Biocore LabHopkins Marine Station offers a Marine Biology curriculum in the Winter, Spring, and Summer Quarters. These courses (open to students in all majors) expand the coverage of subjects basic to all biological and environmental sciences and provide upper-level undergraduate and graduate students with courses in a variety of topics related to life in the oceans.

In some respects, the curriculum at Hopkins is analogous to attending one of Stanford's overseas campuses: students take up residence in Pacific Grove and spend an entire quarter studying aspects of biology that are not available on the main campus.


BIO3 Frontiers in Marine Biology, 1 unit

An introduction to contemporary research in marine biology, including ecology, conservation biology, environmental toxicology, behavior, biomechanics, evolution, neurobiology, and molecular biology. Emphasis is on new discoveries and the technologies used to make them. Weekly lectures by faculty from the Hopkins Marine Station.
Thompson (taught on main campus)

BIO 10SC Natural History, Marine Biology, and Research, 2 units

Monterey Bay is home to the nation's largest marine sanctuary and also home to Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station. This course, which is based at Hopkins, explores the spectacular biology of Monterey Bay and the artistic and political history of the region.
Thompson   more ...

BIO 12N Sensory Ecology of Marine Animals, 3 units

Animals living in the oceans experience a highly varied range of environmental stimuli. An aquatic lifestyle requires an equally rich range of sensory adaptations, including some that are totally foreign to us. In this course we will examine sensory system in marine animals from both an environmental and behavioral perspective and from the point of view of neuroscience and information systems engineering.
Thompson (taught on main campus)

BIOHOPK 315H Career Development for Graduate Students, 2 units

The course will cover multiple skills required to succeed in graduate school and beyond, including fund raising, publishing, selecting career options, job application and negotiation, and teaching, through lectures, group discussions, and practical exercises.
Micheli, De Leo

BIOHOPK 320H Physical Biology, 3 units

Physics, mathematics, and biology are often studied as separate subjects. In this two-week intensive course we will attempt to bring them together in a dynamic combination of lectures and hands on projects. We will draw on the diverse flora and fauna of Monterey Bay for our experimental organisms, and will take advantage of the facilities at Hopkins Marine Station to explore questions at levels ranging from molecules to ecological communities.


BIO 21: Extreme Life of the Sea, 3 units

Based on the book Extreme Life of the Sea, this course will explore the new science about how marine species thrive in some of the world's most difficult environments. Species that live in the hottest, coldest, deepest and shallowest habitats will be described along with the genetic, biochemical, physiological and behavioral adaptations that allow them to persist. We will also examine the fastest, the oldest, the most archaic, the smallest, biggest and the most numerous species. Emphasis will be on the scientific discoveries about these species that give insight into their lives.
(taught on main campus)

BIOHOPK 154H/254H: Animal Diversity: An Introduction to Evolution of Animal Form and Function from Larvae to Adults, 7 units, LAB

Survey of invertebrate diversity, emphasizing form and function of both adult and larval life history stages. Focuses on how morphology, life histories, and development contribute to current views of the evolutionary diversification of multicellular animals. Labs are a hands-on exploration of animal diversity using local marine species as examples,  as well as techniques of obtaining, handling, and maintaining larvae from early development through settlement.   Lectures, labs, plus field trips. Satisfies Central Menu Area 3 for Bio majors. Prerequisite: Biology core or consent of instructors.
Watanabe, Lowe

BIOHOPK 172H/272H Marine Ecology: From Organisms to Ecosystems, 5 units, LAB

This course incorporates the approaches of experimental ecology, biomechanics (ecomechanics), and physiology to develop an integrated perspective on the factors that govern the structures of marine ecosystems and how environment change, including anthropogenic influences, affects ecosystems' species composition and health.  Focus is on rocky intertidal, kelp forest, estuarine, and midwater ecosystems of Monterey Bay.  Experimental projects done in the field offer experience in a variety of ecological techniques and in analysis of ecological data. Students will engage in presentation and debates of current topics in marine ecology and conservation. Satisfies Central Menu Area 4 for Bio majors. Prerequisite: Biology core or consent of instructor.
, Denny, Somero


