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PO Box 97
14200 Solomons Island Road
Solomons, MD 20688
P: 410-326-2042
F: 410-326-6691

Contact us by email

Chesapeake Bay Field Lab

Calvert Marine Museum
Chesapeake Bay Field Lab Programs
Aboard the Dee of St. Mary’s

The skipjack Dee of St. Mary’s is docked at the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons, Maryland, where our Chesapeake Bay Field Lab (CBFL) programs are based. Developed by Captain Jack Russell and his team, CBFL continues to grow and evolve under the museum’s ownership. Our school programs involve both a shoreside and a skipjack experience which lasts approximately 4 hours, including a 30 minute lunch break. They are designed to engross the students in an unforgettable field-based experience aboard a piece of floating history.

School fieldtrips are limited to 28 students per group to allow maximum 'hands-participation' when dredging oysters or hauling crab pots. We offer tours for schools, homeschoolers, scout troops, and private organizations. Environmental education and natural history field experiences are conducted on the Patuxent River from April through mid-November. We can accommodate up to 56 students split into two groups by running two programs simultaneously.

Dee of St. Mary's LogoStations aboard the Dee

Raising Sail (conditions permitting): Nothing compares to being on a sailing workboat. Students will have the opportunity to help raise the sail and experience the importance of teamwork.

Water quality testing: Students get hands on experience testing our local waters. After analyzing their sample, students will explore how changes to the levels of pH, nitrogen, phosphorous, salinity and dissolved oxygen can affect various species of fish.

Navigation: Students get hands on experience with compasses, navigational charts, and compare those to maps. Students will learn how sailors know where they are and how to get where they are going using a parallel rule and the compass rose.

Oysters: Students will have the chance to set the dredge for oysters and pull it in to see what they’ve caught. We will explore the remarkable ecosystem that calls an oyster bar home. Students will learn the life cycle of an oyster and learn why these shellfish are threatened.

Stations in the Lore Oyster House

Life in an Oyster Reef: Working on the dock, students will pull in a crab pot and learn about the animals have taken up residence. They will also play a game that demonstrates the factors that have contributed to the decline of oysters in the Chesapeake Bay.

Follow the Oyster Trail from unloading at the dock to the receiving room, to the shucking stalls, and finally to the packing and shipping room. Learn what it takes to work in an oyster processing house.

Oyster Anatomy: Dissect an oyster and learn about its remarkable anatomy from our giant oyster, Rock-E-Feller.



Chesapeake Bay Field Lab educational fieldtrips are based out of the Lore Oyster House in Solomons, Calvert County, Maryland. The 4-hour fieldtrip includes 1.5 hours in the oyster house and 1.5 hours aboard the skipjack with a half-hour for orientation/safety instruction and wrap up, and a half hour lunch break. Classes should bring their own lunches and be no larger than 28 students and two teachers and/or chaperones. Two classes can participate in the program simultaneously, alternating shoreside and sail. Fee is $450 for one program, $900 for two simultaneous programs.

Public and private schools and organizations in Maryland are eligible for Chesapeake Bay Trust

K-12 Environmental Education Mini Grant ( that can cover as much as half of CBFL’s field trip fee. This requires filling out a grant application. Grant applications are due August 9 for fall fieldtrips.

To discuss pricing and to schedule your Chesapeake Bay Field Lab experience, call 410-326-2042 ext. 41. or email