn about marine ecology through discussion, hands-on labs and discovery activities in marine habitats! All programs provide time to socialize with other young aspiring scientists. While all ages are welcome, students must be 9 years or older to attend the research boat trip. Interested in scheduling a homeschool program for you group? Contact the Adult and Family Education Coordinator at or 757-824-5636 ext.106 to schedule your date. Homeschoolers Robots and Rockets (10-15) Attention all rocket scientists and future engineers! Create your own FUN-ctional robots & rockets during this science-centered homeschool program. This program will present a basic introduction to the realms of robotics and rocketry. This two day camp is designed for boys and girls, who want the thrill, excitement and challenge of creating their own working machines. While all ages are welcome, this program is geared for students ages 10-15. Students must attend the program with a parent or adult chaperone. In partnership with Virginia Space Flight Academy. Tuition: $145.00 per person / Commuter Tuition: $115.00 Program Dates: 02/19/14-02/21/14 11/05/14-11/07/14

Homeschoolers Advanced Marine Invertebrate Study Summer Camp (13-17) Attention Vertebrates! A stunning 97% of the world’s organisms lack a backbone! If you are interested in spineless marine creatures, such as molluscs, arthropods, and cnidarians, then this program is perfect for you. A special emphasis will be placed on Mid-Atlantic species. Fieldwork, both shore- and boatbased, and laboratory time will focus on collection and identification of local invertebrates. During this program students will be supervised by summer camp counselors. Students will attend the program alone without a parent or adult chaperone and will be housed with other homeschooled students of the same gender. Tuition: $175.00 per person Program Dates: 08/06/14-08/08/14

Homeschoolers Marine Science Adventure (9-16) Don’t have a laboratory in your basement or a boat in your backyard? Don’t worry, here at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station we understand the challenges parents face when they teach science in the home. The Chincoteague Bay Field Station is your resource for bridging the gap between marine science curriculum and student understanding. Our Homeschoolers Workshops are tailored for the budding Marine Biologist in your home. Our workshops provide hands-on observation of marine environments and life forms and time to socialize with other young marine biologists. Tuition: $115.00 per person / Commuter Tuition: $85.00 Program Dates: 04/10/14-04/12/14 05/29/14-05/31/14 09/03/14-09/05/14

Homeschoolers Summer Coastal Ecology Course (All Ages) Enjoy a week of coastal exploration on beautiful coastal islands of the Eastern Shore of Virginia! Homeschool families will throw a trawl net and collect marine creatures on a research vessel, explore marine habitats, kayak through tidal creeks, walk knee-deep in marsh mud and enjoy the sun on a barrier island beach. This science-based program is full of hands-on learning opportunities. While all ages are welcome students must be 9 years or older to attend the research boat trip. Tuition: $195 per person / Commuter Tuition: $165 Program Dates: 08/18/14-08/21/14

Call us at 757-824-5636

Homeschoolers Coastal Sampler (All Ages) The Homeschoolers Coastal Sampler program is a handson program sampler open to all ages. Classes offered during this sampler include crabbing, beach exploration on restricted Wallops Island, fish dissection, kayaking, fish printing and organism study with microscope work. Evening programs include a rousing family camp fire with songs and skits and a seafood feast served family style. Families can pick and choose activities based on age range and interest. Tuition: $95.00 per person / Commuter Tuition: $65.00 Program Dates: 06/04/14-06/06/14 06/11/14-06/13/14

Homeschoolers Returners Marine Science Adventure (9-16) This program is for homeschoolers that have attended one of our previous programs. This program is 3 days long and includes a marsh class, boat trip, beach / dune ecology course, visit to restricted Wallops Island, and waves and tides class. While all ages are welcome students must be 9 years or older to attend the research boat trip. Tuition: $165 per person / Commuter Tuition: $135 Program Dates: 10/05/14-10/08/14


