We performed whole-genome resequencing of 12 field isolates and eight commonly studied laboratory strains of the model organism Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to characterize genomic diversity and provide a resource for studies of natural variation. Our data support previous observations that Chlamydomonas is among the most diverse eukaryotic species. Nucleotide diversity is;3% and is geographically structured in North America with some evidence of admixture among sampling locales. Examination of predicted loss-of-function mutations in field isolates indicates conservation of genes associated with core cellular functions, while genes in large gene families and poorly characterized genes show a greater incidence of major effect mutations. De novo assembly of unmapped reads recovered genes in the field isolates that are absent from the CC-503 assembly. The laboratory reference strains show a genomic pattern of polymorphism consistent with their origin as the recombinant progeny of a diploid zygospore. Large duplications or amplifications are a prominent feature of laboratory strains and appear to have originated under laboratory culture. Extensive natural variation offers a new source of genetic diversity for studies of Chlamydomonas, including naturally occurring alleles that may prove useful in studies of gene function and the dissection of quantitative genetic traits.