Photo by Leon Werdinger
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2013 Summer Camps Information: just click here.
You can now
make payments with credit cards, just click here.
VOLUNTEERS WANTED: Select here to find out
about volunteering at VIERS
RATES: Select here to find out about VIERS Rates for
Groups, Researchers and Individuals
can now download a copy of the VIERS Eco-Tourist and Reservation Form and Guest
Form by selecting the following:
and Reservation Form (pdf file) VIERS
Guest Form (pdf file)
45th Anniversary Photos and Articles
Water and Air Temperature Observations for Great Lameshur Bay
Tides and Water Level Observations for Great Lameshur Bay
VIERS TODAY: VIERS welcomes anyone interested in
expanding their knowledge and awareness about the environment surrounding this
unique center of learning.
1966, VIERS has offered distinctive learning experiences for anyone interested
in environmental education, training and research of terrestrial, coastal and
marine communities of small tropical islands. VIERS’ remote location provides
many opportunities for overnight and day visitors of all interests and ages to
easily discover the local environment.
VIERS, you are "in nature", you are
part of the eco-system. You are just minutes from being able to hike to a
mountain top or swim in the Caribbean Sea.
area around VIERS has an ecological diversity that has drawn visitors with an
interest in just about every aspect of its surrounding environment including
(but are not limited to): students from kindergarten through university,
researchers and teachers; botanists and artists; historians and
geologists; hikers and snorkelers; divers and kayakers; star gazers and bird
has hosted NASA scientists, scout groups, family reunions and church
retreats. VIERS offers organized programs or you can
follow your own.
CENTER FOR LEARNING: VIERS was
established for environmental educational activities and scientific research.
VIERS is not a
hotel or a resort. VIERS is a biology field
station, an eco-camp.
VIERS is ideal for learning about
marine and terrestrial natural resources and ecosystems, as well as the
cultural resources of the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean. VIERS is
appropriate for conducting field studies, eco-camps and other learning
experiences where the environment is an integral focus. VIERS also hosts
conferences, seminars, workshops, seminars, day meetings retreats and personal/
professional development activities.
promotes the conservation of resources and our daily operations reflect our
commitment to conservation, waste reduction, reuse, recycling and being "green".
can arrange cultural and historical presentations as well as a variety of
ecological learning experiences. Activities include guided trail hikes,
seashore explorations, mangrove walks, plant and wildlife identification
excursions and snorkeling outings to identify marine life. VIERS’ library
includes videos and teaching guides on various ecological topics.
RESEARCH: VIERS has hosted and worked cooperatively with
marine biology and/or ecology programs from numerous institutions and
organizations. Research studies in marine biology and tropical ecology are
conducted by visiting researchers, faculty and students from universities and
research institutions throughout the world. To protect the environment and
resources of the Virgin Islands National Park, all research and scientific
studies require approved permits from the National Park Service.
ACTIVITIES: Several hiking trails are easily accessible from
VIERS. These paths, some dating back to the 1600's, wind their way from seaside
beaches to mountain tops passing historic sugar mill estates and bay rum
distilleries, as well as petroglyphs (geologically significant rock
formations), all within the Virgin Islands National Park. The facility maintains videos, slide presentations
and teaching guides on various ecological topics.
activities that take advantage of the diversity of ecosystems and isolation of
the facility can be arranged for those interested in environmental education.
Guided land and water tours are available.
FACILITIES: VIERS is a very remote and
rustic (yet charming) camp that can accommodate up to 68 overnight guests.
here for VIERS SITE DRAWING]
The station consists of a dozen wooden cabins with
screened in sides and steel roofs which includes guest rooms (some with small
kitchens), staff rooms, classroom, meeting tent, library, office/store, restrooms
and showers. Our kitchen staff provides three meals a day in the dining
hall/kitchen for overnight guests. All group visitors share in dishwashing and
light housekeeping responsibilities.
supplement the natural marine and terrestrial research and education, the
station also includes a marine science laboratory on the water’s edge
(Great Lameshur Bay) which includes circulating sea water tables, a seaside
classroom, researcher diving support, dock and boats.
