Visitor’s Guide

Planning your visit to the CRC?     Here are some helpful things to know.

The field station provides laboratory and dormitory facilities, logistics and technical support to visiting ABCRC researchers from various institutions and agencies. The staff are here to support your research, coordinate logistics to and from research sites, and to ensure that you have a productive stay at the station. Please contact the ABCRC staff with any of your individual research or personal needs while visiting the Eastern Shore. We encourage close communication. See Contact Us for current staff information.

The station is busiest between April and October, with less use in November-March. During the busy season, please be prepared to share spaces. Check our Calendar to see when major sampling events or group visits are scheduled, which significantly reduce our capacity. Any day with more than three boat trips on the calendar is likely a time when we'll have limited capacity to accommodate additional requests.


Directions: From Rt 13, turn onto S. Bayside Rd. (Business 13) towards the town of Cheriton. Continue about 0.8 miles and then turn East onto Sunnyside Rd (there will be a church on each corner of the street.) Continue about 2.4 miles heading for the town of Oyster. Following the UVA CRC signs, turn left onto Crumb Hill Rd. Continue for 0.3 miles and turn right on Cliffs Road, bearing right at the ‘Y’ in the road, which becomes the driveway to the lab. NOTE: Those coming from the South will encounter a toll at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

Travel to and from the islands is to be scheduled with the ABCRC staff and should be scheduled in advance by submission of a web based Boat Use Request Form (See the Reservations tab). Trips to the islands are available for research-related functions only. Skilled boat operators are provided for all trips unless other arrangements have been confirmed with staff.

We have several vehicles assigned to the ABCRC facility. They are primarily used for boat operations, but they can also be used to access more remote terrestrial sites. Only UVA students and employees may drive the vehicles; other limitations may apply. Please make arrangements with the ABCRC staff prior to use of the field station vehicles.

Lab spaces are assigned through our Reservations system. Both dedicated and shared spaces are available. DI water is available throughout the facility. For other needs, check our station assets and inquire with staff. The Site Director must be alerted before chemicals are brought on site; we'll work together to ensure proper storage and disposal.

Wireless networks are available throughout the facility. A printer is available in the staff office for printing field data sheets and other minor needs. Landline phones are not available in the dorms, but we have cell phones to loan. Ask us if you do not get good coverage and need to borrow a CRC cellphone. We have one local phone line in the lab building (757-331-1246.)  

The mailing address for the site is 6364 Cliffs Rd, Cape Charles, Virginia 23310. USPS, FedEx, and UPS will all deliver to the lab. Mail is placed by the front door or on the hallway table in the lab building.

There are two medical clinics in the area. Eastville Community Health Center is on Rt 13 in Eastville (10-15 min north) and Cape Charles Medical Center on Mason Ave (10-15 min west). in Cape Charles. There is one hospital on the Eastern Shore: Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital located in Onley (40 min north). When medical emergencies arise while working on the islands notify the Boat Operator immediately so that arrangements can be made for transport to a medical facility. When working in an isolated area, please take a cell phone with you for emergency communications. If an emergency does arise while in an isolated area and a boat operator is not with you, call or text 911 and they will make the necessary transportation arrangements. There are first aid kits in all boats and trucks. A full first aid kit and AED are available in the Laboratory building.

Communication is maintained with all boats while underway or working on the islands. We have a VHF radio system licensed by the Federal Communications Commission that is in use on all boats and all boat operators take cell phones with them on each boat trip. There are two cell phones available for field use; please make requests for use of these cell phones in advance with LTER staff.

At maximum capacity we can accommodate approximately 30 people in the facility. We provide beds, mattresses and bedding (pillows, sheets, and blankets), along with towels. You must supply your own toiletries. Kitchens are stocked with pots, pans, coffee pots, and dishes. Plan to bring your own food. There is a premium on bed space during the summer field season and full time residents will be assigned permanent bed space. We ask that short term residents respect these individuals and their niche. During the summer season all lodgers are responsible for the cleanliness of their room; housekeeping services are limited - everyone must do their part to ensure that dorms are kept clean.

Please be respectful of your neighbors both within the station and in the surrounding community. See housing policies and our Code of Conduct for more details.

The workshop is designed to function for all avenues of research. A limited number of hand and power tools are available for general use.  Please meet with a staff member to discuss your tool needs and to receive training in the use of power tools.  When tools are used, please return them to the proper storage area and alleviate the frustration of finding tools. ABCRC tools are NOT to be taken out into the field without prior approval.  You MUST clean up after yourself in this area.  Please do not store personal items such as bikes in these areas. Also, personal items should not be stored on the front porch of the facility; there is space for these items on the back porch.

Personal vehicles may be parked in designated parking areas. Long-term parking should be away from the facility so as not to impede deliveries.