student in lab

Undergraduate Studies at BML

In courses at Bodega Marine Laboratory, you also learn from visiting distinguished scholars who present weekly seminars and frequently interact with students at both the lab bench and the dinner table. Our undergraduate programs give you the chance to go beyond what you learn from your textbooks—from being a science student to working as a scientist.

Learning takes place not just within the classroom, but also in the field—on the beach with the surf washing your feet, on a wind-swept bluff or in a tidal marsh—where it's up to you and your peers to discover the answers for yourselves. You may find yourself challenged to explain the patterns of how animal populations are distributed along the shore. Or you might collect samples to determine water quality and its effects on marine and estuarine life. The questions are never multiple-choice, and the answers can't be found in the back of the book. In the lab, you take the driver's seat and pursue your own topic of research, with state-of-the-art instruments and technology at your disposal.

The choice of research areas is broad, from cell biology to marine and terrestrial ecology, from genetics to plant biology, from fish biology to environmental toxicology. You'll gain experience presenting your research in a professional format to an audience of professional scientists. Some students even publish their findings in scholarly journals; others expand their projects into thesis research when they enter graduate school.