Housing Information for Students and Visiting Researchers

The Bodega Marine Laboratory is located on the treeless, rugged promontory of Bodega Head, about 3.5 miles from the town of Bodega Bay, on the coast of Sonoma County. The Head itself has rich vegetation, offering magnificent displays of wildflowers in spring, turning yellow-brown by midsummer. Wild mammal and bird life is abundant and diverse. Between the town and the Head, Bodega Harbor offers extensive mud and sand flats at low tide, transected by the dredged ship channel leading to the marinas, Coast Guard Station, and fish-landing docks. The Bodega Marine Laboratory campus is ~1 mile from the Housing Enclave, an easy walk or bike ride from Housing. Vehicle parking at both Housing and the Lab is ample. The town of Bodega Bay has services including a Post Office, several small grocery/general stores, restaurants and gas stations.


A variety of accommodation options are available for visitors.

  • Furniture includes beds, dressers and desks. Each room is stocked with pillows and blankets, sheets and towels. Cleaning supplies are available.
  • Custodians and/or the Housing Manager check units periodically. Maid service is not provided.
  • Keys will be given to access a self service kitchenette or units may come with a kitchen, dependent on the particular housing assignment.
  • Bodega Marine Laboratory Housing is located in a remote location with no direct public transportation service. Winter months can be very quiet with few long term residents on site.

Contact the Housing Manager for further information on accommodations.

Student Housing

Undergraduate students in residence at Bodega Marine Laboratory generally stay in one of two small dormitories. Rooms are double-occupancy with private bath. Home-cooked breakfasts and dinners are served cafeteria style in the Housing Enclave Dining Hall. Students may assemble a sack lunch from luncheon food provided after each breakfast. Students have access to the main Lab facility as needed 24/7.

Guests of Residents

Guests are allowed in the Housing enclave following these steps: 

Day guests - Let the Housing Manager know the full names, dates, and license plate numbers. If meals are requested, let the kitchen know ahead of time. 

Overnight guests - The rules are the same as the day guests but make sure there is room for them to sleep (if you are bunking with anyone) or try to book them another room, be aware that you will be charged an overnight fee for them as dorms are “per person” not per room. They are not allowed to stay more than two nights in a row unless prior arrangements have been made with the Housing manager. You are responsible for making guests aware of any rules and restrictions while they are onsite. These rules must be followed as they are mandated by the UCD Fire Marshal in case of an Emergency or natural disaster. Contact the Housing manager to discuss these rules


During months when classes are on site meals are served cafeteria style in the Housing Enclave Dining Hall. Approximate meal times follow, and may vary from year to year:


  • Breakfast 7:30 - 8:15 a.m.
  • Lunch*
  • Dinner 6:00 - 6:45 p.m.


  • Breakfast 9:00 a.m.
  • Lunch*
  • Dinner 6:00 p.m.

*Lunch materials will be made available after breakfast for each student to make his/her sack lunch. Please inform us of any special dietary needs, we will do our best to accommodate you. Vegetarian options are always available.

On occasion, other classes or groups are on site at the same time. During those periods meal times are staggered or all groups eat together. There is no credit for meals not taken. Meals plans are only available when long-term classes are on site, see meal rates. Contact the Conference & Events Manager if you would like to sign up for the meal plan. Guests may be served meals with a 24-hour notice to the Conference & Events Manager, please be sure to do this if you are planning guests, as it is uncomfortable for the kitchen staff to turn people away.

A vending machine can be found in the dining hall with laundry soap, ear plugs, snacks and drinks.

Mailing Address

Incoming mail should be addressed to the visitor or student-

C/O Bodega Marine Laboratory
P.O. Box 247
2099 Westshore Road
Bodega Bay, CA 94923

Do not submit a "change of address" order at your home post office.

Telephone Numbers

  • Dining Hall Pay Phone: 707-875-9993. 
  • Bodega Marine Laboratory, Main (8 am to 5 pm): 707-875-2211
  • Housing Manager: 707-875-1955

Cellular Phone Service: Reception can be spotty but is generally fairly good.

Weather & Conditions

Bodega Head is often windy, foggy, and cold. The average air temperature in the summer is in the mid 50's F. The ocean temperature, even in summer, is about 54F, too cold for more than a very brief swim without protective gear.

Also see


Bodega Head is windswept, often foggy and wet. Visitors should bring clothing (layers) suitable for a wide range of weather conditions. Waterproof clothing and hiking boots or sturdy shoes are recommended. Rubber boots, hip waders (or wetsuits) will be useful for those conducting intertidal work (chest waders are not recommended).


Washers and dryers are available adjacent to the Dining Hall complex. A credit or debit card and signing up for the app is required to operate the laundry. Please observe the posted rules and report any machine that is out of order. Detergent is not available in the laundry room and must be supplied by the visitor or one-use packs are available in the dining hall vending machine.

Recommended Items

  1. Flashlights, headlamps and desk lamps are useful.
  2. Bicycles are recommended. The housing enclave is approximately 1 mile from the lab. There are bicycle racks at both facilities (bicycles are not permitted indoors); be sure to bring along a bike lock and bike lights for night time riding.
  3. Personal bedding, favorite towels, toiletries etc.
  4. Extension cords.


Please park in the designated parking areas only. DO NOT park in front of the propane tank, generator, dumpsters, dune side of the parking lot, or on the dirt next to the dorm buildings. Please follow the posted speed limit, 15 mph, on the BML housing road and parking lot. 25 mph on the main lab road. Speed limits are crucial to everyone's safety (local wildlife included).


Those interested in SCUBA diving are reminded that use of SCUBA in connection with any University of California facility, boats, classes, or research is strictly limited to those who have qualified for and hold a valid UC research diving certificate. Potential SCUBA users must present their UC certification to the BML Diving Officer before diving. No exceptions. For more information see UCD/BML Dive Program.

Wireless Internet Access

Wireless internet access is available at both the Laboratory and the Housing enclave. Please contact Housing or IT Staff for access information. For additional information see Information Technology Resources at BML.


Bodega Bay has neither banks nor large stores, and it is difficult to cash out-of-town checks. The nearest banks are in Sebastopol. There are ATM's available at the local markets. The Laboratory is unable to cash personal checks and we cannot accept credit cards. The nearest town for extensive shopping or medical service is Sebastopol; somewhat further away are the larger cities of Petaluma and Santa Rosa (both 25-30 miles away). Walking time from BML Housing to local grocer is approximately 30 minutes each way.


Pets of any kind are not allowed at the Laboratory or its housing facilities.

Public Transportation

Bodega Marine Laboratory Housing is located in a remote location with no direct public transportation service. There is one shuttle bus to Santa Rosa from Bodega Bay that leaves from Spud Point Marina (1.5 miles from BML). The bus leaves Bodega Bay at approximately 10 am and returns at approximately 5 pm. From BML, you must walk 1.5 miles to the bus stop, unless, of course, you are able to get a ride from another BML resident. Taxi service to bay area airport shuttle stops in Santa Rosa and Petaluma is available. Taxi and airport shuttles are ~ $100.

For additional information please contact the Housing Manager, 707-875-1955.