Planning to visit Friday Harbor Laboratories? Already here and want to optimize your stay by utilizing all that FHL has to offer? Or are you just wanting to learn more about our ONE-OF-A-KIND community?
You are at the right place!
We would like to make your stay at FHL as comfortable and productive as possible. Here are information, tips, policies and procedures that will help do just that.
After reviewing this, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us by email, phone call or stop by the office in the Fernald building. The office is open Monday – Friday 8:00AM – 5:00PM.
Check on your neighbors to make sure they are also leaving.
Meet in the Fernald parking lot. Check in with the Evacuation Director and await further instructions.
In case of injury:
For life threatening emergencies call 360-378-4141 from your cell phone or 911 from the lab phones. Our excellent island EMTs will respond quickly.
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 Fernald front office (360-378-2165) or, after business hours, ask the caretakers (360-298-0220 or 360-378-3482.)
The San Juan Islands do not frequently experience earthquakes, but the entire Puget Sound region is subject to an occasional “big one.” Since most earthquake injuries are due to flying glass or falling objects, it is best to get under a strong structure like a table. Doorways are built stronger than walls, and are thus a safer place to be. Keep earthquake safety in mind when storing heavy objects on shelves or hanging heavy objects on the walls.
In the event of a major disaster (earthquake, fire, etc.), please assemble at the Fernald parking lot, Dining Hall or dock for aid, instructions and to account for all personnel. Emergency flashlights and blankets can be found in the Main Laundry Room. Please contact the caretakers at 360-378-3482 or 360-298-0220.
Fire & Firearms
Fire in FHL buildings and in the woods is a very real threat in all seasons. Never smoke in the woods or build fires outdoors. Fireworks are not permitted on FHL grounds. Please do not disable your smoke detector. If it beeps to signal the battery is low, please let the office know and a new battery will be installed immediately.
Please note that there is NO SMOKING in any building (including housing) at FHL. There are designated smoking areas marked on a campus map. Please be careful to extinguish all cigarettes in the ashtrays provided at these areas.
The burning of candles, incense or open flame producing items in residential units is prohibited.
Firearms are not permitted on campus without permission of the Director.
Labs and Lab Equipment
The FHL maintenance crew is responsible for the care of buildings and equipment. The supply of seawater is limited so please be conservative. An increase in flow to your seawater table will diminish pressure down the line. Please let the maintenance crew do any work on the seawater system. You can submit a Maintenance Request (Megamation) to report problems or to request changes.
When departing your lab space, please leave the laboratory at least as clean as you found it. Return organisms to the sea, preferably to the site where you collected them. Empty and clean all aquaria and seawater tables.
Additional information regarding the lab buildings and equipment can be found here.
The FHL stockroom provides most reagents, labware, photographic materials, and small items of equipment at a nominal charge to students or investigators. Special orders can be placed for materials not on hand, large quantities or special equipment, preferably prior to arrival at FHL.
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.
A wifi network is available throughout our campus. All users must install the latest Security Updates for their operating system and have an up-to-date antivirus program before connecting. Wifi connections require a WPA password, which appears on your FHL Housing Sheet. Contact our IT staff in the Computer Lab if you have any questions regarding the security status of your computer before connecting to the network. In the meantime you may use the common-use computers found in the Lecture Hall, Library, or the Computer Lab Building.
The use of Limewire, BitTorrent or similiar programs are 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.
Boating and Diving
No one is permitted to use FHL rowboats or powerboats until they have been checked out by the Boat Safety Officer (BSO). No one is permitted to Dive at FHL until they have been checked out by the Dive Safety Officer. It is important that you review the Boating and Diving section of our website if you plan to use these resources at FHL.
Collecting Flora & Fauna
FHL endorses San Juan County’s Marine Stewardship Areas. Visitors are asked to assist in protecting flora, fish and invertebrates through rigorous efforts to minimize harvest. More information and mandatory policies can be found under Research Policies.
Before You Arrive (What to bring)
Friday Harbor is typically warm and sunny in summer, with chilly nights, and cool and often cloudy or rainy in spring, autumn and winter, although we enjoy a considerable number of warm, sunny spring days as well as an extended summer often into early October. In all seasons bring clothing suitable for chilly temperatures and rain, including perhaps a hat and gloves, as well as some lighter clothing; layering works well here. It is often colder than visitors expect. Students and researchers working in the field should also bring clothing suitable for foul weather field work, i.e. sturdy rain gear, rubber knee-high wading boots, etc.
Our stockroom sells basic supplies such as notebooks, pencils, paper, and lab supplies. (As required by UW, a fee of 14.4% is applied to all purchases.) You might want to bring a flashlight and a camera. For stockroom questions you may email: firstname.lastname@example.org
When you first arrive at FHL
Upon your arrival to FHL please check in at the first building to your right as you enter campus – Fernald. Your room assignment will be listed on the bulletin board outside the door to the Main Office or, for students, on a table set up in the foyer. Maps of the campus and the island will be provided, as well as some other helpful information for that first day at FHL.
