Bodega Head @ Bodega Bay, California

Bodega Marine Laboratory is an off campus research laboratory operated by UC Davis. Located in Bodega Bay, California, BML provides a facility for research of coastal and shoreline biological communities, and works closely with the Tahoe Research Group. As part of this mission, the lab offers short-term housing for undergraduate and graduate researchers who may be gathering data on the facility's 362-acre coastal reserve or its state-protected marine reserve.

Opened in 1966, the lab has been managed by UC Davis since 1984. The facility's main buildings house 65 laboratories and offices for resident and visiting scientists, students and support staff. The lab also includes classrooms, lecture hall, public education spaces, library, computer facilities, residence halls and conference rooms. Large public aquaria and displays provide marine education to visitors while wet labs and seawater aquariums provide controlled environments for the study of marine and estuarine organisms. Support buildings include research greenhouses and facilities for marine algal culture and endangered salmon research; a central service facility includes buildings for diving operations support and for housing small boats, vehicles, sampling gear and equipment. In fact, BML oversees PE29 and PE128, campus' scuba diving programs geared toward research divers, but open to any UC Davis student who can pass the swim test. All scuba diving is controlled by the Diving Control Board.

Volunteer opportunities for students interested in spending time out on the coast scuba certification isn't required, but certainly makes one more useful to researchers and allows you to stay at the dorms while you run transects and collect data. BML also operates a web cam where you can keep an eye on the ocean, that crafty bastard!