Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (UMCES)

Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (UMCES)

The Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (CBL) is an environmental research facility of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) the principal institution for advanced environmental research and graduate studies within the University System of Maryland. Other UMCES research locations include the Horn Point Laboratory in Cambridge, Appalachian Laboratory in Frostburg, the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology in Baltimore, and the Maryland Sea Grant College in College Park. CBL is also home to UMCES research fleet.

Located where the Patuxent River meets the Chesapeake Bay, CBL’s team of faculty and student researchers are developing new scientific approaches to solving environmental management problems facing our nation, region and the world. From the vast Arctic Ocean to the local streams of Calvert County, CBL is constantly pioneering new frontiers in environmental science.

Training and educating the nation’s next generation of environmental scientists is critical to fulfilling the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory’s mission. While CBL focuses on providing graduate level students opportunities to learn from and work with active field researchers, the laboratory also offers programs designed to engage students of all ages.

Enter Your Location


The CBL Visitor Center opens for the season on the first Friday in May. Our days of operation vary seasonally:

Calvert & St Mary's Spring Break: Everyday from Saturday, March 28th to Saturday, April 4th. Noon to 4 pm.
May through Memorial Day:  Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Noon to 4 pm.
Memorial Day to Labor Day:  Wednesday through Sunday. Noon to 4 pm.Labor Day through early December:  Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Noon to 4 pm.
Our Visitor Center will be open for special hours during the Solomons Island Christmas Walk.

(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)


Visitor Center is free.


Founded in 1925, the CBL has long been a national leader in fisheries, environmental chemistry and toxicology, and ecosystem science and restoration ecology. The breadth of expertise among our faculty opens the door for research that cuts across the boundaries of traditional scientific disciplines and fosters collaboration with leading researchers within the CBL community and beyond.


CBL Visitors Center [CBL visitors center]

  • CBL Welcome Video: Who are we and what do we do?
  • Chesapeake Bay Ecology Exhibit: Is the Bay healthy?
  • Oyster Reef Aquarium Exhibit: What's living in the nooks and crannies of the oyster reef?   
  • CBL Research Exhibit: Highlights of current environmental research.
  • Interactive Computer Exhibit: Remote sensing and electronic technologies used by scientists today.  Weather and water data collected from the CBL Research Pier. View the osprey and underwater fish cameras.

Campus Tours

Seminar Series

Volunteer Oportunities


The Chesapeake Biological Laboratory is comprised of several buildings located at the southern tip of Solomons Island.

  • Research Fleet Operations Center
  • Carey House
  • Solomons House - Visitor's Center
  • Coastal Technology Laboratory
  • Saunders House
  • Becker House
  • Parish House
  • Northam House
  • Mansueti Laboratory
  • Bernie Fowler Laboratory (BFL) 
  • Swift House 
  • Storage Building
  • Maintenance Building
  • Nice Hall
  • Cory Research Laboratory
  • R.V. Truitt Controlled Environment Laboratory
  • Beaven Hall - Administration
  • Kopp House 
  • Cronin Research Complex
  • Research Pier
  • Library


The Visitors Center is ADA compliant.


  • There are no events scheduled.

Related Trip Ideas

Nearby Places


Main image: Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (UMCES)
Captain John Smith TrailStar Spangled Banner Trail