Planning to stay and/or participate in research at FHL?  This page should answer most of your questions about living and working here.  If you will be staying as part of a conference, field trip, or workshop, please see instead our information for group participants about Visiting FHL.  This page is not about working as an employee at FHL, but as a visiting researcher.


Emergency Procedures
Meals and the Dining Hall
Laundry, Linen, & Towels
Mail & Packages
Miscellaneous Living at FHL
Bicycles & Cars
Wifi, Computers, & Printers
Dock & Boats
Smoking & other Fire Hazards
Children at FHL
Lab Research
Field Research
Fun Things to Do


Staff in the Front Office, Stockroom, and Computer Lab are available Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm. On evenings and weekends, they are not available to assist visitors, take payments, or receive/send out mail and packages. Please plan accordingly. For urgent after-hour requests, you may call the FHL caretakers: 360-298-0220.

Important Contacts

Fernald Front Office (M-F, 8-5): 206-543-1484
FHL Facilities Coordinator (M-F, 8-5):
Caretakers Michelle & Mike Herko (for urgent needs after office hours): 360-298-0220.

FHL Directory

Emergency Procedures

IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY, follow these steps in order:

  • Call 911
  • During office hours call the FHL Office (360-378-2165)
  • After hours call the caretakers (360-298-0220)

IN THE EVENT OF A DISASTER, see the FHL Emergency Response Plan.


  • For life threatening emergencies call 360-378-4141 from your cell phone or 911 from the lab phones.
  • For serious injuries (that do not need immediate attention), go to or have someone drive the patient to PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center at the top of Spring Street at 1117 Spring Street phone number 360-378-2141.
  • For minor injuries you can find basic first aid supplies in the Laboratories, Fernald and the Stockroom. (see Safety Bulletin Board in each lab)
  • For additional help, ask at the Front Office or, after business hours, call the FHL caretakers.
  • Within 24 hours of any injury, please contact the FHL Operations Manager (360-616-0702, to file a UW accident/incident report.


  • During business hours, contact the Front Office, 360-378-2165.
  • On weekday evenings and weekends, call the FHL caretakers (360-298-0220).


These arrival instructions are for independent visitors (researchers and scholars) only.  If you are enrolled in an FHL course or internship, or participating in a conference or field trip at FHL, you will receive separate information about where to go when you get here.

You may check in any time after 3 pm. When you come onto campus, take your first right into the main parking lot.  Enter the Fernald Lab (main) building and you’ll see the Front Office (with large windows) on your the left.  Outside of the door to the Front Office is a bulletin board, on which housing packets are tacked.  Look for a packet with your name on it.


Check out is before 11 am, in order to give the custodians time to clean for the next arrival. Upon departure, please leave your housing unit as clean as when you arrived, dispose of your garbage/recycling in the dumpsters outside, and wash your dishes.  You may leave the key in your locked unit or bring it to the Front Office.

If you used a lab space, clean it thoroughly, returning all supplies and equipment to their places and removing your belongings; clean and drain your sea tables, returning all living organisms to where you collected them; clean out any refrigerator or freezer space you used, leaving nothing behind.

If additional staff time is required for cleaning housing, lab spaces, or equipment beyond what is ordinarily needed, you will be billed for the extra time at a rate of $50/hour.


Course students are expected to pay for their tuition, fees, room & board prior to their arrival at FHL. More information regarding student charges can be found here.  All others should pay before departure by credit card (MC/Visa), check, cash, or on a UW budget. Long-term visitors will be billed monthly.

If you will be departing at a time when the Front Office will be closed, please come by the office while it is open (M-F, 8-5) to make your payment.  If the Front Office is closed for your entire visit (e.g. you are staying for a Saturday night only), make arrangements in advance with the Facilities or Whiteley Coordinator for making your payment.

If you would like to cancel a night’s stay, please notify us as soon as possible. If we do not receive notice before 3 pm on the day prior to the night you wish to cancel, you will be charged for that night’s stay.


All of our cottages (including Whiteley), duplexes, and apartments have kitchens stocked with the essentials for preparing meals: major appliances, pots and pans, dishes, and utensils.  There are two grocery stores (King’s and Marketplace) in the town of Friday Harbor, about a half hour walk from FHL.

Residents of Standard Dorms and Huts, with no facilities for storing or preparing food, must subscribe to full meal plans in the Dining Hall. Researchers, scholars, instructors and students staying in other units must purchase minimum or full meal plans. The minimum plan has a value equivalent to two dinners (non-students) or one lunch (students) per week, and is issued as credit (“Dining Dollars”) in the Dining Hall; this credit may be used toward any meal or beverage. If your expenses go over your credit amount, we’ll add the additional charges to your invoice when you depart. Family members are not required to purchase meal credit, but are welcome to eat in the Dining Hall. If you are not on a full plan, sign up for meals online at least 24 hours in advance. You will be charged for any meals you’ve reserved, whether or not you show up for them. You may pay at meal time with your meal credit or a credit/debit card.