Family Programs Family Camp (All Ages) Family Camps at Chincoteague Bay Field Station are an ideal way for your family to get away, unwind, and enjoy a holiday weekend on the barrier islands of the Eastern Shore of Virginia! Spend time with your family on the coast discovering and learning about the world of marine science. Family Campers will throw a trawl net and collect marine creatures, explore marine habitats, kayak through tidal creeks, walk knee deep in marsh mud and enjoy the sun on a barrier island beach. Wild ponies, egrets and horseshoe crabs all await you! We currently offer two Family Camps over Memorial and Labor Day weekends. This could be the perfect opportunity for a beginning or end of the summer getaway for your family. We provide the meals and activities, so your family can focus on new experiences, share stories and laugh together in a relaxed outdoor atmosphere. Your family will thank you over and over again! TUITION PRICES: Adult (19+) $275 per person Teen (13-18) $250 per person Youth (9-12) $225 per person Child (5-8) $175 per person Young Child (3-4) $75 per person Infant (0-2) Free

Camp Fees are per person and all-inclusive. This includes all activities, housing, meals, seafood feast, family portrait and camp T-shirt


Program Dates: Memorial Day Weekend Camp 05/23/14-05/26/14 Labor Day Weekend Camp 08/29/14-09/01/14

Grandparent Grandchild Summer Camp (9-15) Come share a week of fun exploration and learning with your grandchild. This course offers a chance for hands-on excitement as together you analyze creek water, pull in a net full of wriggling creatures or examine the life in a drop of sea water. Visit the picturesque Chincoteague and Assateague Islands, learn about local history and legends and experience first-hand the fragility and beauty of these coastal environments. Tuition: $445.00 Program Dates: 06/22/14-06/27/14 07/13/14-07/18/14 06/29/14-07/04/14 07/20/14-07/25/14 07/06/14-07/11/14 08/03/14-08/08/14

Daddy and Me: Father’s Day Weekend Marine Science Adventure (All Ages) Celebrate Father’s Day with the Field Station! Spend time with the family and learn about amazing and unique coastal environments. This weekend will include fun activities such as kayaking, a marsh fieldtrip, seining, and a range of fun family activities. All ages are welcomed! Tuition: $165.00 per person Commuter Tuition: $140.00 per person Program Dates: 06/13/14-06/15/14

Boy Scout Weekend (9 years and older) We offer two weekend-long courses to give Scouts all the necessary knowledge and skills to complete the requirements for the offered merit badges. Boy scouts must attend the program with an adult chaperone. Program cost covers lodging, instruction, meals and materials. Program Date: 06/06/14-06/08/14 Badges Offered during 2 Day Program: Oceanography Tuition: $120.00 Commuter Tuition: $95.00

Program Date: 08/29/14-09/01/14 Badges Offered during 3 Day Program: Environmental Science or Oceanography and Astronomy Tuition: $165.00 Commuter Tuition: $110.00

Coastal Sampler (All Ages)

Call us at 757-824-5636

The Coastal Sampler program is a hands-on program sampler open to all ages. Classes offered during this sampler include crabbing, beach exploration on restricted Wallops Island, fish dissection, kayaking, fish printing and organism study with microscope work. Evening programs include a rousing family camp fire with songs and skits and a seafood feast served family style. Families can pick and choose activities based on age range and interest. Tuition: $95.00 per person / Commuter Tuition: $65.00 Program Dates: 06/04/14-06/06/14 06/11/14-06/13/14


Adult Workshops Native American Tools and Flint Knapping Workshop Take a voyage back in time and learn the ancient skill of stone tool making. Working with glass and flint, class participants will focus on the proper form and early stages of reduction, which include percussion flaking and bi-facing. Tools and materials will be provided and each student will receive a flint knapping tool kit to take home. This workshop is perfect for beginner to intermediate knappers. Tuition: $125/person Program Dates: 06/07/14 and 10/11/14 Nature Journaling Interested in honing your observation skills and seeing the world in new ways? Learn the techniques of keeping a nature journal! Through a series of drawing and writing exercises we will practice journaling techniques by recording our feelings, questions and observations. No previous art experience is needed! Tuition: $45/person Program Date: 10/11/14

