Introduction and Credits

About the course and project

The Marine Invertebrate Zoology course has been a foundation of the curriculum at the Friday Harbor Laboratories and more or less continuously taught since the late 1950s.  In addition to the more traditional set of lectures and laboratory work focused on animal structure and function, the 2000 and 2004 Invertebrates course included field projects that aimed to place the animals back into the context of their habitats and community interactions.  Groups of students were given the challenge of documenting the diversity and natural history of select habitats around San Juan Island, and then developing their discoveries into web pages in order to teach others.
As a way of facilitating comparisons of organisms among different habitats, each group was asked to develop four themes related to organism function: feeding, locomotion, reproduction, and protection.  Special efforts were also made to summarize overall trends among several habitats. The students were also asked to design a simple "hands-on" field lesson.  The result is a set of web pages that offer practical information and suggestions for educators and students about how to approach each habitat.  We hope you will enjoy, comment on, and make use of the fruits of this collective effort.
The Friday Harbor Laboratories, a facility of the University of Washington, is located on San Juan Island, between the coast of Washington state and Vancouver Island.  The island offers a variety of habitats--many of which are biological preserves--where an extraordinary diversity of marine invertebrates can be found.  The habitats we chose for this project represent a broad range of this diversity.  You can visit any of these eight habitats by finding them on the Map of Select Marine Habitats of San Juan Island.  The habitats include a tidal sand flat (False Bay), an exposed rocky shore (Cattle Point), a tidal salt water creek (Argyle Creek), a cobble beach (Snug Harbor), a tidal mud flat (Garrison Bay), a rocky shore and sand beach (Eagle Cove), human-constructed floats (FHL Floats), and the open water (Plankton).
The 2000 and 2004 courses were taught by Bob Podolsky (UNC-Chapel Hill) and Mike Hart (Simon Fraser University) with teaching assistance from Russell Wyeth (University of Washington), Marney Pratt (Duke University, 2000 course) and Jon Allen (UNC-Chapel Hill, 2004 course).  Contact Mike ( or Bob ( with any questions or comments.  Special thanks to Russell for heroic efforts in both years to bring the final products together, and to Craig Staude and John Spady for technical support.

MIZ 2000
Argyle Lagoon: Jeannie Stamberger, Brad Fankhauser, Kim Koverman, Jessica Franchini
Cattle Point: Owen Woodward, Barb Hulsizer, Joe Roman, Sue Frisch
False Bay: Jon Payne, Molly Jacobs, Mike Hickerson, Cara Fritz
FHL Floats: Dan Neafsey, Simone Francis, Heather Moffatt, Amrita De Zoysa
Plankton: Bengt Allen, Heather Leslie, Erin Cox, Susan Frisch

MIZ 2004
Eagle Cove: Erin Grey, Sara Zakutansky, Katie Curran, Jamie Northern
Garrison Bay: Paul Harnik, Katherine Nicholson, Krisha Tracy, Susan Wang
Snug Harbor: Alyssa Gehman, Heidi Weiskel, Amanda Winans, Laura Windecker
Interhabitat liaisons: Ryan Kelly, Andria Smith