Meal Times

Monday – Saturday
Breakfast 7:45-8:15 a.m.
Lunch 12:15-12:45 p.m.
Dinner 6:00-6:30 p.m.
Brunch 10:00-10:30 a.m.
Dinner 5:00 – 5:30 p.m.

Dietary Preferences/Restrictions

With advance notice, the Dining Hall can provide vegetarian meals at no extra cost. If you are on a full meal plan, you will have the opportunity to note your preferences/restrictions at your first meal. If you request a vegetarian plan, you will be expected to have the vegetarian option at every meal so that Dining Hall staff can reliably plan numbers of meat and meatless dishes.

Laundry, Linens, and Towels

Coin (quarter)-operated washers and dryers are located in the laundry room of Apt Building A, and in the Laundry Building behind the Dining Hall. You’ll also find a change machine in the Laundry Building. Housing prices include linens, pillows, blankets, and one towel for each bed. You may exchange your FHL sheets and towels for clean ones free of charge, every Friday between 8:00 pm & 8:30 am in the Laundry Building.

Mail & Packages

You may leave stamped mail in the mail slot in the Fernald Lab foyer; we take mail to the town post office M-F at 11:30 am.

You may have mail and packages delivered to you at:

Your Name
Friday Harbor Laboratories
620 University Road
Friday Harbor, WA  98250

USPS mail and packages are received each weekday, and sorted into (and on top of) the white mailboxes in the Fernald Lab foyer.  The mailboxes are organized alphabetically by last name.

FedEx and UPS deliver to the stockroom on weekdays; we’ll email you if a package arrives there for you.

Miscellaneous Living at FHL

A Sneak Peek Into Life at FHL. Check out this short video to get a taste of what living at FHL is really like!

Pets & Wildlife. Please enjoy the deer, raccoons, foxes and other wildlife here, but refrain from feeding them!  Also, as the FHL campus is a biological preserve, dogs and other pets are not permitted.  Exceptions may be granted for service animals; please see the FHL Dog Policy for details.

Quiet Hours are 10 pm – 7 am. Be considerate of others trying to sleep: many at FHL work long hours, and have to rise early for experiments, field work, or lectures. Even a quiet chat on an apartment deck may disturb others.

Repairs Needed? You can report any repairs or items needed in your housing to the Facilities Coordinator ( Note that you are expected to purchase your own consumable items (e.g. toilet paper, dish soap) beyond an initial supply that we provide.

Bathrooms. For residents of Dorms or Huts, there are men’s and women’s bathrooms with toilets and showers in Dorm Buildings A & B and the Dining Hall. A gender-neutral bathroom with toilet and shower is available in Dorm B and the Fernald Lab. Cottages, duplexes, and apartments each have their own bathroom.

Camping, Moving Furniture, and More. Camping or sleeping in vehicles is not permitted on campus. Please keep the furniture, supplies (e.g. kitchen items), and bedding in your unit; don’t move them between units or use them outside.

Guests. We sometimes have unoccupied housing units available for rent to family and friends of students, faculty, researchers, and staff at FHL. Contact the Housing Coordinator ( with requests.

Social Gatherings. If using the Dining Hall & Commons for gatherings, keep the noise down after 10 pm. Alcohol consumption is not allowed in these or other common-use spaces without prior approval from the UW and the purchase of a WA State permit. When you leave the buildings, please return furniture to its place and dispose of all trash & recyclables in the dumpsters behind the buildings.  Thank you!

Security. FHL is generally secure, but we’ve had a few thefts. We recommend you not leave valuables unattended in common spaces.

Bicycles, Cars, Other Vehicles on Campus

You are welcome to bring a bicycle to FHL and store it outside, under shelter (not inside a building). You may also rent bikes in town.

The FHL campus is primarily a walking and cycling place, but you may bring a car on campus. Parking permits are not required and there is no fee. Note the campus-wide 10 mph speed limit and drive with great care, especially keeping an eye out for small children. Drive on the roads, not on the grass, and park only in designated parking areas. Please email the office your license number if you have a car on campus.

There have been times when the Maintenance crew must move a vehicle to permit grounds work. If you go on extended field work and are leaving a vehicle on campus, please leave your vehicle key with the Main Office.

The University vans are available for FHL course use only.

