Friday Harbor Laboratories

Conferences and Field Trips at Friday Harbor Labs

Former research vessel R/V Nugget

Our facilities are reserved for educational and research purposes only. Field trips and conferences are scheduled from September through March of each year, based on availability. During the rest of the year, researchers and our enrolled students occupy the facilities.

Reservations are accepted up to one year in advance. Please note that March and September are our busiest months for conferences and those dates fill up quickly.


The campus of Friday Harbor Labs has three dormitory buildings as well as numerous other housing units of various sizes and kinds.

To maximize occupancy, conferences and field trip participants are encouraged to reside in Standard Dormitories and Huts. The dormitories consist of eight single-occupancy and 25 double-occupancy rooms, for a total of 58 twin beds. Each dorm room has one or two beds, dressers, and desks. Two of the three buildings have men's and women's restrooms with showers; the third has access to bathrooms through a covered breezeway to the other dormitory buildings. The 15 Huts are small buildings with electric light and heat; each is approximately 125 square feet and furnished with one or two beds, a small desk, and a dresser. The Huts are a short walk from restrooms and showers in the dorm buildings.

Other housing units include twelve (studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom) apartments, twelve two-bedroom cottages, and eight (one- and two-bedroom) duplex units. All of these units include kitchen, bathroom, living/dining area, and basic furniture, and are equipped with dishes, silverware, pots and pans. These units are available when the dorms and huts are occupied or for those conference participants with families or special needs.

For additional information, please contact our Facilities Coordinator at or phone 206-221-4098.

Food Service

Food service is provided by FHL's Dining Hall. All conferences and field trips are expected to have their meals in the Dining Hall except during the occasional times when the Hall is closed. After a group has secured space in our housing facilities, group organizers should contact Laurie Spaulding at 206-616-0698 or to arrange for meals. If the Dining Hall is closed, small groups staying in the dorms or huts will be given access to the Commons kitchen for food preparation.

Alcoholic beverages: If a group plans to serve alcoholic beverages at FHL, the organizers are responsible for obtaining the required University of Washington approval AND Washington State permits. They should first submit an Alcohol Service Request to the University of Washington Office of Special Programs. If UW approves the request, organizers may then purchase a Washington State Banquet Permit from the WA State Liquor Control Board. The Banquet Permit and a copy of the approval letter from UW must be posted at each alcohol service location on campus. Please refer to the UW Office of Special Programs Alcohol Service Information for complete details.

Meeting Rooms

Equipment available for use in our meeting rooms includes: Powerpoint, slide, and 17mm projectors; PA system; ten bifold poster kiosks, each one with four spaces (47" wide x 41" high) for posters; and VCR/Monitor.

The Commons is a large room adjacent to the dormitories, with a maximum occupancy of 75. It has blackboards, projection screen, large folding tables, chairs and a small kitchen. The room can be darkened. If you would like to use the Commons, please let us know in your application how you'd like it to be set up for your meeting: classroom style (table and chairs), stadium style (chairs only), etc.

The Lecture Hall is located next to the Dining Hall, and has a maximum occupancy of 75. It has a blackboard, projector, screen, and and student desks/chairs. The room can be darkened.

The Dining Hall has a maximum occupancy of 150 people. It is equipped with round tables, chairs, fireplace with upholstered seating, piano, ping pong table, projection screen, and pull-down shades to darken the room.

The Computer Room is in a building adjacent to the Fernald Building. The room easily seats 18 people at tables, and has 15 student iMacs, a larger presenter iMac, projector, and screen. Light from windows is minimal.

The Fernald Classroom is a small room in the Fernald Building that seats 14 around a large table. It has a projector and whiteboard, and no windows.

The Conference Room is also in the Fernald Building. It is furnished with couches, a large table and chairs that can seat 12, and large television and projection screens. It can be set up with a projector, and has curtains to darken the room.

Marine Equipment

A 58-foot research vessel, the R/V Centennial, is available for groups. It is equipped for dredging, net hauls, ROV and CTD deployment and water sampling, and has a total capacity of 34 people. For additional information and scheduling, contact Kristy Kull (

Rowboats are also available. If your group is interested, contact Kristy Kull ( in advance to schedule a rowboat orientation, required for anyone wishing to use the boats who has not attended an orientation in the last six months.

Campus Tours

Tours of Friday Harbor Laboratories may be available during your visit, depending on availability and weather. Please contact Michelle Herko for more information and to schedule a tour.

Costs for Conferences

We have two different rate structures for conferences: UW Budget Conference Rates, for expenses paid directly from a University of Washington budget, and Standard Conference Rates, for expenses paid otherwise. In either case, rates are lower for students than for professionals. Anyone who is not enrolled in a school, college or university will be charged the professional rates. If you are unable to view the rate sheets, please download the Adobe Acrobat Reader software for your computer and try again.

Conference Fee: Each conference participant will be charged a daily conference fee in addition to housing and dining charges. Accompanying family members will not be charged conference fees.

Housing Rates: Housing rates are per bed, and vary according to the type of unit occupied and whether the room is shared or private. Pillows and blankets (not linens) are provided free of charge; bed kits, each consisting of sheets for one bed and a towel, are provided for a weekly fee that covers our weekly linen exchange service. There is no housing charge for children under 10 years of age.

Dining Rates: In addition to standard breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, the Dining Hall can accommodate special meal requests, provide fruit or snack trays, coffee service, etc., at additional cost. Please contact Laurie Spaulding for details at

Costs for Field Trips

A field trip consists of faculty and a group of enrolled students who come to FHL in pursuit of marine, field, or laboratory studies.

We have two different rate structures for field trips: UW Budget Rates, for expenses paid directly from a University of Washington budget, and Standard (non-UW) Rates, for expenses paid otherwise. If you are unable to view the rate sheets, please download the Adobe Acrobat Reader software for your computer and try again.

Birding: Two people with binoculars on the stern of a boat

How to Apply to Hold a Conference or Field Trip at Friday Harbor Labs

Start by emailing us the following information (below). After we've confirmed a reservation for your housing and meeting spaces, you can contact Laurie Spaulding at to arrange for meals.

If your group needs to cancel or change its reservation, please notify us at least three months prior to the reservation date.


Copy and paste the following questions and email them, with your answers, to

Conference/Field Trip Application

Dates of event at Friday Harbor Laboratories (provide at least two choices for arrival/departure dates, in order of preference):

Times of arrival and departure:

Event contact person - name and all contact information (incl mailing address, email, and cell phone number we can use to contact you during your visit to FHL):

Name of organization requesting facilities:

Purpose of event (describe activities or attach agenda):

Estimated number of highschool students:

Estimated number of undergraduate students:

Estimated number of graduate students:

Estimated number of instructors/professionals (non-students):

Esimated number of family members accompanying participants:

Types of Housing requested, and whether one or two persons per bedroom:

Linens and towels requested? (Blankets and pillows provided free of charge)(Y/N):

Meeting space(s) requested:

A/V Equipment or other special requests (e.g. poster kiosks):

If you are requesting to use the Commons, how would you like chairs and tables (and poster kiosks) set up for your group - classroom style (table and chairs), stadium style (chairs only), etc.?:

Lab building needed?:

Boats needed (including R/V Centennial):

Alcoholic beverages to be served? (Y/N) (Conference organizers are responsible for obtaining approval to serve alcohol from UW and subsequently purchasing permits from the State):

Bill to: (name or UW budget #):

Billing address: