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Conducting Research and Fieldwork at BML and BMR

Planning Fieldwork at Bodega Marine Laboratory and Bodega Marine Reserve

Reserve Use Application

You must apply to use the Bodega Marine Laboratory (BML) and Bodega Marine Reserve (BMR) and adjacent areas before you begin your research or instruction.

Apply Online: BML & BMR Use Application

This is the same online form for applying for Housing or Laboratory use. The Bodega Marine Reserve staff will receive an email when you submit a reservation request, and you will be notified by email when the Reserve staff approves your request.

Lab Space 

If your research requires space at Bodega Marine Laboratory, you will need to complete an application online.

Apply Online: BML & BMR Use Application

Library Resources

For specific questions regarding the library contact the Librarian.

Information Technology


  • A variety of housing arrangements are available at BML, for details see BML Housing Information.
  • Housing at BML requires an online BML & BMR Use Application. BML housing can fill up quickly, particularly for the summer field season, please make reservations early.
  • Local residential rental information may be found on Craigslist or Zillow.

For more information contact Jennifer Sauter, 707-875-1955.

Recreational Use on the Reserve

Greenhouse Use

  • Greenhouses are available to support field experiments or for greenhouse experiments. Contact the Reserve Research Coordinator to inquire about space.


  • CDFW Collecting permit: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife requires a scientific collecting permit for collecting most organisms in California. These permits can take 6 months or longer to process, so submit early.
  • National Marine Sanctuary permit: Permits are required to conduct research within the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, including the placement of temporary moorings. To find out if your study site falls within these boundaries (includes Bodega Bay) see the Sanctuary map. See National Marine Sanctuaries for permit information.
  • Deploying Buoys or Structures in navigable waters require an update to the US Coast Guard Local Notice to Mariners system. You will need to post a notice to mariners if you plan to deploy any structure in waters where vessels navigate (which includes flat intertidal areas), to do so contact the Boating Safety Officer. Please be prepared with a detailed description, photograph, and provide a precise latitude and longitude, along with a geographical description for the area.
  • Federal and state park permits: You will also need a research permit to work in any of the state and federal parks in the Bodega Bay area. Contact Brendan O'Neil at California State Parks, 707-865-3129, for an application to work in local state parks. To apply to work in Point Reyes National Seashore, contact Ben Becker, 415-464-5247.


Special diving status is required to use scuba under UC auspices. You will need to provide:

  • Letter of reciprocity from home campus diving officer
  • Regular certification
  • Records of 12 open-water dives
  • Dive medical exam
  • Current first aid, CPR and Oxygen administration
  • Check-out dive with Diving Safety Officer, Jason Herum
  • The Diving Control Board must approve any research project requiring scientific diving

Also see:

Contact Diving Safety Officer Jason Herum well in advance of planned diving activity.

Marine Operations

Training is required to operate BML motorized boats, and a running-time fee is charged. Operators are available but require an additional hourly fee.

Contact BML Marine Operations

Animal Care

  • If your research involves vertebrate animals, you will need an Animal Use and Care Permit from the UCD campus.
  • If you plan to keep plants or animals in BML tanks you should consult with the Aquatic Resources Group (ARG) to acquire aquarium space. There is no charge for graduate students to use a reasonable amount of space, and collecting, extra care, or specialized feeding can be provided at an hourly rate.
  • Basic life support and feeding arrangements should be made in advance so that specimens do not suffer from neglect.

Contact Aquatic Resources Group, 707-875-1978.

Recharge Rates

  • See BML recharge rates for animal care, physical plant services, vessels, lodging, lab space and more.