Summer Program

Field courses

Courses in the summer session are designed to provide in-depth and concentrated study of biological topics. Because we promote close faculty-student interactions, enrollments are often limited, and some courses fill quickly. Therefore, early application is encouraged.

Students may take 2 courses in the regular 5-week session or 1 course in the short 2-week session. Students should indicate the first and second course choices for each session, but all efforts will be made to place students in desired courses. A maximum of 8 semester hours can be earned in the regular summer session. Students planning to take research credits must make arrangements with and have approval of a summer or Murray State faculty member prior to enrollment.


Graduates, undergraduates, postgraduates, and others interested in field biology are encouraged to apply for admission to the summer program. Courses at the Hancock Biological Station are considered part of the summer session of Murray State University and may be taken for undergraduate or graduate credit. Students must register through the University.

Learn more about registration

Summer courses

Summer courses are designed for college level students and others who wish to better understand their environment.

2-week Session Courses

May 16 – May 27, 2022
Each course carries 4 credit hr

BIO 380 Wildlife Techniques

Instructor: Dr. Andrea Darracq

A survey and application of methods and techniques used in wildlife management and research including research design and analysis, passive sampling techniques, capture techniques, animal handling and marking, population estimation, telemetry, measuring habitat use and selection, and chemical immobilization. Contact Dr. Andrea Darracq at for details.

BIO 588/688 Reservoir Ecology 

Instructor: Dr. Michael Flinn

An examination of the variation in chemical and biological phenomena that characterize river impoundments. Literature reading and discussion is followed by 1) learning techniques of observation to identify pattern and process in nature, and 2) designing and conducting field experiments to assess cause and effect relationships. Contact Dr. Michael Flinn at for details.

5-week Regular Session Courses

Each course carries 4 credit hours

BIO 514/614 Scanning Electron Microscopy

Instructors: Angela Hayden/Dr. Michael Flinn
Course schedule: Days and times arranged (May 31 – June 30, 2022)
The theory, principles and applications of scanning electron microscopy (SEM). After a predetermined number of instructional hours, the participants are expected to successfully complete a test that measures competency in SEM operation, specimen preparation, and remote operations. The course includes remote operations where researchers and teachers have access to the microscope for use in their own labs or classrooms.

The course is limited to a maximum of 5 students.

Days and times arranged (May 31 – June 30, 2022). Contact Dr. Michael Flinn at for details.

BIO 572/672 Herpetology

Instructor: John Hewlett
Course schedule: May 31 – June 30, 2022
A study of the taxonomy, morphology and natural history of reptiles and amphibians. Emphasis is placed on those species occurring in the central United States.

Contact the John Hewlett at for details.

BIO 553/653 Field Botany

Instructor: Dr. Richard Abbott
Course schedule: Wednesday & Saturday from July 5 – August 5, 2022
A survey of the plants of western Kentucky and surrounding states. Emphasis is on field identification of common species, use of keys, collection and preparation of specimens, and general plant ecology of the region. The class meets Wednesdays & Saturdays (Dr. Abbott is a visiting scholar from the Missouri Botanical Garden) from July 5 to August 5, 2022.

Tuition and costs

Tuition remains among the lowest of any biological station in the country. Credit hour fees are the same as for courses taken on campus. Students from the Tennessee counties of Obion, Weakley, Henry, and Stewart are considered in-state and pay the same tuition as Kentucky residents. Students from universities other than Murray State planning to transfer credits for courses taken at the Station should obtain approval in advance from their home institutions.

Learn more about tuition

Undergraduates should have had at least two previous courses in college level biology. Students wishing to apply credits earned in Station courses toward degrees at Murray State University must be admitted to the University prior to enrollment. Apply for admission to the graduate program or contact the Graduate Coordinator, Department of Biological Sciences, Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky 42071.

Station Use Fees

Station housing fees are reduced for those students residing through a session. Fee schedules for non-class use of boats, other major equipment items, living space, and laboratory space are available upon request from the station administrator. Contact the station administrator at for more information.


Summer fellowships are available through the Ecological Consortium of Mid-America for students from member institutions. The Biological Station awards a limited number of summer fellowships for summer students. All awards are made on a competitive basis. Information on fellowships can be obtained by writing or calling the Station. Students living at the Station and willing to work 5 hours per week will have the lodging fee waived.

Housing - Student Cabins

Housing is available in the student cabins on a first come first serve basis at $30.00 per night.

Learn more about student cabins

Meals are not provided, but student residents usually form a cooperative and prepare their own meals in the Station kitchen. Camping sites are available adjacent to the Station for those who wish to bring tents or trailers. Camping and fires are not allowed on the Station property.

Lodging and board are available on the Murray State University campus 15 miles from the Station. Information on campus housing may be obtained by contacting the Housing Office at Murray State Housing Office or by calling 270.809.2310.

Take the next step

© Murray State University Department of Web ManagementWe are Racers.