Arts and Entertainment

Labs’ Open House: Reelin’ in the deep

See the microscopic come into full view at the Friday Harbor Labs research facilities.   - Journal file photo
See the microscopic come into full view at the Friday Harbor Labs research facilities.
— image credit: Journal file photo

The University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Labs, one of the most interesting places on San Juan Island, throws open its doors on Saturday, May 18, to young and old alike.

Scientists and their students will be on hand to talk about research in the marine sciences and show off the facilities at the University of Washington Friday Harbor Labs open house on Saturday, May 18, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The local world-class research facility will again open its doors, docks and grounds, and research vessels, to all comers, and provide talks, hands-on research demonstrations and underwater scuba demos. You can discuss marine science with the staff and students, take a self-guided tour of labs and other facilities and check out the equipment and instruments in the well-equipped laboratories.

LabsFounded in the late 19th century and situated since 1923 on its present 484 acres on Point Caution at the entrance to Friday Harbor, the laboratory complex and living areas consist of more than 50 buildings, including eight laboratory buildings, three larger research buildings, the Whiteley Center  for retreats and conferences, and numerous support and living buildings.

The Labs host two dozen resident scientists, 25 support staff, 17 graduate students and about a hundred temporary guest researchers from all over the world. The research projects cover a wide variety of plant, animal and physical subjects - from the chemistry of the marine environment to seasonal patterns of song behavior in birds to morphology of slugs, squirts and sponges.

The schedule of talks in the lecture hall: 1 p.m., “Ocean Acidification at FH Labs” by Dr. Jim Murray; 2 p.m., “Picture This! The Changing Face of Intertidal Systems” by Dr. Terrie Klinger; 3 p.m., “Ecology of the Rocky Subtidal Zone” by Dr. Ken Sebens. Underwater scuba demonstrations are at 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30 on the dock.

The Friday Harbor Labs are located off Roche Harbor Road at 620 University Road. Parking is limited and carpools are encouraged.

Free popcorn is provided. Hot dogs and other snacks will be available for purchase. Info: 360-0378-2165 or

— Steve Wehrly


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