meeting in Atlas Conference Center

Laboratories, offices, meeting rooms, vehicles, boats, residences and an auditorium are all available for use by visiting researchers, university classes, and professional organizations. Please contact our Program Coordinator, Gracie Townsend, for availability, pricing, and reservations for any of these facilities. If you require common-use equipment (e.g., microscopes, spectrophotometers), please contact Natalie Schrey for pricing and reservations.


Main Lab

Originally built by R.J. Reynolds to be a dairy barn, the main laboratory building is a two-story, 23,000-square-foot structure that houses laboratories, a wet lab, offices, a library, and an auditorium. The 1,700-square-foot wet lab has the capacity to pump 75 gallons of filtered seawater per minute. DI water, drying ovens, freezers, balances and other basic equipment are available. We are currently in the process of renovating the main laboratory so that it will accommodate a teaching lab, additional labs and offices for visiting scientists, and more common-use areas.

Wet Lab & Seawater Systems

With funds from an NSF Field Stations and Marine Laboratories grant, we recently completed renovations of the systems supplying water to UGAMI’s seawater laboratories.  These facilities allow us to maintain a large variety of indoor and outdoor tanks. The system can supply up to 75 gallons of seawater per minute; monitors the creek level and only runs the pumps when the intakes are submerged (preventing damage caused by the pumps running dry); incorporates five 3,000-gallon modular storage tanks to supply seawater at low tide (when the pumps are off); actively manages the pressure in the seawater line to maintain consistent flow; and provides several filter options, including bag filters, a radial flow settler, bead filter, and in-line UV sterilization, so we can supply seawater to suit the needs of any research or education user. In addition, we have just taken possession of three 1,000-gallon tanks for maintaining and studying larger fish and two 8’ sink trays for washing and processing samples.

Clean Lab

UGAMI has a modular “Clean Lab,” which was originally built as a Biosafety Level 3 lab. Although it is not intended for use as a BSL 3 laboratory at UGAMI, its containment systems make it ideal for studies requiring clean procedures.

Meeting Rooms


The main laboratory has an auditorium with a large screen and projector. This room was used by R.J. Reynolds to screen movies. Following renovation, it still retains its original Art Deco seats and lighting.

Atlas Conference Center

The Atlas Conference Center can be used for dining, classes, and other events. It has a full-screen projector and a food preparation area. This building was originally the old “Power House,” where diesel generators were used to produce electricity. Renovations were completed in 2014.

Video Conference Room

The UGAMI video conference room has video-conferencing capabilities. It is equipped with a Polycom video-conferencing system as well as a Logitech Group system for web-based conferencing using GoToMeeting, Skype, Google Hangouts, and similar services.


The UGAMI library was originally part of the UGA system, and it still has books that can be signed out during your visit (please be sure to return them before you leave). The library is now set up with a lounge area, common-use computers, comfortable work spaces, and a networked printer.


All of our housing units have full kitchens with cooking facilities, microwave ovens, coffee makers, etc. Sheets and pillows are provided, but please bring your own towels. Laundry facilities are available.


The Barrier Island Research Lab (BIRL) has a total of 10 rooms, each of which is triple-occupancy. UGAMI is responsible for 8 of these rooms (for a total of 24 beds), and the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve (SINERR) has priority access to the other 2 rooms (for a total of 6 beds). If your group has more than 24 people we will check on availability. Each room has a separate bathroom.

The BIRL also has a common kitchen area as well as a large screened-in porch.


There are 4 apartments, each with 3 or 4 double-occupancy rooms (for a total of 28 beds). Each room has a separate bathroom. The apartments each have a common kitchen area and a small screened-in porch.

Shell Hammock Houses

Shell Hammock is a residential area that is generally used by UGAMI staff. There are currently 2 houses available for short-term use. Priority is given to UGAMI faculty and affiliated investigators.

Mobile Homes

UGAMI has a series of mobile homes ranging from 1-3 bedrooms. Each mobile home has its own bathroom, kitchen, and laundry facilities. There are three areas with available mobile homes: Pond Circle; Shell Hammock; and Magnolia Circle. Mobile homes are generally used by visiting research groups, and can be rented for nightly, weekly, or long-term use.


R/V Spartina

The R/V Spartina is a 44-ft Thompson Trawler that is used by research and education groups to survey the organisms in the estuarine waters adjacent to Sapelo Island. The Spartina is a USCG-designated research vessel that is rigged for side trawling with a 20’ mongoose trawl.  It can carry a maximum scientific party of 15 people. With a cruising speed of 10 knots, its area of operation is within 20 miles of Doboy Sound. Class field trips for trawl sampling aboard the Spartina generally take about two hours.  If you are interested in using the Spartina, please contact Gracie Townsend.

Small Boats

UGAMI maintains several smaller boats with outboard engines that can be used for research and university-level education. If your research requires access to a small boat, please let us know and we will provide you with fees and other information.


UGAMI is making infrastructure improvements that reflect our commitment to enhancing functionality and optimizing efficiency while promoting responsible reuse of the historic structures that house the Institute’s operations. We have recently completed renovations on the Power House as well as repaired and replaced roofs on a number of buildings. See more details about UGAMI renovations.