Housing at FHL is automatically assigned by FHL staff for each accepted student; no action by the student is required to reserve housing at FHL after the student has confirmed their attendance at FHL. Student will be assigned to a double-occupancy dorm room. Students can request a roommate by email.
Descriptions of student housing can be found here.
FHL has limited capacity to house family members of students. Priority is given to faculty and researchers. If you would like your family to accompany you, please submit a request as early as possible to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faculty, Researchers and Scholars
Housing arrangements are made through email@example.com or in the office. Please check your billing information and anticipated costs on your housing assignment sheet. And, if your plans change, please tell the office as soon as possible so your billing accurately reflects those changes.
Description of researcher and faculty housing can be found here.
Please report any breakage or problems with your housing to the office immediately. Our maintenance and custodial crews are resourceful and responsive and will assist you as soon as possible.
Linen Exchange & Laundry
There is a linen exchange for fresh sheets and towels in the main laundry room behind the Dining Hall every Fridays 8-8:30 AM.
FHL has coin-operated washing machines and dryers in the main laundry room and in Apartment building A: $2.00 per wash plus 25 cents for 7 minutes drying or about $1.50 total to dry a full load. (A change machine is available in the Laundry Room for quarters.) There is also a laundry line available just outside the Laundry Room Building.
Before You Leave
Please remember to remove your garbage and recycling. Also, wash and dry your dishes before departure. For those staying longer than 10 days, we ask that you clean your housing unit and leave it in at least as good condition as when you arrived. If you have been assigned lab space, please remove your belongings from your lab space and clean your sea tables prior to departure. If additional staff time is required for cleaning beyond what is ordinarily needed, you will be billed for extra time at a rate of $25/hour. If you were issued a key, may leave it in your unit or return it to the office. There is a $20.00 charge for lost keys.
Dining Hall Meal Cards
Students housed in dorms or huts at FHL are required to purchase the full-board meal plan (20 meals per week). There are no cooking facilities available in student dorms.
Faculty, researchers and scholars in units with kitchens will receive a meal card equivalent to two dinners per week in the Dining Hall per researcher or scholar. The program applies to anyone staying 4 days or longer in a duplex, cottage or apartment. The non-transferable meal cards will be issued upon arrival at FHL, or monthly for long-term residents.
Graduate students in units with kitchen facilities (not dorms and huts) will receive a meal card equivalent to one lunch per week. Meal cards can be used toward any meal, coffee, ice cream social, or other dining event in the Dining Hall. For meals in the dining hall, please sign up in advance, so the kitchen staff can plan food quantities for each meal.
You are welcome to purchase increased amounts on your meal card. Please check with staff in the main office to adjust your meal card accordingly.
Our Dining Hall does its best to accommodate people who prefer vegetarian dishes. However, the Dining Hall does not have the flexibility to provide for all types of vegetarian diets, so if you are strict vegan we suggest you bring a protein supplement with you.
There will always be fresh vegetables and fruits, and a non-meat main dish. If you declare yourself a vegetarian, you will not have the option to select the non-vegetarian dishes at random because, to minimize food waste, Dining Hall staff need to prepare known numbers of meat and meatless meals. You will have the opportunity to note your eating preference (meat or meatless meals) at your first meal.
Payment of Charges
Students are expected to pay for their tuition, fees, room & board prior to their arrival at FHL (and in some cases no later than 3 days after classes begin). More information regarding student charges can be found here.
We will accept payment by cash, check or credit card (MC/Visa) for all other charges before departure. Long-term visitors (non-students) will be billed monthly. Short-term guests may pay when they leave. The University of Washington levies a $25.00 fee for NSF checks. Guests from the University of Washington may have charges billed to a budget.
Messages, Mail & Packages
Mail and USPS packages/notices are sorted into the mail cubicles in the Fernald foyer every weekday mid-afternoon. There is no mail on Saturdays and Sundays and office phones are not answered.
Outgoing mail is taken to the Post Office at ~11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. You may leave mail in designated boxes in Fernald foyer (at the end of the wooden mailboxes) or the main office. Mail may be posted at the main Post Office in town before 3 PM on weekdays and Saturday. There is no USPS Sunday pickup or delivery.
If you wish, USPS will forward first class mail from your existing address to FHL (Friday Harbor Laboratories, 620 University Rd. Friday Harbor, WA. 98250). Please do not change addresses for your magazine subscriptions, however, since we’ll continue to receive them long after you depart.
