The Friday Harbor
Laboratories (FHL) provide facilities for research and
instruction on many aspects of marine biology and
oceanography. FHL provides direct access to salt waters that
are relatively free from pollution and to diverse intertidal
areas of rock, sand and mud. The uplands and tidelands
include: Point Caution, Argyle Lagoon, Garrison Bay, and
False Bay, on San Juan Island; Parks Bay and Cedar Rock/Squaw
Bay on Shaw Island; and Iceberg Point and Point Colville on
Lopez Island. Developed areas constitute approximately 10% of
the total land area. The topography of the developed site
ranges from 420 feet to sea level. Most of the campus has a
fairly uniform slope of 10%, but a few areas exceed 40%. One
small area has been officially identified as a wetland.
Primary use takes place between April and Labor Day. The
resident population of the laboratories ranges from 210-250
in the summer to fewer than 50 in the winter.
San Juan Islands. Research facilities are located on a
484-acre site on the east side of San Juan Island, north of the
town of Friday Harbor.
Scott Schwinge, 206-543-1484,
FHL has 78,586 gross square feet of space in 66 buildings.
The buildings range from 27 sq. ft. to 5,000 sq. ft. Extensive
laboratory facilities for marine biology are provided in
Fernald Laboratory and eleven laboratory buildings, for a total
of 24,319 assignable square feet. A large dock provides
moorage, storage and diving facilities and is protected by a
floating breakwater. Floating docks located adjacent to the
main pilings are equipped with live boxes. Lecture halls can
accommodate audiences of up to 75 persons. The library contains
15,000 volumes and also provides direct connections to main
campus library services and collections. There are relatively
few offices. FHL includes the Helen R. Whiteley Center, an
academic retreat center for UW faculty with 5 offices and 7
Specialized equipment includes centrifuges, oscilloscopes,
microscopes, and molecular biology equipment for lab work as
well as a 58-foot research vessel and other equipment related
to specimen collection. Computer equipment is available.
Housing types vary widely. Some are not winterized.
The UW owns 1,727 acres and leases 129 acres.
General operating funds and research grants/
Research: FHL is an integral part of research
programs in zoology, health sciences, fisheries, botany, and
oceanography. Instruction: Classes are taught in the
spring, summer and autumn quarters in zoology, botany,
fisheries, and oceanography. Non-UW: A significant
number of the researchers are visiting investigators.
Telephone, 206-543-1484; fax, 206-543-1273; and e-mail:
The plant community ranges from very dry to moist types.
Most of the site is heavily wooded, with Douglas fir
predominantly. Hawks, eagles, herons, song birds, and sea birds
are all present. Many species of fish are present in the salt
waters surrounding FHL. Representatives of nearly all major
groups of marine algae and invertebrates are found in the
intertidal zone and in adjacent waters with depths down to 660
feet. A tidal range of about 12 feet exposes diverse intertidal
areas of rock, sand, and mud.
Kenneth P. Sebens, Director. Richard R. Strathmann, Associate
Director. Scott Schwinge, Administrator.