Select here to see photos of
the inside of Cabin 9 and 10.
ENVIRONMENT: St. John is about 20 square
miles in size, 90% of it consisting of tropical forest. The Virgin Islands
National Park occupies almost three fifths of the island. VIERS is located in a
lowland Antillean tropical dry forest at the base of Bordeaux Mountain within
the Virgin Islands National Park and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, which offer
protection for the various pristine habitats. Semi-deciduous vegetation give way at higher elevations to tropical moist forests.
Native flora still predominate with few introduced trees.
Adjacent to the tree covered field station are two sheltered bays with coral
reefs and seagrass beds, bordered by stands of
[Select here to see
a larger view of the sky photo for a detailed view of Lameshur Bay area.]
LOCATION: VIERS is situated on the remote southern shore of
St. John at Lameshur Bay. Directly to the south are Great Lameshur Bay and
Little Lameshur Bay which are divided by Yawzi Point. Cruz Bay, the main
community of St. John, is a 45 minute drive (17 miles) from VIERS. St. John,
the smallest of the three U.S. Virgin Islands, is accessible by ferry to Cruz
Bay from St. Thomas (STT) which has an airport.
[Select here for detailed U.S.
Virgin Islands National Park Map (.pdf file is 581kb
- very large and takes a while to load)]
[Select here to visit the Trail
Bandit's website and maps]
Cruz Bay, the main community of
St. John, is a 45 minute drive from VIERS. St. John, the smallest of the three
U.S. Virgin Islands, is accessible by ferry to Cruz Bay from St. Thomas (STT)
which has an airport. Most groups
take the ferry from Red Hook and get a safari taxi in Cruz Bay. [Select here for transportation information.]
BRIEF HISTORY: VIERS
was established by the College of the Virgin Islands (now the University of the
Virgin Islands) in November 1966 as the Virgin Islands Ecological Research
Station. In 1992, the field station’s name was changed to Virgin Islands
Environmental Resource Station to reflect the center’s commitment to
providing environmental education.
The field station’s laboratory and researcher’s residence
were originally housed in the Bay Rum Mill Ruins on Little Lameshur Bay until
moving to the present site in 1970.
cabins were built in the fall of 1968 by the U.S. Navy Seabees for Project
Tektite, an underwater habitat and research project which was conducted in 1969
and 1970. The experiment not only provided opportunities for marine research,
particularly on the behavior and ecology of reef fauna and reef sedimentology,
but also provided data for a variety of behavioral, biomedical and engineering
studies. The project was sponsored jointly by the U. S. Department of the
Interior, U. S. Navy, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the
General Electric Company with support from VIERS staff.
the end of Project Tektite II in 1970, the cabins were transferred to the
University of the Virgin Islands to expand the field station. In 2006, the
Tektite Underwater Habitat Museum was established at VIERS.
is a facility of the University of the Virgin
Islands and is situated within the Virgin Islands National Park. Since 1997, VIERS has been operated by
Clean Islands International, a U.S. IRS 501(c)(3) and
USVI nonprofit, organized exclusively for educational, scientific
and charitable purposes.
SUPPORT: As a self-sufficient non-profit center of learning, the principal means
of support for VIERS is through user fees, donations, and sponsorships. VIERS does not receive financial support from the University
of the Virgin Islands, the Virgin Islands National Park, or the government of
the U.S. Virgin Islands. Donations of money, equipment, and time are greatly
appreciated. Volunteers are welcomed.
information on activities, staying at VIERS, rates
for use of VIERS, or to inquire about availability of dates, please contact:
Randy Brown, VIERS
Administrator(click for e-mail)
Address: 8219 Elvaton Drive, Pasadena, Maryland 21122.
information, please contact Tony
Blackwell, VIERS Manager, St. John Office Tel:
VIERS, P.O. Box 250, St. John VI 00831
Click here to
return to the home page of Clean Islands International, Inc.