Biobridge > Hopkins

Hopkins Marine Station

Hopkins Marine Station, located approximately 90 minutes from campus in Pacific Grove CA (near Monterey), is Stanford’s marine biology research and education facility. Undergraduate classes, as well as ample opportunities for lab work or independent research, are offered during the winter and spring quarters. The Spring Bio Core classes, Bio 43 and 44Y, are offered at Hopkins, and are a wonderful alternative to the main campus versions. Studying at Hopkins is a tremendous opportunity to take classes not offered on campus in a beautiful setting, and enjoy small class sizes and close contact with some amazing professors. Hopkins faculty encourage students of ALL majors to apply.

Frequently Asked Questions about Hopkins
(with answers from Peggy Lynch, Laura McDonald, and Tina Christakos, former BioBridge advisors):

1. How many students (grads/undergrads) study at Hopkins each quarter?
In 2007, there were 5 students taking classes during winter quarter and 17 students during spring. In addition, Stanford at Sea and Holistic Biology, two programs that combine time at Hopkins with extensive field excursions, are offered during the spring in alternating years - Stanford@Sea will be offered in the spring of 2009. These programs each attract up to 20 students who are at Hopkins for the first half of the quarter. There are about 25 permanent grad students at Hopkins.

2. What is the average class size at Hopkins?
In spring of 2007, there were 13 students in BioCore, and several other classes that had 5 students or fewer. The small class sizes lend themselves to close, one-on-one interaction between faculty and students that can be more difficult to find in biology classes on campus, especially in BioCore..

3. I’m not a bio major. Can I study at Hopkins?
Yes! Hopkins encourages students of all majors and backgrounds to come down. Most students are biology majors, but there also have been plenty of Earth Systems students, and even Philosophy majors. Also, even if you don't want to be a marine biologist, the small class sizes, in-depth lab experiences, and range of fields that the faculty study make Hopkins a great option for anyone interested in biology.

4. What sorts of research opportunities are available?
There are eight research labs at Hopkins, in fields ranging from molecular biology to community ecology, and any of the PIs would be open to undergrads working in their labs. Two intensive research classes involving independent work, are offered in the spring, Bio 175H (10 units) and Bio176H (12 units), both of which can substitute for Bio 44Y. There are definitely opportunities available to do independent research outside of classes, including Honors work, as well.

5. How often do students commute to main campus? Can you commute to Hopkins for a particular class?
It’s an hour and a half drive in normal traffic and can be a lot worse at rush hour, so I wouldn’t recommend commuting for a particular class (plus you would miss out on a lot of what makes Hopkins such a special experience). It can be done, though: last spring, several students lived at Hopkins and commuted up to main campus weekly for classes, but it was pretty time-consuming. Visiting campus for the weekend is a different story altogether—not a bad trip at all, and almost every weekend there is at least one car headed up to main campus (so having a car at Hopkins is not necessary in any way). Personally, I visited friends on campus a couple of weekends each quarter I was there, but I spent the majority of my weekends in Monterey—I would say that’s pretty typical.

6. What do you do for fun?
If you like the outdoors, it’s an incredible place to be. Hiking at Big Sur or Point Lobos, biking, scuba diving, kayaking, backpacking in the Ventana Wilderness…the possibilities are unlimited. Although the Hopkins community is small, it is close-knit and quite social. There are occasional parties and the grad students host a TGIF barbeque every Friday evening. Monterey is a great town to explore, with some fun restaurants and bars, an independent movie theatre and an amazing farmer’s market.

7. Where do you live?
Stanford owns an old Victorian house that’s subdivided into apartments, which is on Belden St., a 10-15 minute walk from Hopkins. The apartments house 1-4 students each and are really spacious and beautiful (the house has a big bay window, stained glass and hardwood floors…) You do your own cooking and cleaning, and students frequently cook and eat together. The residents of Belden during spring of 2007 highly recommend weekly themed potlucks!

8. What are Stanford@Sea and Holistic Biology?
Stanford@Sea is a 16-unit course that combines classes at Hopkins for the first 5 weeks of the quarter with 5 weeks sailing around the Pacific Ocean on a research vessel. It is offered every other year, and will next be offered in spring of 2009. For more information on coursework and how to apply, visit
Holistic Biology, which is also 16 units, follows a similar schedule to Stanford@Sea, with the first half of the quarter spent at Hopkins and the second half traveling around Baja California and the Sea of Cortez. It is also offered every other year, and will next be offered in spring of 2010. For more information, visit 9. How can I get more information?
First, check out Hopkins’ own website at Applications can also be found here. Look out for upcoming field trips to Hopkins organized by BioBridge, usually once a quarter on Friday afternoons. Also, feel free to contact BioBridge or the Hopkins student representative, Jon Sanders, who studied at Hopkins during his undergraduate career.