Hand Spinning and Natural Dyeing Workshop Calling all knitters! Have you ever wanted to create your own yarn? In this day long workshop join local spinner, researcher, writer and educator, Nancy Ferguson to learn the secrets of hand spinning and dyeing. This hands-on workshop will introduce participants to the pleasures of spinning wool and dyeing with native plants. Participants will use local in season flowers or nuts to create a dye pot and learn to use a hand spindle to spin wool. Tuition: $55/person Program Dates: 04/05/14 and 10/11/14


Winter Birding Colloquium Experience the beauty of the Eastern Shore’s islands while exploring this unique location that is a renowned destination for birders. The emphasis of this workshop will be on learning identification methods, understanding bird behavior, habitat, and conservation. We will bird at several hot spots on the Eastern Shore, including Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge’s back country on Assateague Island and Wallops Island. Great for beginners and intermediate birders. Program Tuition: $245/person Program Dates: 12/05/14–12/07/14

Road Scholar Courses Through a partnership with Road Scholar, The Field Station offers extraordinary educational opportunities for adults to expand their physical and mental horizons and meet new friends. There are no grades or tests on Road Scholar programs. All that’s needed is an inquiring mind, an adventurous spirit, and the belief that learning and discovery are lifelong pursuits. Road Scholar program fees include all meals, lodging and program cost. Program #20926 - Coastal Basketry Come to majestic Wallops Island to learn a craft that has been woven into the local culture over hundreds of years. Coiled sea grass basketry reflects the beauty of the barrier island marshes, and you’ll learn to create your own in a small group setting with an award-winning instructor. Tuition: $598 Program Dates: 10/19/14-10/24/14 11/16/14-11/21/14 Program #2285 - Kayaking the Eastern Shore Experience the coastal environment from an all-new perspective as you kayak. View coastal flora and fauna while paddling with the Field Station educators through salt marsh ecosystems, over eel grass beds and up the Pocomoke River and coastal creeks of the Chesapeake and Chincoteague Bays. Tuition: $565 Program Dates: 05/18/14-05/23/14 06/01/14-06/06/14 08/10/14-08/15/14 08/24/14-08/29/14 08/31/14-09/05/14 09/07/14-09/12/14 09/21/14-09/26/14

Program #18032 - Bicycling the Eastern Shore of Virginia Explore Virginia’s gorgeous Eastern Shore by bike. Join a small group of like-minded adventurers for a scenic journey, full of interesting learning opportunities and unique wildlife. Tuition: $429 Program Dates: 04/30/14-05/03/14 05/26/14-05/29/14 06/16/14-06/19/14 09/15/14-09/18/14 10/13/14-10/16/14 10/27/14-10/30/14 Program #14761 By Land and by Sea: Exploring Coastal Habitats of Virginia’s Barrier Islands Set out on a research cruise to collect specimens and go kayaking for a day to study the islands’ complex ecology firsthand. Search for dolphins, identify shells and scour the dunes and marshlands for an array of birdlife along a stretch of the Atlantic Flyway as you consider the formation of the islands, the impact of humans before and after conservation, and the wild ponies of Assateague. Tuition: $589 Program Dates: 06/15/14-06/20/14 and 09/21/14-09/26/14

Call us at 757-824-5636

Program #2018 - Discover the Islands of VA’s Eastern Shore Wild ponies, fresh and saltwater wetlands, sand dunes and small town hospitality await you in one of Virginia’s most unique settings among the barrier islands of the Delmarva Peninsula. Experience Chincoteague, Assateague and Wallops Island. The charm and wonder of these islands are shared through personal interaction with the Field Station scientists, local experts, artists, carvers and waterman. Tuition: $536 Program Dates: 05/11/14-05/16/14 06/08/14-06/13/14 08/24/14-08/29/14 09/07/14-09/12/14 11/09/14-11/14/14

