Skidaway Marine Science Day features ocean-going research vessel

The Research Vessel Savannahcarries scientists on research cruises from Cape Hatteras to islands off the coast of Venezuela. On Saturday, October 15, it will be at its home dock at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography and open for tours from noon to 4 p.m. as part of Skidaway Marine Science Day.

Visitors tour the R/V Savannah.

The R/V Savannahis Skidaway Institute’s 92-foot, 300-ton ocean-going research vessel. It is used by Skidaway Institute scientists, as well as scientists from all over the world, to study the ocean. It was custom-built for Skidaway Institute and launched in 2001. Since then it has averaged between 150 and 180 sea-days per year, cruising to ocean-destinations ranging from the North Carolina coast, to the Gulf of Mexico, and to Curacao in the Caribbean Sea.

Visitors in the "driver's seat" of the R/V Savannah

Visitors will be able to tour all parts of the boat, and see how the crew and scientists live and work on the open sea. Several Skidaway Institute scientists will have demonstrations of their experiments in the R/V Savannah’slaboratories.

Skidaway Institute's Charles Roberson explains some science to visitors on the R/V Savannah.

The Skidaway Marine Science Day is a campus-wide open house with activities geared for all ages from young children to adults. These will include programs, tours, displays and hands-on activities, primarily related to marine science and the coastal environment. The event is open to the public and admission is free.

The event will be presented by the campus’s marine research and education organizations, including the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, the University of Georgia (UGA) Marine Education Center and Aquarium, the UGA Shellfish Research Laboratory and Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary.

In addition to the R/V Savannah, the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography will offer a variety of activities for adults and children, including science displays, hands-on activities and talks on current research programs.

The UGA Aquarium will be open to visitors with no admission fee. In addition, the aquarium education staff will offer visitors a full afternoon of activities including science talks, a reptile show, boat tours, touch tanks and behind-the-scene tours of the aquarium.

The UGA Shellfish Laboratory will provide visitors with displays and information on marine life on the Georgia Coast. Children will be given the opportunity to help protect the marine environment by bagging oyster shells used for oyster reef restoration projects.

The staff of Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary will set up their remotely-operated-vehicle (ROV) in a swimming pool, and teach visitors how to “drive” it and pick up objects from the bottom.

Skidaway Institute professor Bill Savidge will present a special program aimed at parents and students involved in science fair projects. The program, “The Seven Deadly Sins of Science Fairs,” will be presented twice, at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. in the McGowan Library Auditorium.

For the second year in a row, Skidaway Marine Science Day will also be open to non-campus scientific and environmental groups. Organizations such as Clean Coast and the Georgia Sea Turtle Center will be on-hand to present, information, displays and activities.

School classes or other large groups wishing to attend Skidaway Marine Science Day can be accommodated only through advance arrangements. For additional information, call (912) 598-2325.

All activities at Skidaway Marine Science Day will be free. For additional information, call (912) 598-2325, or visit


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