Wifi, Computers, & Printers

Wifi. Before connecting to the FHL wireless network with your computer, be sure to apply all critical updates and security patches for your operating system and install up-to-date virus protection; contact our IT staff in the Computer Lab if you have any questions regarding the security status of your computer. The use of distributed file-sharing programs is prohibited because they slow network performance and often involve infected or copyrighted files. Long-term residents should register the hardware addresses of all computers with our IT staff, so we can locate an infected computer quickly and correct the problem.

Wireless access points are available throughout campus, all with the same password. If you move from one location to another, you may need to switch access points. Our bandwidth is limited, so please be considerate in using web-intensive products and restrain from streaming video during business hours.

Computers & Printers. There are 30 iMac computers that can boot into Mac OSX or Windows 10. These are available for common use by students or researchers in three locations:

  • Computer Lab
  • FHL Library
  • Lecture Hall

The Computer Lab is locked after hours, but you may enter it with a keypad code (ask in the office). The Lecture Hall mini-lab is locked after 10 pm and reopens early in the morning.

All of these computers have the same login (username fhlguest, password fhlguest), and have access to networked black-and-white postscript printers. For any prints/copies, we charge $0.25/side of color and $0.10/side of black-and-white. When you leave, let us know how many prints/copies you’ve made and we will add the charges to your invoice.

Technical support is provided by IT professionals who are available during business hours (M-F, 8-5).  We offer limited support for our visitors free of charge but for more than one hour of assistance, we will charge a fee.  Contact the FHL IT team ( for more information.


The library at the FHL is part of the University of Washington Libraries. Search for books using the UW Libraries online catalog  and then check them out using the card found in the back of each book. Because materials are not checked out online, you are responsible for keeping the items for a reasonable amount of time and bringing all materials back to the library when finished.

You may also borrow books from the Seattle campus using the request form on the FHL Library page: If you have questions, contact librarian Maureen Nolan (

The Dock & Boats

Rowboats are available for recreational use or research (motorboats are strictly for research – see under Field Work). In order to use a rowboat, you must first attend an orientation session; contact Boating Safety Officer (BSO) Kristy Kull ( to schedule. If you haven’t used a boat here in 6 months or more, contact Kristy to see if anything has changed.

Dock/Boat Age Limits. Children 12 & under must wear life jackets and be accompanied by a parent/guardian on the pier, floating docks, and boats at all times. The minimum age to check out a rowboat without accompanying parent/guardian is 16, with written permission by parent/guardian on file with the BSO. Rowboat passengers under 14 years must be accompanied by a parent/guardian (not just a user is 16+). Exceptions may be granted when specific cases are discussed with the BSO.

Smoking, Other Fire Hazards, & Firearms

Fire in FHL buildings and in the woods is a very real threat in all seasons. SMOKING IS NOT ALLOWED in any building (including housing) at FHL, and is allowed outdoors only at designated areas marked on our campus map. Be careful to extinguish all cigarettes in the ashtrays provided at these areas. Never smoke in the woods or build fires outdoors. Fireworks are also prohibited on campus.

The burning of candles, incense or open flame-producing items in residential units is not permitted.  On apartment decks, only gas grills are allowed; charcoal grills are okay on gravel. If your smoke detector beeps to signal the battery is low, do not disable it, but let the Front Office (during business hours) or caretakers (after hours) know and a new battery will be installed immediately.

Firearms are not permitted on campus.


Alcohol consumption is allowed for persons 21 years and over in their private rooms. It is not allowed in communal spaces (including outdoors) except for official events that have received prior approval from UW and a WA Banquet Permit. Please drink responsibly: improper use of alcohol, including loud or inconsiderate behavior, reflects badly on FHL and our mission for excellence in science and education. The UW policy reads: “The University prohibits consuming of alcoholic beverages on University property, except in accordance with state of Washington liquor license procedures… … In…residence hall communities, alcohol use is limited to those of legal age (21) and then only within the confines of a resident’s room.”

Children at FHL

To ensure the safety of young people at FHL, please adhere to the following guidelines:

Docks: Children 12 or younger must wear a life preserver and be accompanied by an adult (parent or supervisor designated by parent – 16 years or older) on the docks at all times. Children are not permitted to use the elevator or boats with outboard motors. Bicycles are not permitted on the dock.

Buildings: Children should not enter the student shop, stockroom, library or laboratories without adult supervision and permission.

Noise: Children should be considerate of students, scientists and staff.

Computers: Children may use specified FHL computers with adult supervision and with permission of computer techs.

