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Marine Science Consortium at Wallops

The Marine Science Consortium is a nonprofit educational corporation comprised of regional universities and colleges. The Consortium is dedicated to promoting teaching and research in the marine sciences. The corporation maintains marine stations where both field and laboratory investigations of coastal ecosystems are conducted under the supervision of university faculty and qualified marine education instructors.


The Consortium is ideally located on the Eastern Shore of Virginia between the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay. Nearby barrier islands are biologically diverse and geologically dynamic. Many of the islands and marshes remain undeveloped and area waters have sustained fishing, crabbing, and oystering for generations. Additional resources within the area include Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Assateague National Seashore, and NASA Wallops Island Flight Facility.


During our stay we will be take advantage of the corporation’s 40 foot platform-type monitor vessel used in the tidal creeks and back bay areas for trawling and sampling. For offshore work, the Consortium owns and operates a 50 foot research vessel.  The Wallops Island facility will also provide us with a laboratory classroom with microscopes and salt-water aquaria, dormitory housing, cafeteria, recreation areas, marine science library, and a nature trail.  The Consortium’s oceanographic field equipment and environmental collecting and monitoring instruments, as well their instructional staff is also available.


The Marine Science Consortium is also home to a variety of marine research opportunities including The MSC Coastal Dolphin Survey project which was initiated in 1997 as a partial response to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) recognition that the status of the coastal migratory stock of the Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins (MBD), Tursiops truncatus, was depleted. To learn more about the Marine Science Consortium (MSC) at Wallops Island click here.   


coastal studies
Sampling efforts off the Virginia coastline yield a large clear-nose skate.

coastal studies
Students collect data on the distribution of organisms inhabiting salt marshes.

coastal studies
Water sampling off the coast of Virginia provides data to compare with other sites.

coastal studies
Students conduct vertical water column profiles for light, salinity, temperature and dissolved oxygen.

coastal studies
Time out for a journal entry during a beach walk on Assateague Island.