Office of Research

Friday Harbor Laboratories


Friday Harbor Laboratories (FHL) is a research center in the College of the Environment with a mission of Marine research, teaching and woutreach. FHL is world renowned for research on marine biology, oceanography and fisheries. The waters around San Juan Island are relatively free from pollution with swift tideways as well as quiet bays and lagoons. A tidal range of about three meters exposes diverse intertidal areas of rock, sand and mud. The flora and fauna are exceptionally rich. Representatives of nearly all major groups of marine algae, invertebrates and fish can be collected at the shore and depths down to 300 meters can be explored by dredging and other collecting techniques. The 490-acre tract of land on which the Laboratories are located, and the marine waters of the region are biological preserves. The Laboratories also manage other nearby biological preserves, also rich with diverse flora and fauna.

Research at FHL is conducted throughout the year. FHL has a permanent staff of faculty and researchers, and also provides facilities for many visiting investigators from national and international institutions. FHL offers educational opportunities for students in spring, summer and autumn. Students earn credits through the University of Washington but do not need to be currently enrolled at UW to apply. FHL also provides accommodations for college-level educational groups, field trips, meetings and symposia.

Core Services Offered

Teaching and Research laboratories with support infrastructure,
Meeting space for coursework, field trips and conferences, along with the Whiteley Center dedicated for scholar collaborations,
Marine Equipment including 58-foot steel research vessel, the R/V Centennial,
Ocean Acidification Environmental Laboratory including in-water mesocosms, indoor mesocosms with temperature and pH control and an analytical chemistry laboratory,
Karl F. Liem Bioimaging Center including a Bruker Skyscan 1173 CT scanner
Scuba Diving and boating facilities,
Synoptic Collection
Room and Board

Funding Information:

Department of Natural Resources 2013-2017
Educational Foundation of America 2011-2016
NSF 2010-2021
NSF IGERT Award 2011-2016
Seaver Institute 2011-2016
Snohomish County 2015-2017
South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group, Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program 2015-2017
UW Royalty Research Fund, RRF 2015-2016
Washington Sea Grant 2014-2018

Reporting Structure:

Lisa Graumlich, Dean, College of the Environment,

Related UW Entities:

College of the Environment (School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (SAFS), School of Marine and Environmental Affairs (SMEA), School of Oceanography)
College of Arts and Sciences (Department of Biology)
Applied Physics Lab

External Partners:

Allen Institute for Brain Science and the Computational Neuroscience Program
Cornell University
Northeastern University
Northwest Indian College
San Juan Nature Institute

Center Details

Director: Swalla, Billie
Location: 620 University Road, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
Year Started: 1903
Administrator / Program Manager: Tetrick, Mark
Administering College/School: College of the Environment 
P.I. Home Department: Department of Biology 
Faculty Involvement: varies; 10-25 UW; 10-15 visiting