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Marine biology taught at Baja field station

June 02, 2011|By Wendy Grove

Glendale Community College is offering two summer courses in Baja California at the college’s field station. GCC has been holding classes in the Baja California peninsula of Mexico since 1974.

Introduction to Marine Biology (Biology 125) paired with the Field/Laboratory Investigations in Marine Biology (Biology 126) and Natural History Field Studies (Biology 131) will be held at the college’s recently completed new field station in July and August. The field station (Estación del Mar Cortés) is in the town of Bahía de los Angeles on the Gulf coast of the Baja California Peninsula. The area is sometimes referred to as the “Galapagos of Mexico” because of its natural beauty and biodiversity. The area contains the Midriff Islands, where students in the program do their field research, and is famous to scientists, educators and fishermen.

The field station itself has classrooms, dorms, a living room, kitchen, showers and restrooms. Students help with daily cleaning and food preparation under the supervision of staff and a cook.


The college-credit courses are open to anyone from high school students to seniors and have no prerequisites. Participants are required to enroll at the college and get a student ID number.

Introduction to Marine Biology and the Field/Lab course meet on the GCC campus first from June 27 to July 6 and then at the field station from July 7 through 21. The paired courses combined are four units and are UC, CSU transferable.

Natural History Field Studies is a two-unit course that involves individual and group investigations of the biological environment and the impact of human activities on it. It is CSU transferable. Students meet at the field station Aug. 4 through 19.

The cost for the biology courses is $785; for the Natural History course, the cost is $795. It includes transportation, lodging at the field station and meals, but excludes registration fees. Limited financial aid is available.

More information on the courses, field station and instructors can be found at along with photos and student comments.


The GCC Planetarium will have a summer schedule of “Evening with the Stars” presentations.

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