Q. How long has the lab been here?

A. Bodega Head has been a field site for researchers and students since the 1920s. The Laboratory was founded in 1960 by UC Berkeley and the first building was completed in 1966 (construction funded by the National Science Foundation). The second building was completed in 1977. BML was transferred to UC Davis in 1983.

Q. How many people work here?

A. On average there are about 100 people daily ranging from faculty to undergraduates taking classes. There are also numerous visiting scientists and graduate students from other campuses around the state, country, and world.

Numbers of People Working at or Visiting BML Annually

  • Resident Faculty – 10
  • Other Research Scientists¬†(UC and Non-UC) – 100
  • Graduate Students – 100
  • Resident Undergraduates – 60
  • Field Trip Undergraduates – 1000
  • Research Staff – 35
  • Support Staff – 35
  • Volunteers – 75
  • Visitors/Schools – 10,000

Q. Does BML grant degrees?

A. No, students from UC Davis and other campuses take classes and receive credit, and graduate students perform BML research, but all receive degrees at their home institution.

Q. Why can’t the public walk on the Reserve?

A. The Bodega Marine Reserve is a "living laboratory" where scientists are able to study natural areas as "control sites" that are unimpacted by humans. Because we are surrounded by State Parks and Beaches, we ask that visitors go to those areas for hiking, recreation, and fishing.

Q. What kinds of research do scientists perform?

A. Please see Research Programs at Bodega Marine Laboratory

Q. Does BML do any work on marine mammals?

A. There are no marine mammals in the Laboratory. Some visiting researchers use BML as a base while studying migrating humpback and blue whales. UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Laboratory and the Marine Mammal Center (in Marin County) have strong marine mammal research programs.

Q. I found an injured bird or wild animal, should I bring it to BML?

A. BML does not perform wildlife rescue or rehabilitation.

Please contact: Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue, (707) 526-WILD.

If you find an injured bird contact the Bird Rescue Center of Sonoma County, (707) 523-2473. Please be prepared to say with the bird until rescue staff can be dispatched.

Q. What programs do you offer to the public?

A. Public visiting hours are Fridays, 2-4 p.m. for groups less than 10 people. Organized group tours must be arranged in advance and are on Tues/Thurs, please see Visiting BML. BML periodically holds a "Meet the Scientists" open house event, see the Events page for more information on the next BML open house.

Q. My child wants to become a marine biologist; how do I direct her/him?

A. Save for their college education and encourage them to do well in all science classes! BML currently offers classes for university-level students. You can also find information on careers in marine science on the following websites: