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Field Studies

Each fall, the University of Alaska Anchorage's Kachemak Bay Campus of Kenai Peninsula College located in Homer, Alaska, offers students from around the country the opportunity for an academic hands-on learning experience studying biological sciences with easy access to cold-water marine habitats and an Alaskan theme. The semester has been designed to meet the needs of students majoring in the natural sciences in a creative and adventurous way.

Our Amazing Bay

Kachemak Bay is one of the richest marine estuaries in the world. Charismatic species such as sea otters, killer and humpback whales, bald eagles, puffins, jellies, halibut, and salmon utilize the waters and coastal environments of Kachemak Bay. Students are immersed with these and other species, such as beluga whales, during hands-on labs and field trips conducted throughout the semester here in Kachemak Bay and the surrounding waters of Cook Inlet.

About Our Town

Homer, Alaska is an area alive with opportunities for diverse outdoor adventures and is home to a vibrant art community. Homer is one of the top small art and cultural towns in the U.S. and a recreational and maritime center of Alaska. Located on the shores of Kachemak Bay, Homer offers breathtaking views of glaciers, mountains and wildlife.

Kachemak Bay Campus

An evening view of Pioneer Hall

About Our Campus

University of Alaska Anchorage's Kachemak Bay Campus of Kenai Peninsula College is located on 3 acres in the coastal community of Homer, Alaska on the shores of Kachemak Bay, overlooking a vista of glacier-capped mountains. The campus offers a wide variety of degree and continuing education courses and programs of excellence in a friendly, personalized setting.

Student Stories


Where Are They Now
What Do Our Students Say?

"Having the opportunity to perform a necropsy of an orca calf was a once in a lifetime experience. I was able to work alongside biologists who are profound in their field and I was able to learn so much! I loved being able to have a hands-on experience. My favorite part was being able to see the thickness of the blubber and muscle layers in the orca!"

Alayna, St. Francis University
Student with scalpal in full raingear

"From responding to my very first sea otter call to flying to Sitka for WhaleFest, from seeing my first glacier to being able to perform a necropsy on a killer whale...all of it has been absolutely incredible."

Molly, University of North Carolina Wilmington
Student kneels proudly in front of partially articulated whale sketon

"I was welcomed by all the professors and advisors at the campus and really by the whole town. Homer is a friendly town in general and if you stay long enough everyone gets to know your name."

Steven, University of North Carolina Wilmington
Smiling young man holds a vertibrae for the camera

"Not only am I completely honored to be a part of the stranding program in Alaska, but being able to participate in such a rare learning experience like an orca calf necropsy is quite humbling. Not many young scientists get these same opportunities while in school so hands-on experience is a critical skill set for the future."

Jamie, University of North Carolina Wilmington
Students in raingear preparing for necropsy

"KBC's Semester by the Bay program reignited my passion for the ocean and for learning. The knowledge, skills, experiences, connections, friendships, and sense of independence that I gained were once in a lifetime and incomparable to what I was getting out of my 4-year college. It became home, and I cannot wait to get back.!"

Nicole, University of Alaska Anchorage
Student kneeling in wet sanding holding large speciman

"Spending a semester in Homer, Alaska was one of the best academic decisions I have made. Not only were the class sizes small, we were constantly having class out in Kachemak Bay, learning research techniques used by marine biologists and ornithologists."

Mary, University of Alaska Anchorage
Smiling student assisting with field necropsy