BIOHOPK 177H/277H Dynamics and Management of Marine Populations, 4 units

Course examines the ecological factors and processes that control natural and harvested marine populations. Course emphasizes mathematical models as tools to assess the dynamics of populations and to derive projections of their demographic fate under different management scenarios. Course objectives will be met by a combination of theoretical lectures, assigned readings and class discussions, case study analysis and interactive computer sessions.
De Leo

BIOHOPK 187H/287H Sensory Ecology, 4 units

Topics: the ways animals receive, filter, and process information gleaned from the environment, sensory receptor mechanisms, neural processing, specialization to life underwater, communication within and between species, the importance of behavior to ecosystem structure and dynamics, the impact of acoustic and light pollution on marine animals. The lab section of the course will explore sensory mechanisms using neurobiological methods and methods of experimental animal behavior. Syllabus. Final Project for 2014.

BIOHOPK 199H Undergraduate Research, 1-15 units

Qualified undergraduates undertake individual work in the fields listed under 300H. Arrangements must be made by consultation or correspondence.
Block, Crowder, De Leo, Denny, Gilly, Goldbogen, Lowe, Micheli, Palumbi, Thompson, Watanabe  more ...


BIO 3N Views of a Changing Sea: Literature & Science, 3 units

The state of a changing world ocean, particularly in the eastern Pacific, will be examined through historical and contemporary fiction, non-fiction and scientific publications. Issues will include harvest and mariculture fisheries, land-sea interactions and oceanic climate change in both surface and deep waters.
(taught on main campus)

BIOHOPK 43 (Equivalent to BIO 43) Plant Biology, Evolution, & Ecology, 5 units

The class delves into plant physiology, structure and diversity, micro and macroevolution, as well as an introduction to population genetic, and population, community and ecosystem ecology. Hopkins faculty are at the forefront of research, covering topics from algae structure (Mark Denny) to sea urchin population genetics (Steve Palumbi) to intertidal ecology (Jim Watanabe). In this bio core class, everybody gets a front row seat to new and exciting biological studies.
Watanabe   more ...

BIOHOPK 44Y Core Laboratory in Plant Biology, Ecology, and Evolution, 5 units

Laboratory and field projects provide working familiarity with the concepts, organisms, and techniques of plant and evolutionary biology, and ecology. Emphasis is on hands-on experimentation in the marine environment, analysis of data, and written and oral presentation of the experiments. Equivalent to BIO 44Y. Corequisite: BIOHOPK 43. Syllabus.
, Watanabe


BIOHOPK 150H/250H Ecological Mechanics, 3 units

The principles of life’s physical interactions. We will explore basic physics, fluid mechanics, thermal dynamics, and materials science to see how the principles of these fields can be used to investigate ecology at levels from the individual to the community. Topics include: diffusion, boundary layers, fluid-dynamic forces, locomotion, heat-budget models, fracture mechanics, adhesion, beam theory, the statistics of extremes, and the theory of self-organization. Open to students from all backgrounds. Some familiarity with basic physics and calculus advantageous but not necessary.


BIOHOPK 153H/253H Current Topics and Concepts in Quantitative Fish Dynamics and Fisheries Management, 1 unit

The course will focus on extensive reading of seminal and reference papers published in the literature in the last decade on modelling population biology, community dynamics and fishery management in the marine environment. Basic knowledge of population dynamics is welcome. The goal is to develop an appreciation on both traditional and cutting-edge modelling approaches to study the dynamics and management of marine populations subjected to natural or anthropogenic shocks and pressures.
De Leo

BIOHOPK 167H/267H. Nerve, Muscle, and Synapse, 5 units, LAB

Fundamental aspects of membrane excitability, nerve conduction, synaptic transmission, and excitation-contraction coupling. Emphasis is on biophysical, molecular, and cellular level analyses of these processes in vertebrate and invertebrate systems. Labs on intra- and extracellular recording and patch clamp techniques. Lectures, discussions, and labs. Satisfies Central Menu Area 3 for Bio majors Prerequisites: PHYSICS 23, 28, 43, or equivalent; CHEM 31, 135; calculus; or consent of instructor.

