From Dean Lisa Graumlich, College of the Environment

Dear FHL Community,

In June, I announced that Ken Sebens has completed his term as Director of Friday Harbor Laboratories. Please join me in thanking Ken for his nearly eight years of service at the helm of FHL. Among numerous accomplishments, Ken has enhanced the capabilities and facilities at the Labs, and worked to integrate FHL activities into the academic programs of UW – important and difficult achievements during a period of financial hardship. Ken continues to be a tenured member of the Biology Department’s faculty, conducting research and teaching at FHL.

Billie Swalla, who has done an outstanding job as Acting Director of the Labs, will continue to serve as Interim Director for the next 18 months. During that time, a search for a new permanent Director will be conducted.

I know I am part of a large community that believes that the Labs are a truly remarkable place, home to dedicated people and critically important research, education, and outreach activities. Again, let me thank Ken for his leadership and Billie for continuing to play a critical leadership role as we embark on this next chapter for FHL. I look forward to everything the future holds for the Labs.



From Professor Billie J. Swalla, FHL Interim Director

I want to first offer my warmest thanks to former FHL Director Ken Sebens, who is continuing to do research, teaching and outreach at FHL. During Ken’s nearly eight years as Director of FHL, the spring, fall and summer course offerings were increased, opening up new avenues for UW undergraduate students to spend a quarter at FHL. Ken also obtained a number of important NSF grants for FHL, including the highly successful GK-12 OACIS grant and the Ocean Acidification Environmental Laboratory (OAEL) at FHL. Ken saw FHL through a difficult time of financial constraints, all the while increasing the number of students and researchers who visit FHL each year. You can find Ken in Lab 9, if he is not out research diving. Best wishes, Ken! Read more...

Benefit FHL … and Increase Your Retirement Income

by Cara Mathison

FHL has a diverse landscape of donors whose gifts prove crucial to the ongoing strength of the institution. There are a myriad of ways to support FHL through giving, and one increasingly utilized gift vehicle is the charitable gift annuity. A charitable gift annuity benefits both FHL and provides income to the donor during their lifetime. In the past several years, generous benefactors Katherine Graubard and William Calvin, and Alan and Marian Kohn, have chosen to support FHL in this way. Read more...


by Kevin Schofield

Summer is a very busy time in the San Juan Islands, and Friday Harbor Labs is no exception. There is a buzz of activity around the clock. Research vessels coming and going, classes being taught, experiments being performed. People using the flume lab, and the mesocosm lab, and the 3-D printer, and the electron microscope, and the diving equipment. People chatting over lunch in the dining hall. People out on the dock in the evening, looking for telltale signs of life in the water…

That’s the sound of world-class marine biology research and education. Read more...

Thank You Trish

Dear Trish,

The Advancement Board joins together in thanking you for your leadership these past years. The effort which you invested was large but the outcomes were even larger. We appreciate how you gently urged us to set our sights higher and then showed us how to be successful. You accomplished a lot during your tenure; too many things to name now, but a few things stand out and deserve remembrance. Read more...

Jazz at the Labs — Fundraiser for the Friday Harbor Labs K-12 Science Outreach Program (FHLSOP)

By Rachel Anderson and Jenny Roberts

On June 1st, the UW Friday Harbor Labs was alive with world-class Jazz! Besides offering local music fans and FHL researchers and students a fabulous evening of music in the historic FHL Dining Hall — we had an important goal — to raise funds for the Friday Harbor Labs K-12 Science Outreach Program. This was the 13th annual Jazz at the Labs. The evening included dinner, music and a silent auction. Read more...

Clear as Mud: Burrowing Behavior of Marine Invertebrates

(by Sara Lindsay, University of Maine School of Marine Sciences,

The UW Tidelands at False Bay are a very special place. Seen from the bank at low tide, the bay presents as a wide expanse of sand and rocks, with tide pools and winding streams superimposed on sand ripples. A closer look reveals pits, holes, trails, mud pimples, piles, and tubes that reflect the activity of animals living on and in the sand and mud. I’ve been conducting research at False Bay since the late 1980s, studying the ecology and behavior of marine worms (polychaetes), in order to understand what factors affect their sediment disturbing activity. Read more...

Species, structure, and scale in the subtidal Salish Sea

by Robin Elahi, PhD

Why are those animals there, but not here? Why were there few plants before, but many now? At its core, the study of ecology seeks to answer these types of fundamental questions. Their importance is obvious – humans are part and parcel of the vast network of species on the planet, and we have depended on other organisms for food, shelter, medicine, culture and commerce throughout history. Though these questions are simple, the answers are often complex because many different processes dictate the assembly and structure of communities. These processes might be very localized, and happen over a short period of time – like a sea urchin eating a sea squirt. Other processes occur over larger areas, and over longer time scales – like the rapid increase in seawater temperatures all across the globe over the past fifty years. Read more...

FHL Summer Internship

By Laura Watson

In the summer between my Junior and Senior years at Garfield High School in Seattle, I was fortunate to live and work at the labs. I had inquired about a position at the labs of Dr. Megan Dethier and Dr. David Duggins, and their positive response was one of the luckiest replies I have ever received. Read more...

Arthur H. Whiteley - 1916 - 2013

by Merrill Hille, Billie Swalla, Mineo Iwata, Patricia Morse,
Lynn Riddiford, and Richard Cloney

Arthur H. Whiteley was a man who greatly appreciated art and science, and generously supported both endeavors at the Friday Harbor Laboratories and in the Department of Zoology at the University of Washington. He began his career doing physiology, but later was known as a sea urchin developmental and cell biologist. Arthur died April 15th, 2013, at his home in Seattle after a short illness. He was 96 years old and touched many lives in his lifetime. Read more...

Friday Harbor Labs Open House

The annual FHL Open House is an event that is looked forward to by many in Friday Harbor. This year we had a very large crowd from the island — and beyond! It seems the word is out. The FHL Open House is a fabulous way to see what exactly is happening at this unique marine lab in the San Juan Islands. If you didn’t make it this year, plan to visit in May 2014. Read more...

2013 Illg Distinguished Lectureship

The Friday Habor Labs 2013 Illg Distinguished Lecturer was Dr. Gonzalo Giribet of Harvard University. On June 19th, Dr. Giribet presented a scientific lecture entitled "Understanding the Animal Tree of Life — from Morphology to Genomes" at the Friday Harbor Labs. Dr. Giribet also presented a free public lecture at the San Juan Community Theater on June 20th. This talk, "Around the world in search of invertebrates for species discovery, biogeography and systematics" was extremely well received by the local community and FHL students and researchers. Read more...