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U.Va.'s coastal research center to get a new home

The Anheuser-Busch Foundation has donated $1.2 million to the Department of Environmental Sciences to establish the Anheuser-Busch Coastal Research Center. The department will build the $2.5 million, state-of-the-art facility to enhance its current research capabilities on the Eastern Shore.

This is the largest corporate gift ever to the College of Arts & Sciences. The present research facility is located in an aging farmhouse a few miles inland. The new facility will be built on the shore at the harbor in Oyster, Va.

"Change in coastal environments has accelerated in recent decades due to human factors," says James Galloway, chair of the department of environmental sciences. "The establishment of the Anheuser-Busch Coastal Research Center will allow our department to build on 30 years of work on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and to increasingly exercise leadership in environmental research in the coastal zone."

The new research facility will include living accommodations for staff and visiting researchers and students. Several laboratories will support the ongoing field work, including a computer lab, hydrology lab, ecology lab, a sample processing lab for sediments, a microbiology lab, a chemistry lab and an electronics lab. The facility also will include an education center and conference areas, office space and kitchen and dining facilities.

The facility is the base for the National Science Foundation's Virginia Coast Reserve Long-Term Ecological Research project. NSF provides more than $700,000 per year to U.Va. scientists for research at the LTER.

"With this gift we can now build a first-class coastal research facility to help us learn more about how our environment works," says Bruce Hayden, lead investigator at the LTER. "Long-term research requires a long-term commitment from organizations that care about the environment."


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