Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Studying at VIMS changed my life — I learned practical skills that helped me excel in the job market.

As an entrepreneur, I am excited to see the innovative spirit of our students and faculty. From oysters to microbeads, VIMS has a successful track record of fostering business development that positively impacts the environment, the economy and our way of life.

Charlie Natale ’82
VIMS Representative Campaign Steering Committee

A Letter from the Dean

Society’s greatest challenges in energy, natural resource management, sea level rise and the increasing intensity of storms and natural disasters all play out along our coasts. Your support will help VIMS rise to meet these challenges in the coming years. 

For more than 75 years, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) has offered real-world solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing the Chesapeake Bay region and the world’s waterways. Our motto, “Science for the Bay, Impact for the World,” signifies our strength as an institution and our ability to lead positive change around the globe.

We take great pride in our unparalleled commitment to academic excellence, which has helped solidify our standing as a world leader in marine research and advisory science. Our unique blend of research, faculty-student collaboration and entrepreneurial programming profoundly impacts the quality of coastal and marine life, creates jobs and benefits the economy.

With your support, VIMS can build on this tradition of excellence and allow us to reach new heights. An investment in VIMS can make a lasting impact for Chesapeake Bay and generations to come.

John T. Wells
Dean and Director
Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences

Support VIMS

Amy Fisher, Director of Development, VIMS Executive Director, VIMS Foundation



Pillar I: Where Great Minds Meet | $10 million

SCHOLARSHIPS | $7 million

Dean and Director’s Scholars | $7 million
Seven fully funded graduate fellowships


Sustainable Shellfish Aquaculture | $3 million
Distinguished Endowed Professorship



Bay Data | $5 million

  • Chesapeake Bay Data Collection and Synthesis
    Annual Fish & Crab Surveys
    Water Quality Monitors
    Seasonal Assessment of Harmful Algae Cysts and Blooms
    Water Level and Shoreline Change Monitoring
    Nunnally Ichthyology Collection
    Baygrass Monitoring and Mapping
    Instrumentation Fund
    VIMS Eminent Scholars Program - allows faculty members to puruse synthesis of large data sets to better understand global change

“Marine Entrepreneurship” | $8 million 
Dean and Director’s Innovation Fund | $6 million
Business, Entrepreneurship & Leadership Student Programming | $1 million
Naming opportunity for 93-foot research vessel | $1 million

Pillar III: A Passion for Impact | $12 million 

"Bay Data"
Public Programs | $6 million
Outreach: Summer Camps, Teacher Training, Marine Science Day
Apps and Online Outreach
Chesapeake Convenings
Visitor’s Center

Sustainable Shellfish Aquaculture | $6 million 
Industry Programming
Harmful Algae Blooms and Human Pathogens
Aquatic Disease Diagnostics
Eastern Shore Lab
Aquaculture Breeding Program
Industry Outreach and Extension

Fact Sheet

You can learn more about the VIMS goals & priorities in the fact sheet, which can be downloaded here.