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About Nauticus

Nauticus is a maritime discovery center located along the waterfront in downtown, Norfolk, VA, offering a unique form of experiential learning for all ages. Through interactive exhibits and STEM to STERN programming, Nauticus uses the museum, Battleship Wisconsin, sailing center, and Schooner Virginia to tell the story of the maritime environment, industry, and the military.

Mission Statement

We exist to benefit our community through education, impactful experiences and by sharing access to maritime resources.

Vision Statement

To become the leading maritime and science discovery center in the region.

The Nauticus Foundation

The Nauticus Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, supports the mission and activities of Nauticus. The Nauticus Foundation is responsible for annual and capital fundraising, the development and expansion of Museum exhibits to include traveling exhibitions; educational programming centered around the principles of Nauticus’ STEM to STERN curriculum; interpretation and preservation efforts aboard the Battleship Wisconsin; community support such as the Student Access Program and scholarships for the Sail Nauticus Academy; and preservation, maintenance and programming aboard the schooner Virginia and Sail Nauticus’ sailing center.

City of Norfolk & Nauticus Foundation Partnership

Nauticus is a partnership between the City of Norfolk and The Nauticus Foundation. The City of Norfolk owns and maintains Nauticus’ buildings and grounds to include the Battleship Wisconsin and Half Moone Decker Cruise Terminal. The City of Norfolk provides administrative support such as accounting and human resources and operational support for Cruise Virginia in which the City of Norfolk retains all revenue for that program.

Nauticus Campus

The Nauticus campus is managed in a secure partnership by the Nauticus Foundation and the City of Norfolk, the campus serves over 370,000+ visitors annually and includes the following assets:

Nauticus Maritime Discovery Center


Sail Nauticus
Sailing Center and Schooner Virginia

Half Moone Decker Cruise Terminal

Education & Outreach

Nauticus is dedicated to providing educational resources for teachers, parents, and students of all ages in an interactive and engaging format. Nauticus’ education focus areas include:

Education & outreach


STEM in the Workplace,
Computer Science,
and Engineering

Environmental impact
(climate change, sea level rise)

Waterway Conservation

Regional Resiliency



STEM in the Workplace,
Computer Science,
and Engineering

Port of VA, Global Shipping,
and Supply Chain Logistics

History of Norfolk’s Port


Maritime and
the Military

STEM in the Workplace,
Computer Science,
and Engineering

Military to Mariner:
Reciprocal Careers and
Workforce Development

Past, Present and
Future of the US Navy

Nauticus Equity & Inclusion Statement

In August 2020, Nauticus’ Board of Directors adopted an official Equity & Inclusion Statement to align with its strategic plan. The official statement is as follows:

“Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) are essential educational priorities for vibrant communities. Equity, inclusion and access to STEAM education is critical to the ongoing mission and vision of Nauticus. Nauticus strives to create an inclusive, equity-based organization that empowers our community, students, and visitors to change the world through STEAM. Nauticus acknowledges that traditional access and engagement with STEAM learning may be limited for some, and the organization is committed to using its resources and talent towards making STEAM education accessible to all. This commitment will be a priority for our exhibits, education programming, operations, management, policies and practices.”

Nauticus Leadership Team

Stephen Kirkland
President & CEO

Christine Arrasate
Assistant Director

Keith Nitka
Battleship Operations Manager

Margaret Henry
Business Manager

Amy Owens
Chief Financial Officer

Liz Joseph
Gift Shop Manager

Rehn West
Director of Development & Marketing

Sarah Linden-Brooks
Sail Nauticus Director

Nate Sandel
Director of Education & Community Engagement

Dustin Uhl
Exhibits Manager

Tracy Derring
Special Event Director

Jennifer Turlington
Visitor Services Manager

Tom Ramoino
Facility Operations Manager