#CSHLCourseLife: Main Campus (Part II)


Last week, we shared information helpful for our course participants who need to make travel arrangements to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. This week, we will cover information that will come in handy during your stay on campus and for your #cshlcourselife: 


What to Pack

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory experiences four seasons. To pack efficiently, we recommend referring to this website for the weather forecast surrounding your stay. In terms of what to pack, here is a list of items many course trainees regularly forget but we recommend you bring:

  • Any and all anticipated medications
  • Bug spray (This is especially important for those attending a summer course.)
  • Sunscreen
  • Umbrella or rain poncho
  • Flip flops or slides (For the shower)
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Bathing suit 
  • Work-out gear

By the same token, here are items you do not need to bring with you, as they are available in the guestrooms or common areas on campus: 

  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Hair dryer (Available for pick-up at the Meetings & Courses Office with a $20 refundable deposit)
  • Linen (i.e. bed sheet, blanket, towel)
  • Lab coats

Other than that, pack comfortable casual clothes in which you're willing to spend sixteen hours a day. If you're taking a laboratory course, be sure to bring closed-toe shoes. If you're taking a computational course, be sure to bring a sweater or sweatshirt if you get cold sitting in front of a computer all day. 

If you do forget to pack something, you can always stock up at the CSHL Bookstore and/or local drug store. Our on-campus Bookstore offers a limited selection of sundry items; including toothpaste, Tylenol/Advil, bug spray, etc. The local drug stores, Rite Aid and CVS, are accessible via the CSHL Shuttle during its hours of operation. Rite Aid has a scheduled weekday and weekend route; CVS runs can be coordinated directly with the Shuttle drivers. 


Arrival & Orientation

Arrive at Grace Auditorium and head to the Meetings & Courses Office in the lower level to pick up your arrival packet, which will include your course schedule, room key, nametag, a map of campus, and other materials. 

On the day of arrival, we host a welcome orientation for our course trainees after dinner. Your course registrar will inform you of the orientation start time when you check-in and pick-up your arrival packet. 

For those arriving early or after 7 PM, please inform your course registrar.


Meals & Accommodations

On-campus housing is guaranteed for our course trainees, instructors, and teaching assistants for the duration of a course. We have different on-campus housing styles – from dormitory corridors to cabins – and assign housing by gender. Daily housekeeping is provided and so are eco-friendly options relating to linens.

There are three locations on Main Campus where food is available: Blackford Dining Hall, Blackford Bar, and Hillside Café. Blackford Dining Hall is reminiscent of a cafeteria with a daily-changing menu; vegetarian, pescatarian, and gluten-free fare are always available, and kosher meals can be made on request. 

Meals at Blackford Dining Hall are free with your CSHL nametag during these hours:

Breakfast: 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM
Lunch: 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Dinner: 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM

Blackford Bar has an a la carte menu for breakfast (8:00 AM – 10:00 AM), lunch (12:00 PM to 2:00 PM), and dinner (5:30 PM to 8:00 PM). Hillside Café also has an a la carte menu but only serves breakfast (8:00 AM – 10:30 AM) and lunch (12:00 PM – 2:00 PM). The a la carte menus at Blackford Bar and Hillside Café do not change daily like the Blackford Dining Hall menu; however, the menu at Blackford Bar is different than at Hillside Café. In addition, during the warmer months and our meetings, a burger and hotdog BBQ stand is set-up outside Blackford Hall. Meals at these facilities are not free for course participants.



Main Campus is patrolled by CSHL Security 24 hours every day. In case of emergencies, contact either the CSHL Emergency Hotline (Ext 5555 from a house phone) or your course registrar. Specific information, including contact information, will be provided in your arrival packet as well as reviewed during the welcome orientation. We suggest you save these telephone numbers into your mobile device or, at the very least, jot them down on the back of your nametag. 

For all life-threatening emergencies, dial 911 (or 9-911 from a house phone).


Meetings & Courses Office

For any administrative-related questions, feel free to contact your course registrar via email or stop by the Meetings & Courses Office in the lower level of Grace Auditorium. It is the first place to go if you have a question about any amenities on campus, and is staffed 8 AM to 5 PM Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 1 PM Saturday and Sunday. If you need assistance when the Office is closed, contact Security at Ext 8870 from a house phone.


On-Campus Amenities

Wi-Fi: Campus-wide Wi-Fi is available and does not require a log-in password. 

ATM: We are a cash-only campus. An ATM is available on the lower level of Grace Auditorium. 

Computer Access: On the main level of Grace Auditorium are desktops available for use on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Coffee: We take coffee seriously at CSHL and make certain we have plenty available. Carafes of coffee are delivered to your course multiple times a day! In addition, there are three locations throughout Main Campus where you can pick up a cup of joe: Blackford Dining Hall, Blackford Bar, and Hillside Café. 

Coffee at the Blackford Dining Hall is free and consists of regular, decaf, and French Roast along with the basic add-ins. Blackford Bar and Hillside Café roast Starbucks coffee and the selection at both locations is reminiscent of a coffee bar. Coffee is served Monday to Friday at Blackford Bar (8:00 AM – 4:00 PM) and Hillside Café (8:00 AM – 4:00 PM). 

For non-coffee drinkers, tea options are delivered to courses and offered at the three locations mentioned above. 

Laundry: A laundry facility is available in the lower-level of Dolan Hall (West Wing). It is $2.25 per cycle and operates by debit or credit card only. Laundry detergent is neither supplied nor available-for-purchase at the facility but can be purchased at the CSHL Bookstore, Rite Aid, or CVS.  

CSHL Bookstore & Gift Shop: The CSHL Bookstore & Gift Shop is a treasure trove of science-related books and toys, writing materials, and CSHL paraphernalia. Drop by for supplies or CSHL keepsakes. It is located in the lower level of Grace Auditorium and is open Monday to Friday from 10 AM to 5 PM. 

Health & Wellness Center: For small injuries or sudden illnesses, the Health & Wellness Center is available to all course participants. Located in Room 111 of Dolan Hall (East Wing), the Center is available Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM (closed daily from 1 PM to 2 PM). Appointments are recommended and can be made by calling (516) 422-4422 or Ext 4422 from a house phone. 

For medical emergencies, please call CSHL Emergency Hotline (Ext 5555 from a house phone) or call 911. 

CSHL Shuttle: The CSHL Shuttle is a complimentary transportation service and operates during the hours and to the locations listed here.

Recreational Activities: Main Campus offers a number of recreational activities throughout the year:

Tennis Courts

Beach Volleyball Court

Kayaks*, Canoes*, and Hobie Cat*: To borrow one, present your driver's license or passport to Security and sign a waiver anytime between 10 AM and 7 PM. Note that usage may be limited to 90 minutes and restricted due to inclement weather. (Kayak Trail Map)        

Beach: The beach is open from 6 AM to midnight. Please avoid bringing any glass containers to the beach and open fires are not allowed.

Hiking Trail

Jogging Trail (Map)

Swimming: Main Campus has a beach. There is no lifeguard on duty so swimmers swim at their own risk.

Gym: The gym is located in the West Wing of Dolan Hall. A code, provided in your arrival packet, is required to enter and use the facilities.

*These seasonal activities are available from 12 PM to 6 PM between Memorial Day (late May) and early September.

This blog post is part of the #CSHLCourseLife Series. If your course is taking place on Main Campus, be sure to also check out Part I for information related to making travel arrangements, and Part III for a list of the ancillary events and extra benefits that accompany your course. For those whose course or workshop is taking place at the Banbury Campus, refer to the Series' Banbury Edition.

Updated: March 16, 2018