Peterson Bay Field Station

petersonFew places in the world have as rich a living laboratory as our Peterson Bay Field Station on the south shore of Kachemak Bay. A rustic building on the edge of the wilderness, it is accessible only by boat from Homer.

The rich intertidal areas of Peterson and China Poot Bays are known for the diversity of life exposed by extreme tides and are a short distance from the front door. Trails wind through the coastal forest at the back door. The area teems with wildlife, including a diversity of sea stars, octopus, red squirrels, black bears, harbor seals, sea otters, and a myriad of land and seabirds.

The two-story main building contains a central room, mud room and a small kitchen. Upstairs, two small bedrooms provide private sleeping areas for CACS staff and volunteers. The central upstairs room serves as a basic laboratory, with microscopes, including a videoscope. downstairs. The central room is a beehive of activity. For our summer tour guests it is used for orientation, eating lunch and relaxing and a small store. Our spring and fall school groups use it for orientation, slide shows, class discussions, meals, evening games, and quiet times.

Outside, a wraparound deck provides educational space for group activities and viewing of marine life in aquaria and live tanks with continual flow of salt water from Peterson Bay. These are well-stocked so visitors can enjoy the intertidal zone without leaving the deck of the building when tides are too high to walk on the beach.

Dan_in_China_PootRestrooms with composting toilets are located in a separate building accessible by boardwalk and outhouse facilities are located behind the field station.

Five 16' circular yurts located near the field station provide overnight lodging for school groups and for summer visitors who want to enjoy the magic of evenings in Peterson Bay and be on-hand for early morning minus tides. Campers have use of the Field Station kitchen with refrigerator, stove, microwave, coffee pot, dishes, and cooking utensils. A campfire pit and outdoor meeting area provides a great place for eating outside on sunny days and enjoying s’mores and stories around the campfire during overnight stays.


The Field Station is open from April 15 through early October.

Daily natural history tours are offered from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm running from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Naturalist guides give you a unique, personal and memorable experience.

Overnight stays can be reserved and special residential programs and can be developed for group stays during the summer.

The Field Station is reserved for residential school field trip programs from mid-April through May and can be arranged for September-October.

Volunteer labor to open and close the Field Station and to assist with maintenance and construction projects is often needed.

The Field Station has a telephone that can be used for emergency purposes and cell phones are taken on the trails with all groups. In the unlikely event of a medical emergency, the Field Station's telephone or VHF radio can be used to summon boat, floatplane, or helicopter transportation to the Homer hospital a short distance away.

Click here to see a virtual tour!

Click here to see Trail System

and click here to meet the 2016 Peterson Bay Field Station naturalists: Mike Machura, Laura Robison, and Nina Finley.

Contact Us

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© 2006 - 2016 Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, 708 Smokey Bay Way, PO BOX 2225, Homer, AK 99603, (907) 235-6667