Visitor’s Guide

Welcome to the Anheuser-Busch Coastal Research Center of the University of Virginia (ABCRC).

We have written this guide to living and working within the ABCRC facility for the benefit of visitors.

The field station provides laboratory and dormitory facilities, logistics and technical support to visiting ABCRC researchers from various institutions and agencies. Field station personnel maintain the site, conduct collaborative research with other PI’s, collect data from meteorological stations, tide gauges, well transects and water level recorders. The staff are here to support your research, logistics to and from research sites, integration of GPS surveys (both kinematic and static), assisting in laboratory facilities and availability and housing/dormitory requirements. Please contact the ABCRC staff with any of your individual research or personal needs while visiting the Eastern Shore. We encourage a high level of communication with visiting PI’s and students.











Fax, electronic mail and Internet access are available on site with adequate computing facilities. We host a fleet of five boats to provide all types of logistics to the VCR barrier islands, mainland creeks and seaside ports.

Directions: From Charlottesville, VA take route 64 to Norfolk and exit onto Route 13 to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Upon exit from CBBT, proceed 13 miles until you reach the first stoplight. Turn right onto S. Bayside Rd. (Business 13) towards the town of Cheriton. Continue on about 0.8 miles and take a right onto Sunnyside Rd. (there will be a church on each corner of the street.) Continue on about 2.4 miles heading for the town of Oyster until you reach Crumb Hill Road – turn left. Continue for 0.3 miles and turn right on Cliff Road, bearing right at the ‘Y’ in the road. For a link to instructions from Charlottesville to the lab from Mapquest (less the final turn into Cliff Road): Click Here.

See the ABCRC homepage for current Staff contact information.

The following info will give you the basics on how ‘the place works.’

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. Trips to the islands are available for research-related functions only. Boats may only be used by qualified operators. Boat qualification is determined by the LTER Project Manager and boat operators are required to adhere to specific standards. Individuals wishing to become qualified operators must meet certain criteria. Contact the Project Manager for further information.

We have 4 vehicles (Dodge Ram 2500 Truck, Ford F150, Chevy 1500 Silverado, Dodge Dakota) permanently assigned to the ABCRC facility and they must meet the demands for all of us.  The Dodge Ram, Ford F150 and Chevy 1500 are primarily designated for staff use.  The Dodge Dakota is the primary truck available for use by visiting researchers.  If this truck does not have the capacity to meet your needs we will try to arrange use of one of the other trucks.  Please make arrangements with the ABCRC staff prior to use of the field station vehicles. Anyone not holding a current Virginia drivers license cannot operate the vehicles. Please keep the gas tank full. When the fuel level falls below ½, please fill the tank.  Mileage logs and credit cards will be provided for fuel. Check all fluid levels including oil, windshield washer, coolant, etc. and make sure to check tires for adequate inflation. Should an accident occur, there are instructions in the center console or glove box for appropriate action. No alcoholic beverages are allowed in the ABCRC vehicles at any time. The vehicles will be reserved most of the time for ABCRC staff use only.

Lab space becomes very critical during the summer field season and scheduling becomes important. Those individuals needing temporary lab space should contact the ABCRC staff for arrangements. An extensive water quality sampling occurs quarterly requiring a large portion of the main laboratory. Please keep this in mind and check the Web Calendar when scheduling your lab requirements. Please follow all laboratory guidelines while performing research in the laboratory. There is separate documentation describing laboratory procedures for those of you who occupy and work in the main laboratories. There is a permanently assigned lab technician that can assist you with your individual equipment requirements and needs.

There are computers in the computer room designated for common use. Please be efficient while using these computers and do not keep personal files on the hard disks. All personal files should be created under your own directory in C:Share and can be accessed by Network Neighborhood.  Additional network connections are available in the lab and in the common areas of the dormitory.  A wireless network has been established in the lab and dormitory, so that individuals with laptop computers and wireless cards can have access to the internet throughout the facility.  The computers in the staff office are designated for staff use.  Please note that the ABCRC Fiscal Technician’s computer and office space are off limits except for use of the UVA direct phone line, photocopier and fax machine.

We have ONE local phone line in the lab building (757-331-1246.)  A separate, unlisted line is available for making local, outgoing calls in the dorm building.  Please do not make lengthy personal calls during normal working hours. Please charge all your personal long distance calls to a calling card, third number or collect.  We have call waiting on the phone line; please try to answer all incoming calls.

The printer in the ABCRC Computer Room and the copier/fax machine in the LTER Fiscal Technician’s office are for community use on a small scale basis and should be used only for official business. Please avoid copying large documents and please replace paper in the proper tray. The fax line is for business purposes only. Please respect the privacy of any incoming fax messages. The fax number is 757-331-2371.

Official research related purchases must be approved by ABCRC staff or your Principal Investigator. In order to maintain our accounting system, please consult with the LTER Fiscal Technician (Donna Fauber,, prior to making any purchases, for direction on payment and for the appropriate vendors.

The mailing address for the site is PO Box 55, Cheriton, Virginia 23316. The post office is located in Cheriton and is open M-F 8-11 am and 2-4 pm. UPS and Federal Express deliveries should be addressed to our physical/shipping address, 6364 Cliff Rd., Cape Charles, Virginia 23310.  DO NOT use the physical/shipping address for items sent via the US Postal Service as we do not have rural delivery.  Any items mailed to the physical address (including those sent out by vendors) via the US Post Service will be returned to the sender.

There are two medical clinics in the area. Bayview Medical Center is located on S. Bayside Rd. (across from Rescue Squad) in Cheriton and Cape Charles Medical Center on Mason Ave. in Cape Charles. There is one hospital on the Eastern Shore: Northampton-Accomac Memorial Hospital located in Nassawaddox. 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, dial 911 and they will make the necessary transportation arrangements. There are first aid kits in the house and in all boats and they contain basic first aid equipment.

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 thes 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. 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 room members are responsible for the cleanliness of their room and must require visitors and guests to perform housekeeping duties.

Quiet hours are from 10 pm to 6 am Monday through Saturday. Quiet hours on Sunday morning extend to 10 am. Pets are not allowed on the property or in the facility (with no exceptions.) Smoking is prohibited inside the facility. Fire extinguishers are located throughout the facility; please familiarize yourself with their location. Please observe the privacy and security of other individuals. Please make sure the facility doors are locked at night and when leaving the building. Also make sure outer buildings are locked after use, particularly on the weekends. Since ABCRC is an extension of the University, alcoholic beverages are not allowed inside the house or laboratories at any time.

You are responsible for cleaning up after yourself; we do have a contracted cleaning service but that does not alleviate individual responsibilities of cleanliness particularly in the kitchen and bathrooms. Dishes must be cleaned immediately after use, and food must not be left on the counters or stove. There is cabinet storage available for food but anything open must be sealed in an airtight container. It is essential that everyone follow these guidelines in order to control the rodent and insect population. Refrigerators must be kept clean at all times and before leaving the facility all personal food items must be removed. There is a dumpster located at the ABCRC for trash disposal. The bathrooms and the kitchen areas are for community use and must be properly maintained.

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.