Friday Harbor Labs, San Juan Island

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Friday Harbor Labs, San Juan Island

by | Nov 26, 2019

Friday Harbor Laboratories is a marine biology field station of the University of Washington, located 67 miles (108 km) northwest of Seattle and 19 miles (31 km) west of Anacortes, Washington. Friday Harbor Labs is known for its intensive summer classes offered to graduate students from around the world in marine biology, oceanography, and fisheries.

The waters around San Juan Island are relatively clear, cold, and free from pollution. A tidal range of nearly 10 feet (3 m) exposes biologically diverse intertidal areas of rock, sand, and mud, and creates areas with swift currents as well as quiet bays and lagoons. Representatives of nearly all major groups of marine algae, invertebrates and fish can be collected between the shoreline and depths to 980 feet (300 m). The labs are located on a tract of 490 acres (198 ha), and also manages additional biological preserves at False Bay and Argyle Lagoon on San Juan Island, and at Point George and Cedar Rock on Shaw Island. These preserves provide a wide range of protected terrestrial and marine environments for short-term and long-term research projects.

Friday Harbor Labs was founded in 1904 by the University of Washington Zoology Professor Trevor Kincaid, who later petitioned Washington State federal congress members and senators to obtain the Point Caution military reserve as the ideal future location of a biological marine station. In 1921, President Warren G. Harding signed a House Resolution that transferred the Point Caution property to the University of Washington for “a biological station and general university research purposes”. In 1924, construction was completed on the new Puget Sound Biological Station, and the first summer courses were taught there. In 1930, the Biological Station became part of the University of Washington Oceanographic Laboratories, and in 1958, the facility was renamed the University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories. Read more here and here. Explore more of Friday Harbor Labs here:

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