The public can tour UD's Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes for free throughout the summer for a behind-the-scenes look at marine science.

Lewes campus tours

UD's Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes open for public tours starting in June


8:14 a.m., May 8, 2013--Beach visitors and coastal residents alike can learn about ocean research this summer with a tour of the University of Delaware’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, located a few miles west of Cape Henlopen State Park. 

The University’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE) offers free tours from June through August to give an inside look at marine science in action.

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Knowledgeable guides lead groups through state-of-art ocean laboratories where CEOE and Delaware Sea Grant College Program researchers are tackling aspects of environmental challenges such as climate change, sea level rise, renewable energy, fish ecology and harmful algal blooms.

“Scientists have fascinating research underway on a variety of important topics,” said guide George Stadler. “We are proud to share their activities with the public and deepen their understanding of our complex marine environment.”

At the Global Visualization Lab, visitors can see how researchers use satellites, surface monitors and underwater robots to study ocean phenomena. Other highlights include explanations of work underway aboard the fleet of research vessels and the 2-megawatt wind turbine that powers campus operations.

Exhibits showcase ways that scientists study extreme environments such as the frigid, ice-covered ecosystems of the Antarctic and the super-heated hydrothermal vents of the ocean floor — and a real hydrothermal vent chimney taken from the deep sea is on display.

Illustrating life closer to shore, two large aquariums house fish from Delaware Bay and explain local marine habitats. Visitors can also stop by the greenhouse to learn about a seashore plant that can withstand rising sea levels and filter land-based pollution before it enters waterways.

Visitors are encouraged to ask questions and return to campus to learn more on the first Sunday in October for Coast Day, the college’s annual celebration of the sea.

In June, tours begin at 10 a.m. on Fridays. In July and August, tours begin at 10 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. For reservations, please call 302-645-4234 or e-mail

The Hugh R. Sharp Campus is located at 700 Pillottown Road in Lewes, Del.

Article by Teresa Messmore

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