Lab Research at FHL

Laboratory Safety. Refer online to the UW Environmental Health and Safety Lab Safety Manual, whose rules are explained in detail on their Laboratory Safety Checklist. Everyone working at FHL must follow the guidelines on the Checklist, including requirements for Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and Chemical Storage & Process. No food, beverages, food vessels or utensils are allowed in labs (including computer labs).

Use chemicals with care, for everyone’s safety and so as not to contaminate seawater tables, lab surfaces, or the ocean. ALL chemicals and solutions, whether considered dangerous or harmless, must be clearly labeled and dated. Upon departure from FHL, dispose of all chemicals and solutions properly. See safety bulletin boards in each lab for instructions concerning hazardous waste. Do not remove chemical reagent bottles from the stockroom without permission from the attendant, and tell the attendant when a bottle is nearly empty.

Lab Repairs. The FHL maintenance crew is responsible for the care of buildings and equipment. Please let the maintenance crew do any work on the seawater system.

Seawater. The supply of seawater is limited so please be conservative. An increase in flow to your seawater table will diminish pressure down the line.

Stockroom. Before using the stockroom, please speak with an attendant to learn the procedures for borrowing and purchasing. All equipment with an FHL barcode must be checked out via the stockroom computer. Some items are in locked cabinets; request assistance for access. If any FHL equipment needs repair, please bring it to the attention of stockroom staff rather than trying to fix it yourself.

“E” ware is SACRED, and is to be used only for culturing embryos or sensitive organisms. It is kept in special cabinets and should be returned to those cabinets if you are certain it has not been contaminated. Any “E” ware found elsewhere is assumed contaminated and the “E” label removed. If you suspect contamination, remove the “E” and return the item to the open shelves. New “E” ware should be marked as such before it is used.

Please do not remove chemical reagent bottles from the stockroom without permission. To assure continuous supplies, tell the stockroom attendant when a particular chemical bottle is nearly empty.  All bottles, whether their contents are considered dangerous or harmless, must be labeled. To reduce costs of hazardous waste disposal, please make up only the required volume of a solution. Use fixatives and preservatives with great care, so as not to contaminate sea water tables or tanks. Sinks in some labs drain to the Harbor with the seawater, not to the sewers. See Safety Bulletin Boards in each lab for instructions concerning hazardous waste.

BEFORE YOUR ARRIVAL TO FHL: If you’ll need unusual materials, large amounts, or special equipment, make arrangements in advance. Licensed individuals who plan to use radioisotopes should contact FHL Director Dr. Megan Dethier before ordering isotopes. A room and equipment for handling and disposal of isotopes is available.

Student Shop. Anyone wishing to use the Student Shop must first attend a training session (contact Doug Engel, You must be accompanied at all times when using the Shop, and Shop tools may not be removed.

Large Equipment in Labs. Please do not use equipment in a researcher’s lab space without permission from that person. Some equipment stationed in lab spaces is available for visiting researchers, but a personal check-out is required. See the list of available equipment and the persons to contact, under Lab Facilities & Equipment.

Using Tanks and Sea Tables. If you have been assigned a lab space, you may use an indoor sea table/tank associated with that space. If you would like to use an outdoor tank, contact the Facilities Coordinator ( for a tank assignment. Label any tanks you use with your name, cell number, and departure date (outdoor tanks bear plastic sleeves to hold cards with this information). The supply of seawater is limited, so please be conservative in its use. If work is needed on the seawater system, you may place a work order via the Megamation link on our website. Upon departure, clean your lab space area, return all organisms to where you collected them, drain and clean out the tank/tables you used, and turn off the seawater.

Field Research

Motorboats & Diving. Motorboats are for research purposes only, at a cost of $24-$31/hr. In order to operate one, you must have a WA State Boater Education card and be checked out with BSO Kristy Kull ( UW is a member of the American Academy of Underwater Scientists (AAUS), and diving at FHL or from FHL boats is permitted only for research purposes. If you are a certified diver with plans to conduct scientific work using SCUBA or snorkeling, please contact Dive Safety Officer Pema Kitaeff (

If you plan to collect organisms, follow our collecting policy (see Research Policies). Depending on the species and where you’re collecting, you may need to obtain prior permission from National/State Parks, other organizations, or private landowners. You must report any collecting on the Online Collection Form, available on our website (again, see Research Policies). After your research is complete, return live animals to where you collected them.

Fun Things to Do at FHL

Visitors are welcome to use the FHL fire trail and associated side trails that meander through the preserve.  The trail head is on the north end of campus, near Cottage D and Duplex C.  Please note that wheels are not allowed on the trails.

We have a sandbox and jungle gym for children in the center of campus, near the cottages and duplexes.  A volley ball court is located across from the FHL main parking lot on University Road. A good beach for play is near Lab 11.

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