Program #20925 - Kayak Building and Coastal Ecology Have you been captivated by the historical roots of the kayak? Are you inquisitive enough to want to build one of your own? Take this class to build your own functional skin-on-frame kayak and recreate a piece of history. Course tuition includes 8 nights lodging, all meals, guided kayak tours, field excursions, tools, instruction, materials, a Greenland paddle and choice of a 15ft Ravenswood skin-onframe kayak or 17ft Vardo skin-on-frame kayak. Tuition: $1795.00 Program Dates: 08/17/14-08/24/14 09/28/14-10/05/14


Photography Workshops


This intensive one-day nature photography workshop is open to all levels of photographers that own a Digital SLR camera. You will have the opportunity to learn a variety of camera techniques and how to better use your camera gear. Ideas on how to enhance your photographs through creative expression will also be shared. The beautiful Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and Assateague National Seashore offer a variety of photogenic subjects. Expect to photograph ocean views, beach scenes, patterns and textures in the sand, marshes and wildlife. Class size is limited to 10 participants. Program Date: 04/05/2014 Tuition : $215.00 (cost includes meals, transportation to field sites and instruction) Lodging during the program is available at the Field Station for an additional fee of $35.00 per person / per night.

ŠJim Clark

Nature Photography One Day Workshop - Nikhil Bahl

Weekend Digital Photography Workshop - Nikhil Bahl As the sun rises off the Atlantic Ocean, we'll head off to the beaches where shorebirds dart in and out of the waves. Encounter some of the resident populations of cormorants, herons, egrets, and a host of other birds. There may be opportunities to photograph the fabled Chincoteague ponies and Sika deer that inhabit the island. Photograph ocean views, beach scenes, patterns and textures in the sand, marshes and plant life. The workshop includes presentations that will inspire and help you make those stunning photographs. Technical as well as creative aspects of photography will be covered. Classroom sessions include postprocessing tips and a constructive critique of your work. Class size is limited to 10 participants. Program Date: 10/31/2014-11/02/2014 Tuition : $595.00 (cost includes meals, lodging, transportation to field sites and instruction)

2nd Annual Delmarva Nature and Wildlife Photography Summit This three-day conference presents full days of creative and professional education, providing an exciting line-up of workshops, comprehensive field sessions, photo tours, portfolio critiques, and social and networking opportunities. Photo tours and field sessions led by seasoned photography professionals provide participants with supreme photography opportunities, based on wildlife activity, weather conditions and light. Program Date: 11/13/14–11/16/14 Summit Tuition: $685.00 (cost includes meals, lodging, transportation to field sites and instruction)

During this workshop, comprehensive field sessions offer great hands-on experience and provide an opportunity to capture photos of natural subjects. Indoor class sessions explore the practical and theoretical aspects of image creation. The daily itinerary provides photographers with maximum photography time, based on wildlife activity, weather conditions and light. The Eastern Shore of Virginia is a photographer's paradise. The vicinity around Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and Assateague National Seashore offer countless opportunities to capture and experience the beauty of pristine marsh lands, coastal forests, and trails that lead to panoramic vistas and overlooks. Program Date: 12/4/2014-12/07/2014 Tuition: $695 (cost includes meals, lodging, transportation to field sites and instruction)

Call us at 757-824-5636

Weekend Digital Photography Workshop - Jim Clark


Sea S.T.A.R Summer Internship


A Two-Month Coastal Education and Leadership Internship Program for Rising High School Seniors


