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

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

2024 Annual Meeting November 11-15, 2024

The 2024 annual meeting will be held November 11-15 in South Carolina by the Baruch Institutes of Hobcaw Barony (co-hosted by Clemson Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science and University of South Carolina Baruch Institute of Coastal and Marine Sciences, as well as our illustrious OBFS Vice President, Skip Van Bloem). The dates selected are later than usual to avoid hurricanes that would disrupt travel and the meeting itself.

News and Events

On-site position opening at a Costa Rican field station


Flathead Lake Biological Station Awarded $9.5M for Ocean Climate Change Science

Origionally published by NBC KTVH By: UM News Service Posted at 6:11 PM, Jun 16,…

2024 Fall Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program at Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences

2024 Fall Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program at Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences FULLY…

Operations & Stewardship Manager (Opinicon Campus) – Queen’s University Biological Station (QUBS)

Please see full position summary and how to apply here About Queen’s University Queen’s University…

OBFS Board Meeting

The OBFS Board meets every 8 weeks. All OBFS members are welcome to attend. Please…


Writing Workshop

Academic Writing Retreat at Lacawac Sanctuary Our writing retreats for academics, PhD students and other…

National Field Station Conservation Survey

Private conservation lands are an important part of protecting ecosystems and preventing habitat loss throughout…

Virtual Café: el papel de las estaciones de campo y el esfuerzo científico – Virtual Café: The Role of Field Stations in Scientific Research

Tenemos como enfoque hablar sobre los esfuerzos de investigación que se realizan en sus estaciones…

Field Stations and Marine Labs

Donate to OBFS! 

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!