Tidewater Oyster Gardeners Association Master Oyster Gardener Course

                                              MASTER OYSTER GARDENERS COURSE
                                                             May – June, 2022


Applications for the 2022 course are closed.

Questions? Karen Hudson, VIMS, khudson@vims.edu, (804) 684-7742

Schedule - The content will be delivered in 1-hour modules held virtually via Zoom on Tue/Thur evenings at 6:00 pm beginning May 10 and continuing through June 9, 2022. There will be two, in-person activities scheduled on a Saturday (tentatively May 14 and June 11). Course schedules may be modified based on speaker availability.

Sessions will be recorded, however MOG participants are expected to have the availability to attend most, if not all, sessions as the discussions will be an important part of the course.

Cost - The Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund (a.k.a. the License Plate Fund) is covering the cost of course materials. Attendees are asked to pay a modest fee to cover food and beverages for in-person sessions only.

EXPERIENCE HANDS-ON LABS   
SEE INSIDE THE HATCHERY
LEARN FROM KNOWLEDGEABLE EXPERTS

Purpose & History - To provide a steady stream of highly trained volunteers who can lead the
Tidewater Oyster Gardeners Association’s (TOGA) outreach mission. The first Master Oyster
Gardener (MOG) course was held in 1998 and graduated nineteen enthusiastic MOGs. Nine
further courses have been held in subsequent years each with roughly 15 to 20 students each.
What do MOG’s do? MOG’s lead TOGA’s outreach mission through their dedicated volunteer
service. There are a variety of opportunities to fit availability and interest. Opportunities include:
newsletter or website support, assisting neighboring oyster gardeners with questions, manning
TOGA booth at local events, float building, research projects, special committees and board
membership.

Instruction is covered by a variety of knowledgeable experts including VIMS faculty and staff,
State officials, and experienced TOGA MOG’s. It’s a mix of remote learning modules and handson
learning with lots of time for discussion.

Content consists of oyster gardening fundamentals; oyster biology and life history; oyster
diseases; understanding the various “critters” that live in and around oyster gardens; and the
regulatory and human health issues surrounding oyster gardening. Attendees will also get a
start-to-finish look at the oyster cultivation process at the VIMS oyster hatchery.

Applicant Criteria
▪ Possess/or apply for an oyster garden permit from VMRC
▪ Agree to attend the course in its entirety
▪ Have been growing oysters for a minimum of one year
▪ Commit to helping TOGA respond to questions from gardeners
▪ Be willing to assist with at least 3 TOGA events or activities

About the Master Oyster Gardener Course

Virginia Institute of Marine Science Gloucester Point, VA

Expand your knowledge of oyster gardening and become a valuable resource in the oyster gardening community!

Cost - Virtual courses are free. The Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund (a.k.a. the License Plate Fund) is covering the cost of course materials.  
 
Purpose & History - to provide a steady stream of highly trained volunteers who can lead TOGA's outreach mission. The first Master Oyster Gardener (MOG) course was held in 1998 and graduated nineteen enthusiastic MOGs. Nine further courses have been held in subsequent years each with roughly 15 to 20 students.  
 
What do MOGs do? - MOGs lead TOGA's outreach mission through their dedicated volunteer service.  Opportunities include newsletter or website support, assisting oyster gardeners, outreach events, float building, research projects, special committees and board membership.  

 

Instruction - is covered by a variety of knowledgeable experts including VIMS faculty and staff, State officials, and experienced  a mix of classroom and hands-on learning with lots of time for discussion.   
 
Content - generally consists of basic oyster gardening skills; oyster biology and life history; oyster diseases; understanding the various "critters" that live around oyster gardens; and the regulatory and human health issues surrounding oyster gardening.   Attendees will also get a start-to-finish look at the oyster cultivation process at the VIMS oyster hatchery.   
 
Applicant Criteria  -   Have a VMRC oyster garden permit.  Agree to attend the course in its entirety.   Have been growing oysters for a minimum of one year.    Commit to helping TOGA respond to questions from gardeners.  Be willing to assist with at least 3 TOGA events or activities.  
 
Interested, curious and have questions?  

 

Karen Hudson, VIMS, khudson@vims.edu, (804) 684-7742

 

Doug Schaefer, TOGA President, subiceguy@hotmail.com, 804-580-1456

Vic Spain, President Emeritus/Engineer, vicspain@rocketmail.com, 804-413-1020