Do you love the ocean and the outdoors? Do you have an interest in studying wild and diverse ecosystems? Do you dream of one day working as a Marine Biologist? Get ready for the summer adventure of a lifetime! Each year the Field Station offers a Coastal Education and Leadership Program for rising High School Seniors. This internship allows students to gain experience in an Environmental Education program while researching a marine science project that interests them. Each summer the Sea S.T.A.R. internship accepts eight rising high school seniors (students who are currently juniors age 16 and older) with an interest in education, biology or science. Students must have a strong academic profile and be interested in an opportunity to work in an outdoor environmental education setting. Interns spend a lot of time outdoors in marine environments. Students who are enthusiastic and outgoing, can work easily with others and are organized, with good attention to detail are the best fit for this internship. For 2 months students live, work and play on the campus of the Chincoteague Bay Field Station. This internship includes three components: programs, research and enrichment. Students work alongside program staff to provide environmental education programs and summer camp activities; periodically attend college level courses; develop their own research project or legacy project; and explore the exciting marine habitats of the Eastern Shore of VA. This program is a wonderful opportunity for students to enhance and develop self-confidence, self-awareness, communication skills, and personal leadership style. The internship is a unique opportunity for students to gain job experience, to learn about the exciting field of Marine Science Education and to make new friends. Students gain work and research experience that they may then apply in their senior year in high school and beyond. The internship application is posted on the Field Station’s website each year in late November. Internship applications are due by the end of January. Interested in learning more? Contact our Adult and Family Education Coordinator at or 757-824-5636 ext.106.

Friends of the Field Station When you become a Friend of Chincoteague Bay Field Station, you become a part of a community that believes in hands-on, feet-wet science education and nature experiences. Together we create opportunities for people of all ages and walks of life to connect with the wonders of the mid-Atlantic coast! As a member, you are a part of our educational efforts. You will receive our bi-monthly e-newsletter, discounted member-only rates on certain programs and camps, invitation to annual membership events, and discounts at over 150 nature centers across the United States and Canada. For continual updated news on Chincoteague Bay Field Station and information on volunteer opportunities, or to register for programs, please visit our website, follow us on Twitter and make sure to friend us on Facebook!

Friends and Alumni weekend Program Date: 09/05/14-09/07/14 Join us in support and celebration of marine and coastal education on the Eastern Shore! After 45 years of inspiring people about the MidAtlantic Coast, Chincoteague Bay Field Station has lots of friends and alumni, and we want all of you to come back for a weekend of swapping stories, reengaging with the natural wonders of The Eastern Shore, and learning how the Field Station has grown and flourished. The weekend will be full of fun family activities, presentations of current research projects, and many other ways to reconnect. Bring the family or just yourself. There will be new friends to meet and lots to do.

How To Give By Mail or Online Visit our website: or mail your gift to Giving Chincoteague Bay Field Station 34001 Mill Dam Road Wallops Island, VA 23337

Call us at 757-824-5636

Giving to the Field Station Please help us ensure that the Chincoteague Bay Field Station’s 45 year legacy of connecting people to the marine and coastal ecosystems of the Mid-Atlantic coast will continue by making a tax-deductable gift. Plans for financial aid for college students, scholarships for youth, family literacy programs, habitat restoration, and research opportunities are possible through your support.


About Us


Current Member Universities

The Chincoteague Bay Field Station of the Marine Science Consortium is located on the Eastern Shore of Virginia near Chincoteague Island. It is about three hours south of Baltimore, MD, and Washington D.C. and about two hours north of Norfolk, VA. To get to Chincoteague Bay Field Station, follow Route 13 (also called Ocean Highway or Lankford Highway). Route 13 is the prominent hwy on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Follow Route 13 to the traffic light at VA 175E (T’s Corner and Chincoteague Road). There will be a sign for Chincoteague and Assateague Islands. This is approximately 4 miles south of the Maryland-Virginia border on the Delmarva Peninsula. Take VA 175 E toward Chincoteague for approximately 3 miles. At the traffic light take a left onto Atlantic Road. At the end of Atlantic Road (approx. 0.5 miles) bear left onto Mill Dam Road. The Field Station is located on your right.

