The Kachemak Bay Campus of Kenai Peninsula College, University of Alaska Anchorage, located in Homer, Alaska, offers baccalaureate students from around the country the opportunity for a hands-on academic experience pursuing degrees in the biological sciences with easy access to cold-water marine habitats and an Alaskan theme. Our semesters have been designed to meet the needs of students majoring in the natural sciences in a creative and adventurous way.

Choose Your Concentration

Semester by the Bay offers a marine mammals concentration in the Fall and an environmental conservation concentration in the spring. Students can choose the semester that best meets their goals or choose both and stay for the academic year!

Fall Semester

A northern sea otter floats peacefully in mirror calm water

With easy access to Kachemak Bay, one of the richest marine estuaries in the world, this marine mammal focused semester overflows with hands-on learning opportunities with charismatic species such as sea otters, killer  and humpback whales. Students choosing this option learn about marine mammal biology, anatomy, behavior and current affairs while working with real data to statistically answer real questions. On different field trips, students may survey and photograph humpback, gray and beluga whales, Steller sea lions, harbor seals, and Northern sea otters. Students will also most likely take part in the necropsy of a dead marine mammal during the semester and will assist in putting the skeleton of a previously collected marine mammal together. Additionally, students learn about some of the controversial issues surrounding marine mammals in the seminar course and can work independently on internships with local researchers and organizations doing important marine mammal work in Alaska. This unique opportunity gives students from any degree program unique insight and experience understanding the application of marine mammal science.

Spring Semester

A student looks through binoculars at a looming blue glacier

Focused on environmental conservation, Semester by the Bay's Spring Semester is laden with field-based experiences. Students will learn about conservation ecology in a hands-on environment where climate change is being witnessed. Though this program of study will have classroom ecology theory, the focus will be on exploring real-world application of conservation research. Through internships and seminars, students will work with government and non-profit professionals that are doing real-time data collection in environmental conservation. This unique program will allow students a glimpse of what might lie beyond their college education and will certainly help connect theory to practice while allowing them to tailor the semester through internship and individual research opportunities to align with their particular interests and educational goals.

Field Studies

Students who come for Semester by the Bay find our classes maximize learning opportunities created by our unique Alaskan setting with easy access to authentic natural classrooms. This beautiful environment allows students to learn practical skills and build the bridges needed to move from classroom to workplace.

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

Kachemak Bay Campus of Kenai Peninsula College, University of Alaska Anchorage 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.