BIOHOPK 173H/273H Marine Conservation Biology, 4 units

Introduction to the key concepts of ecology and policy relevant to marine conservation issues at the population to ecosystems level. Focus on the origin and maintenance of biodiversity and conservation applications from both the biology and policy perspectives (for example, endangered species, captive breeding, reserve design, habitat fragmentation, ecosystem restoration/rehabilitation). Also includes emerging approaches such as ecosystem based management, ocean planning, and coupled social-ecological systems. The course will include lectures, readings and discussions of primary literature, and attendance at seminars with visiting scholars. Prerequisite: introductory biology; suggested: a policy and/or introductory ecology course.

BIOHOPK 174H/274H Experimental Design & Probability, 3 units

Biology 174H is a course in experimental design and statistics.  It differs from many other statistics courses by integrating statistical concepts into the whole process of doing science, rather than something you just do after you've collected your data.  After a brief introduction to probability and the basic concepts of statistical inference, the course focuses on the Analysis of Variance as a tool for asking questions of nature and designing informative experiments to answer them.
  more ...

BIOHOPK 179H/279H: Physiological Ecology of Marine Megafauna, 3 units

The ocean is home to the largest animals of all-time. How, when, and why did gigantism evolve in different taxa? What are the consequences of large body size? This course will focus on how biological processes scale with body size, with an emphasis on oceanic megafauna including marine mammals, birds, fishes and reptiles. In particular, the course will explore the functional mechanisms that generate the scaling relationships for physiological and ecological traits, such as metabolism, ecosystem function and body size evolution. Students will also be introduced to state-of-the-art technologies used to study marine megafauna in some of the most logistically challenging habitats on earth.

BIOHOPK 182H/323H. Stanford @ SEA, 16 units

Five weeks of oceanography, marine physiology, policy, maritime studies, conservation, and nautical science at Hopkins Marine Station, followed by five weeks at sea aboard a sailing research vessel in the Pacific Ocean. Students develop an independent research project plan while ashore, and carry out the research at sea. In collaboration with the Sea Education Association of Woods Hole, MA.
, Dunbar   more ...

BIOHOPK 199H Undergraduate Research, 1-15 units

Qualified undergraduates undertake individual work in the fields listed under 300H. Arrangements must be made by consultation or correspondence.
, Crowder, De Leo, Denny, Gilly, Goldbogen, Lowe, Micheli, Palumbi, Thompson, Watanabe  more ...


BIOS 236: Developmental Biology in the Ocean: Comparative Embryology and Larval Development, 4 units.

Three-week course at Hopkins Marine Station. Focuses on the embryology and larval development of a broad range of marine invertebrate phyla. The goal of the course is to give students an appreciation of the range of developmental strategies and larval forms in the ocean and why this is critical for constructing hypotheses of EvoDevo and animal evolution. Includes observation and documentation of the development of embryos and larvae by scientific illustration and photo/video microscopy. Pre-requisite: Developmental Biology coursework and instructor consent.


BIOHOPK 185H Ecology & Conservation of Kelp Forest Communities, 5 units, LAB

Five-week course. Daily lectures, labs, and scuba dives focused on kelp forest biology. Topics include identification and natural history of resident organisms, ecological processes that maintain biodiversity and community organization, field methods, data analysis, and research diving techniques. Class projects contribute to ongoing studies associated with Hopkins Marine Life Observatory. It is recommended that students complete Stanford's Scientific Diver Training workshop, offered during spring break and the week before the course starts, although this is not a requirement. Prerequisites: consent of instructor; advanced scuba certification and scuba equipment.

Applications for courses and housing [at ]

For more information on courses offered at Hopkins Marine Station, contact:

Hopkins Marine Station
Pacific Grove, CA 93950
(831) 655-6200
FAX: (831) 375-0693
hmsinformation at lists dot stanford dot edu

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Student Services Office
Room 108, Gilbert Hall
(650) 723-1826

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Earth Systems Office
Mitchell 138
(650) 725-0974