UPS, Federal Express, and Airborne Express usually pickup and deliver to FHL Monday through Friday. You can ship your belongings to FHL prior to your arrival. If you decide to do so, please address your package as follows:
Your name (arrival date)
Friday Harbor Laboratories
620 University Road
Friday Harbor, WA 98250
You must call them if you wish a pickup. UPS and Airborne are operated through Aeronautical Services which maintains an office at the airport where you may also take packages and is open Monday – Friday, 7:00 am – 2:00 pm. FedEx maintains a drop box at the post office and the airport. Prepaid packages must be at those locations by 3:00 pm for pick up.
Telephones and Fax
Private landline phones are not available in any of the housing units and dorms. Cell phone reception is generally strong on campus, in the town of Friday Harbor and in many but not all places around the island. (T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon work here, as do some other companies.)
There are communal phones in the foyers on both levels of Fernald, the Commons and in the parking lost for the apartments. You may use them to make 911 emergency calls, 800 calls, local or long distance calls. Long-distance calls can be made using a calling card, credit card or by calling collect. There is no operator assistance access. There are instructions by these communal phones.
Phone calls may be received at FHL (206-616-0699 or 360-378-2165). Phone messages received in the Main Office are relayed via email.
There is a fax machine in the Main Office in Fernald. Faxes may be received for free at 206-543-1273. There is a charge for outgoing faxes of 10 cents per page within US and 25 cents per page for faxes sent to an international number.
The green recycling dumpsters are located behind Duplexes R and S, in the parking lot between the apartments and the cottages, by the Dining Hall, behind the Commons by the Dorms, and beside the lower level of Fernald.
Maintaining the integrity of the recycle station is the responsibility of all its users. Everyone at FHL is urged to recycle using the procedures outlined below.
Instructions are posted at the recycling areas. Please do not leave any other trash in the recycling dumpster. If you find the dumpsters full, please let the office know.
Recyclable materials are co-mingled, so paper, cardboard, glass bottles and jars, aluminum cans (crushed), steel/tin cans (flattened and lids removed), tin, and plastics #1 – 7 can all be co-mingled.. Please refer to the list inside kitchen cabinets for more information.
Batteries: (except car batteries): Place in designated boxes by the down stairs phone in Fernald and in the Stockroom. Please take car batteries to the County Solid Waste Facility (one mile out Roche Harbor Road. Turn right onto Sutton Road. For hours call 378-8449).
Used Automotive Oil: Must be taken to the County Solid Waste Facility.
Bicycles, Cars, Other Vehicles on Campus
Bringing your bicycle is a good idea. Outside storage for bikes is provided with some shelter; bicycles are not permitted inside any of the buildings. Security is generally not a problem at FHL. If you have a particular concern for your bicycle under these conditions, we suggest you leave it at home. There are two places in Friday Harbor from which to rent bikes:
Surina Business Park: 360-378-4555
Island Bicycles: 360-378-4941
The Labs campus is primarily a walking and cycling place. Please drive with care and observe the speed limit of 10 MPH. Drive on the roads, not on the grass, and park in the designated parking areas. There is limited parking space on campus. Parking permits are not required and there is no parking fee. Please email the office your license number when you arrive on campus.
The University vans are available for class use only, not individual personal use.
There have been times when the Maintenance crew must move a vehicle to permit grounds work. So if you go on extended field work and are leaving a vehicle on campus, please leave your vehicle key with the Main Office.
Camping at FHL
Camping – including tents or in any kind of recreational vehicle – is NOT permitted on campus. Campers & camping vehicles will be asked to leave at any hour. There are several places on the island to camp from your car or bicycle. Please see the main office for more information.
The Friday Harbor Laboratories is a Biological Preserve. Pets are not permitted on the grounds. There is a kennel on the island where FHL visitors have left their pets with satisfactory results. If you choose to keep your pet with you, please find housing off campus.
Personal Property Insurance
University insurance does not cover personal property brought or left on campus by faculty, staff, students or visitors. You must also provide your own personal health insurance unless you are an employee or student of UW.
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 specifi ed FHL computers with adult supervision and with permission of computer techs.
Fun Things to Do at FHL
There is a sandbox and jungle gym in the middle of the campus by the cottages and duplexes.
There is a volleyball court by the parking lot at the main lab. Tennis players will find courts by the high school.
The fire trail offers a nice walk. PLEASE, no wheels on the trail.
A good beach for play is by Lab 6. Please minimize noise from the beahes in front of Fernald and other labs to avoid disturbing the people studying in those labs.
Visitors at FHL
If housing is available when requested and reserved prior to visitors’ arrival, you may reserve huts or cottages at a guest rate. Please note that often during the summer months there is no vacancies and priority is given to faculty and researchers. (Huts are heated, one-room structures without plumbing. Bathrooms are nearby.) To request guest housing please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org