UW 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 outreach. 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 scholarly study; marine equipment including 42-foot fiberglass research vessel, the R/V Kittiwake; Ocean Environmental Laboratory including indoor mesocosms with temperature 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; and housing and dining services.

Funding Information

Department of Natural Resources 2013-2021
NSF REU Program 2010-2021
NSF EDGE Program 2019-2023
NSF Biological Oceanography 2021-2024
NSF other programs 2017-2021
Seaver Institute 2011-2021
M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust 2020-2021
The Nature Conservancy 2019-2022
Howard Hughes Medical Institute 2016-2025

Reporting Structure

Maya Tolstoy, Dean, College of the Environment,

Related UW Entities

College of the Environment: School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, 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