Autumn Leaves

From Professor Billie J. Swalla, FHL Interim Director

September marks the end of summer and back to school for the University of Washington. Go Dawgs! We won the first five football games handily, so it looks like we'll have a great season. Football, cider and Marine Biology courses are in the air at FHL. It's time to reflect back on the productive summer of 2013.

Summer 2013 at FHL was a usual vibrant, intellectual, and research-intensive experience. I’ve started a new series to highlight research at FHL called “FHL Research Tide Bites.” These “Tide Bites” will be sent out on the first of every month to our Resident Scientists, our Advancement Board, and to news agencies. Through this mechanism, I hope to increase the research visibility of Friday Harbor Labs. Our September Tide Bites made the front page of the San Juan Islander and we hope that this foreshadows more visibility for FHL research. Check out the September and October “Tide Bites.”

Celebration of the life of Arthur H. Whiteley at FHL – An Enduring Legacy

September 7, 2013
It began as a foggy Saturday, with the ferries barely visible as they traversed Friday Harbor. Friends and colleagues trickled into the Helen Riaboff Whiteley Center, Arthur’s tribute to his lovely wife. How to remember a 96 year life in two hours? That was the challenge that we faced with the Arthur Whiteley Memorial. We were celebrating the life of a scientist, friend and philanthropist, but how could we capture the beauty and unique aspects of his singular vision? We began with two poems. One poem was written by Professor Richard Kenney, a UW faculty in the English Department, and frequent guest of the Whiteley Center. The second poem, a surprise, was found among Arthur Whiteley’s papers. It was his response to the first poem. Together they seemed to capture the whimsy and seriousness of the work that we do at FHL. Colleagues shared their memories and one of the Whiteley scholars, Mike Honey, sang a song about mentors, sharing and community. Then everyone mingled and reminisced about Arthur, the Whiteley Center, Helen and the passing of time. It was a lovely day and one that will be remembered by all who attended.

Dr. Michael Nishizaki (PhD Biology Department)

"Physiological and behavioral responses to temperature and flow in the barnacle Balanus glandula"

August 9, 2013
Committee members: Emily Carrington (Biology & FHL), Carolyn Friedman (SAFS & FHL), Ken Sebens (Biology & FHL), and Billie Swalla (Biology & FHL)

Congratulations to another newly minted PhD who finished up in the summer of 2013. Mike Nishizaki did much of his PhD research at Friday Harbor Labs, in the lab of Professor Emily Carrington. Scheduling an August defense meant that I skyped in from Roscoff, France. Dr. Nishizaki has already left for Postdoctoral studies at the University of Guelph in Canada. Mike, we wish you many continued successes!

The fall quarter is underway at the University of Washington, and we’ve welcomed nearly 30 students to the FHL campus. This is the Marine Biology Quarter, but we will also have several Creative Writing courses and a Research Apprenticeship.

Click here to view the Autumn 2013 courses.

FHL has received funding for the ESCO “greening” project that will bring in $533,147 from the Washington State Commerce Dept. We have received the formal grant letter, have finished the Project Review internal UW check, and have approved McKinstry to continue with design and construction. These improvements are for long-term savings in energy costs. Work will be continuing throughout the fall and winter months. Many thanks to Ken Sebens and Adam Summers for their work to obtain this grant.

We have also finished construction on the Dorm A bathrooms that have been completely remodeled and on a renovated trailer that will be a new housing unit. Hats off to Fred Ellis, who has managed to stay ahead of these large projects and plan for the new ones. Next up we’ll be renovating the dock this winter, some of the lumber has already been purchased, so look for construction to begin soon.

I am looking forward to my first full year on San Juan Island. It seemed odd to say goodbye to the summer researchers when normally I am packing up myself and moving back to Seattle. Like most residents, I have sampled the bounty at the Farmer’s Market almost every Saturday morning, leaving with my bags full of pasta, cheeses and fresh produce. I’ve enjoyed getting to know some of the artists on the island and appreciating their talents and I love the theater offerings. This is a terrific place to live and work and I am looking forward to a great academic year at Friday Harbor Laboratories. I hope to see you around town, at the labs, or in the intertidal!