Peterson Bay Field Station
Few places in the world have as rich a living laboratory as our Field Station on the south shore of Kachemak Bay. It is a rustic building on the edge of the wilderness, 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 downstairs. The central room is a beehive of activity. For our summer tour guests it is used for orientation, promotional sale items display, eating lunch and relaxing. Our spring and fall school groups use it for orientation, slide shows, class discussions, evening games, quiet times, and sleeping space.
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.
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.
Restrooms 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 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 .
Volunteer labor to open and close the Field Station and to assist with maintenance and construction projects is often needed. The Field Station is open from April 15 through early October. Naturalists guide daily natural history tours from Memorial Day through Labor Day. 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.