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Geophysical Sciences Coastal Studies Program

The Hampton Roads area is dominated by numerous bodies of water from Chesapeake Bay to the smaller rivers, marshes, and swamps.  Most area school systems have marine science programs. Increased awareness of beach erosion and storm damage also generates much interest in the region. Most of the Hampton Roads region is situated in wetland or former wetland environments which are subject to a variety of uses and regulations. Cities such as Virginia Beach and Chesapeake are concerned about water supplies and environmental pollution as population increases.

The Coastal Studies Program at Tidewater Community College coordinates activities in regional geology, biology, ecology, and oceanography. Because of its location, the Virginia Beach Campus of TCC is a convenient facility that can be used by area educators for their programs.

Our Geology and Oceanography laboratory science courses offer a non-traditional field component where students go to area sites to work up geological, biological, and environmental parameters.

Our vessel, the R/V Matthew F. Maury, is berthed at Little Creek Amphibious Base.




The Coastal Studies program offers several levels to meet the needs of groups, students, and educators.

  • Option 1 includes programs that can be conducted "in-house" by our staff. Some of our programs may serve general experiential learning and all count toward college credit or teacher certification.

  • Option 2 provides a team approach. Many teachers already know what subjects they want to teach. However, they may be unfamiliar with the equipment or field methods. In this option, our staff provides a cooperative effort in facilitating the instruction.

  • Option 3 provides resources for area science teachers or agencies to utilize for their own programs. This is a great option for those teachers who are already familiar with our facilities/equipment.
  • Option 4 allows agencies or schools to design their own course or program. We can "tailor-make" these programs from 6th grade through college. This is a great option for special programs, SOL-based units in field or lab settings, or teacher certification requirements.










Mike Lyle

Discipline Head


John Waugh

Instructional Assistant






Official Geology Course Descriptions

Dune Stabilization Project – Sea Shore State Park