Bernard Field Station

The official Facebook site for the
Robert J. Bernard Field Station
of the Claremont Colleges The Robert J. The BFS is currently comprised of 86 acres.

Bernard Biological Field Station (BFS) is located within the Claremont Colleges Campus at 1400 N. Amherst Avenue, on the north side of Foothill Boulevard between College Avenue and Mills Avenue in Claremont, CA. There are three habitat types that comprise the BFS: (1) endangered California sage scrub, (2) coastal live oak forest, and (3) non-native grassland. In addition, an artificial lake with surrounding riparian woodland and several created vernal pools add to habitat diversity.

Operating as usual

Photos from Bernard Field Station's post 04/13/2024

Fuchsiaflower Gooseberry (Ribes speciosum) is blooming at the BFS, and the hummingbirds love it!


Happy December!

Toyon (Heteroimeles arbutifolia) with berries.

Photos from Bernard Field Station's post 01/26/2023

Great volunteer workday on Saturday! The volunteers planted ALL of the plants for the first native plant demonstration garden in our developing ecological walk. Thank you, volunteers!


Happy New Year from the BFS!


Happy Holidays to all the students, faculty, researchers, volunteers, friends, and everyone from the BFS!

Photos from Bernard Field Station's post 11/05/2022

A great day cutting cattails today! Here are a few photos.

Photos from Bernard Field Station's post 08/31/2022

Wow! Despite the drought, the Hollyleaf Cherry (Prunus ilicifolia) by pHake Lake is loaded with amazing looking cherries right now!

Although they look yummy (and are technically edible), don’t be tempted to try them - they are best left for the birds.


Monarchs are out and about in our area now. This one stopped by the BFS, checked out the milkweed, then proceeded to nectar on Leafy California Buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum).

This one wouldn't have laid any eggs on the milkweed because it's a male! 😄 You can tell by the small dark spot of specialized scales on the hindwing.

Naomi Fraga, PhD on Twitter 06/01/2022

For those of you who've done invasive plant removal at the BFS, here's a chance to do a lot more – a 3-month position with the California Botanic Garden Invasive Plant Crew managing invasive plants in the Angeles National Forest.

Naomi Fraga, PhD on Twitter “We're hiring ! Join our Invasive Plant Crew doing important work on the Angeles National Forest to manage non-native invasive plants in diverse habitats. The crew is in the field 100% of the time, so you must love field work! Please RT! 📢”


Minor excitement at the BFS this morning - a brush fire sprang up to the west of field station just as we were giving a tour to six-graders Sycamore Elementary School. Since we didn’t know the details, everyone was evacuated just to be on the safe side.

It turned out the fire was a 2-acre brush fire on the old Claremont Colleges’ golf course, and it was quickly extinguished by LA County Fire.


Unusual visitors at pHake Lake today – three Spotted Sandpipers! Here's one of them taking a stroll on the dock.

Students in E 79 test their underwater robots 04/11/2022

Harvey Mudd College has posted a nice video of engineering students testing their underwater robots in pHake Lake.

Students in E 79 test their underwater robots Harvey Mudd students in the newly redesigned E 79: Intro to Engineering Systems build their own robots, run tests in a water tank, model and simulate tasks a...

Photos from Bernard Field Station's post 04/06/2022

On Saturday, volunteers planted native plants in the Foothill Blvd parkway in front of the BFS fence. This is part of the beginning of a planned ecological walk. The plants, which are indigenous to the BFS, were propagated from plants on the field station by the talented restoration folks at the California Botanic Garden. Once the plants have grown, signage will be added, so that anyone strolling down the sidewalk will be able to learn about the native habitat. We are really excited about seeing this project completed.

We had a great group of volunteers, including students from Pomona and Pitzer Colleges, current and retired faculty, and some community members. We also give a special shout-out to Claremont High students and faculty member Jenna Mittman for a great turnout!

Because this is late in the year for planting natives, we really watered all those newly planted plants. And then we watered them some more. We want to make sure they have a nice "savings account" of moisture to help them survive through the warmer weather.

More workdays will be coming up soon, so stay tuned!


We are so excited! After a bit of a hiatus (Thanks, Omicron! 😡), BFS Workdays will resume this Saturday, April 2. We will be planting in the Foothill Blvd parkway. Note that the start time for this workday is 8:00 AM! We hope to see some of you there!

You can all the details and registration information here:


A Monarch butterfly nectaring on Common Fiddleneck in the East Field.


Prof. Matina Donaldson-Matasci’s Experimental Ecology Lab students are exploring the BFS and keeping natural history notebooks. Here's a sample posted by Harvey Mudd College.

Students in biology professor Matina Donaldson-Matasci’s Experimental Ecology Lab are exploring the Bernard Field Station and keeping natural history notebooks. Here's the first in a series of student blog posts about their experiences.


Spotted at the BFS – male Anna's Hummingbird perched on a Spiny Redberry (Rhamnus crocea)

Photos from Bernard Field Station's post 01/27/2022

The Santa Anas roared through Claremont last Friday night and Saturday morning, with the BFS weather station recording gusts > 60 mph 😮.

Although the BFS suffered less than many places in Claremont, some damage occurred. Some trees were broken or lost major limbs, and some large shrubs and trees blew over. Several large trees from neighboring properties fell into the BFS, crushing the fence and blocking roads. Some research equipment was damaged but can be repaired.

Scroll through the photos for a sampling of effects of the windstorm.


Happy Holidays from the Bernard Field Station!

Berries of Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) bringing seasonal cheer to the BFS.

Photos from Bernard Field Station's post 12/10/2021

Photos from last Saturday's Volunteer Workday!

On a foggy morning, we worked in the Foothill Blvd parkway planting native plants propagated by California Botanic Garden from BFS stock to make the beginning of our "Ecological Walk".

The volunteers did a great job, and I'm sure the plants are enjoying the rain.

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Videos (show all)

Minor excitement at the BFS this morning - a brush fire sprang up to the west of field station just as we were giving a ...





1400 Amherst Avenue
Claremont, CA
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