Hancock Biological Station

KY Lake Surface Temperature

HBS Current Weather Conditions

The Hancock Biological Station (HBS) on Kentucky Lake is a year-round facility with a mission of providing scientists with a base of operation for a wide variety of field research and presenting students with opportunities for field-oriented classes, individualized instruction and independent research. Researchers and students benefit from close interactions with researchers, laboratory facilities, field and lake sites, and a strong academic environment.


HBS is located on the shores of Kentucky Lake in western Kentucky, sixteen miles from Murray, Kentucky, and within three hours drive of a number of major metropolitan areas including St. Louis, Nashville, Memphis, and Louisville. The region is diverse in aquatic and terrestrial habitats.

Western Kentucky has one of the largest densities of major rivers and reservoirs of any region in the world. Kentucky and Barkley Lakes, ponds and streams are in close proximity. Kentucky Lake is one of the largest reservoirs in the United States (187 miles long) and is joined by a canal to Lake Barkley; together they have 3700 miles of shoreline and 250,000 surface acres.

Additional nearby areas for aquatic study include the Cumberland River, Tennessee River, Ohio River, Mississippi River, Reelfoot Lake, and the cypress swamps of Murphy's Pond. The Land-Between-the-Lakes (LBL) National Recreation Area managed by the US Forest service contains nearly 400 square miles of terrestrial habitats.

Summer Program

The Summer Program at Hancock Biological Station offers 2-week and 5-week course options designed to provide in-depth and concentrated study of biological topics. We promote close faculty-student interactions, enrollments are often limited, and some courses fill quickly. Early application is encouraged.

Learn more about the Summer Program

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