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, fixitfhl@uw.edu). 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 (fhlfac@uw.edu) 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. In order to operate one, you must have a WA State Boater Education card and be checked out with BSO Kristy Kull (kjkull@uw.edu). 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 (pema@uw.edu).

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.

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