Organization of Biological Field Stations

Supporting Environmental Research, Education and Public Understanding

The Function of Field Stations and Marine Labs

Biological field stations and marine laboratories (FSMLs) provide living libraries and outdoor laboratories for students, researchers, and the general public. They vary greatly in form and purpose, and include both marine laboratories whose focus is offshore, as well as terrestrial reserves dedicated to protecting key ecosystems. Field stations vary in size from a few urban acres to thousands of acres spread across a remote landscape. Station facilities might range from trail networks to state-of-the-art laboratories. Whatever form individual field stations may take, they all share the same commitment to advancing our understanding of the Earth by supporting research, teaching, and public education. Research stations provide an invaluable service to local communities and the country by providing unbiased scientific information and facilities to help governmental and other stakeholders tackle critical environmental issues.

Field station staff and researchers provide place-based information ensuring that environmental considerations are factored into local and regional planning and development decisions.

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"You do realize what that summer...did to us, don't you? Made us realize we could actually do science.

Jeff, past student at a field station

"Field stations are places where we can read the book of life in the language in which it was written."

— James Kirchner, U.C. Berkeley

Discussion Board


Contribute to ongoing discussions and review content and Q&As developed for FSML staff

Job Postings

20230620-JCK_0169 for front page

Operating a field station for research and education presents many challenges. Here are opportunities for people who thrive at FSMLs.

2024 Annual Meeting

Baruch Institutes of Hobcaw Barony (co-hosted by Clemson Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science and U of South Carolina Baruch Institute of Coastal and Marine Sciences)
November 11-16, 2024

Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science

News and Events

Summer Courses at Friday Harbor Labs!

This summer FHL will be offering 6 courses for undergraduates and graduate students, ranging from…

Coral Reef Ecology: Functional Ecology of Coral Reefs Summer Course at Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (July 15 – August 2, 2024)

CORAL REEF ECOLOGY: FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY OF CORAL REEFS (July 15 – August 2)  Instructor: Dr. Eric Hochberg (ASU…

Research Diving Methods Summer Course at Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (June 24 – July 12, 2024)

RESEARCH DIVING METHODS (June 24 – July 12) Instructors: Kyla Flook (ASU BIOS, Dive Safety Officer) and…

Introducing ‘Ootchamin ‘Ooyakma

Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve is honored to introduce ‘Ootchamin ‘Ooyakma, pronounced oot-cha-mean oo-yahk-ma, as the…

$ Canadian1150

Queen’s University Environmental DNA Workshop 2024

Where: Queen’s University Biological Station – Opinicon Campus When: Arriving Sunday, May 12th to Friday, May 17th 2024 Target audience: professional biologists…

Virtual Café – Role of field stations in conservation efforts

Event Time is 11 am-12 pm Eastern Daylight Time Via Zoom Biological field stations play…

Virtual Café – Fire Management at Field Stations

Within the community of biological field stations, we don’t need to debate whether climate change…


Summer Lecture Series: Melissa Sevigny, Author of “Brave the Wild River”

Melissa Sevigny, the author of the book “Brave the Wild River,” will visit the University…

Field Stations and Marine Labs

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OBFS is a non-profit organization and you can help further and sustain its mission through your generous support. Please consider a generous donation in support of our work to help shape the future of field science in your community!