Bloomsburg University California University of Pennsylvania Cheyney University East Stroudsburg University Kutztown University Lock Haven University Millersville University Saint Francis University Shippensburg University Slippery Rock University West Chester University Wilkes University York College

Mission Statement The Chincoteague Bay Field Station of the Marine Science Consortium provides outstanding multi-disciplinary, educational and research opportunities that celebrate the rich natural, cultural, economic, and technological resources of the mid-Atlantic Coastal region through field-based and hands-on learning.

About Us


The Chincoteague Bay Field Station is a residential field and research station located on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. In 1968 it was founded as the Marine Science Consortium by a consortium of three Pennsylvania state colleges. First located in Cape May, NJ, and then Lewes, DE, The Marine Science Consortium moved to its permanent site in the area of Wallops Island, VA. in the spring 1971. The campus, located next door to NASA’s Goddard Flight Facility, was named the “Wallops Island Marine Science Center”. For the last four decades the Field Station has taught thousands of school age, college, and adult students the wonders of what lies beneath the waters of the bays, marshes, and ocean surrounding Chincoteague and Assateague islands as well as what thrives on top, such as maritime forests and dunes. The Field Station educates and inspires program participants about Mid-Atlantic ecosystems through place-based, hands-on experiences. University membership has changed over the years and now consists of 13 member universities. To accomplish its mission the Field Station offers a unique set of educational and research experiences and collaborates closely with community partners such as NASA Wallops Flight Facility, US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and other public and private partners.

Board of Directors Dr. Javier Cevallos- Board Chairperson President, Kutztown University Dr. John Anderson President, Millersville University Dr. Marcia Welsh President, East Stroudsburg University Dr. William Ruud President, Shippensburg University Dr. David Soltz President, Bloomsburg University Dr. Michelle R. Howard-Vital President, Cheyney University Dr. Michael Fiorentino, Jr President, Lock Haven University Dr. Cheryl Norton President, Slippery Rock University Dr. Greg R. Weisenstein President, West Chester University

Designed by C. Parker McMullen Bushman MB Photography and Design

Meet our staff The staff at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station is a dedicated team of talented individuals who create an engaging and nurturing learning environment for our visitors. The organization’s success stems from its hard working staff members who effectively work in unison with one another and the community at large. Anyone who enters the doors of our field station will encounter a friendly atmosphere where employees are willing and ready to provide assistance. We love what we do and it shows!

Staff Amber Parker Executive Director

Education Staff Anne Armstrong Education Director Mary McCumber School Programs Coordinator Parker McMullen Bushman Adult & Family Education Coordinator Ali Redman College Coordinator Assistant Coordinators Max Rekowski Brandylyn Thomas Senior Educators Tara Bardar Jim Evans

Office and Support Staff

Kennie Godwin - Groundskeeper Eunice Handy - Cook Levolia Handy - Cafeteria Shift Leader Felara Hickman- Cook Clifton Johnson - Dishwasher Bob Lehman - Boat Captain Diane Lynch - Registrar Adell Payton - Housekeeper Francine Payton - Head Housekeeper Tony Smith - Operations Assistant Robin Townsend - Cafeteria Shift Leader Jimmy Whealton - Boat Captain

Call us at 757-824-5636

Managers John Besecker - Operations Manager Dallas Fenton - Office and Finance Manager Linda Wallop - Food Service Manager


CHINCOTEAGUE BAY FIELD STATION 34001 Mill Dam Road Wallops Island, VA 23337 757-824-5636 Fax: 757-824-5638

Program Registration Registering for a program at the Field Station is easy! You can register for many of our programs on our website. You can also call to register by phone. Program fees are all-inclusive and include meals, lodging, instruction, and materials unless otherwise noted. Please call for commuter rates if you will not be lodging on-site.

Chincoteague Bay Field Station - Program Catalog  
Chincoteague Bay Field Station - Program Catalog