The School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences (SAFS) is housed in several buildings on the University of Washington campus. Laboratories provide facilities for a wide range of studies. Each research laboratory contains specialized apparatus and support equipment for conducting experiments. An extensive collection of fishery records from the Pacific Northwest and Alaska is available, and SAFS also maintains a library of computer programs for processing fisheries data. In addition, the School maintains various facilities off campus, including field research stations in Washington State and Alaska.


SAFS is located on the University of Washington Seattle south campus. Fisheries faculty, staff and students reside in the following buildings.

Fishery Sciences

The Fishery Sciences building was built and occupied in 1999. This state-of-the-art facility is located in the recently expanded southwest campus area, immediately west of the existing Fisheries Teaching and Research and Marine Studies buildings. The Fishery Sciences building has brought all members of the School together in contiguous facilities, improving collegiality, communication, and interaction on individual and programmatic levels. Teaching was showcased in the building design, which includes a large auditorium and the potential to provide distance learning. In recent years, structural elements have been added (e.g., ducts and vents and other systems) that can be brought online in the future to serve new faculty and programs.

This building houses most of SAFS’s faculty, staff and graduate students. It contains numerous laboratories, offices, and classrooms. In addition, it houses the Director’s Office, the Business Office, the Student Services Office, the Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and the School Archives.

Marine Studies Building

Some SAFS faculty, staff, and students share the Marine Studies Building with the School of Marine Affairs. This building, which was completed in 1983, contains teaching and research facilities specifically developed for research on aquatic food products, including engineering laboratories; a pilot plant; chemistry, microbiology, and biochemistry research laboratories; undergraduate teaching laboratories; walk-in coolers and freezers; and a low-temperature laboratory, as well as offices, classrooms, and other support facilities. The Marine Studies Building is also the site of the SAFS Molecular Genetics Facility.

Fisheries Teaching and Research Building

The Fisheries Teaching and Research building was completed in 1990. It is connected by walkways to the adjacent Marine Studies Building and houses faculty, staff and graduate students in laboratory-based disciplines. The University of Washington Fish Collection and its affiliated ichthyological faculty, staff, and students are also housed in the building. The Western Regional Aquaculture Center is also housed in this building. Facilities include several new classrooms and teaching laboratories, environmental chambers, and research laboratories.

Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

In addition to its faculty and secretarial offices and research laboratory space in Fishery Sciences building, the Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit has a student laboratory and student offices as well as facilities for gear and boat storage in a building located at 1303 NE Boat Street.

Fisheries Center

Fisheries Center continues to support the Fisheries Teaching & Research Hatchery (see following) and its personnel, as well as technical shops and small boat maintenance facilities. As of summer 1999, most of the personnel and facilities in this building will be relocated in the newly constructed Fisheries Center located in the southwest campus.

SAFS Molecular Genetics Facility

The SAFS Molecular Genetics Facility offers faculty, staff and students the opportunity to carry out research in molecular biology. Located in the Marine Studies Building, the facility is used for a variety of fisheries research projects involving salmonids, rockfishes, halibut, crabs, sea lions and sea otters.

The facility also serves as a teaching resource and is the site of a graduate course in molecular techniques. It is well equipped for most types of research in molecular biology, including high-throughput DNA sequencing and genotyping, molecular cloning and tissue culture. Lab facilities include two computerized, laser-based fluorescent imaging systems for DNA sequencing and other forms of genetic analysis, 96- and 384-well thermal cyclers, and other ancillary equipment.

Field Stations

The School’s Big Beef Creek research station, located on Hood Canal, Washington, provides opportunities to conducted research on aquatic species at a facility that encompasses the spectrum from freshwater to marine environments.

The School maintains six field stations in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska. Two field camps are located at Lake Iliamna (Iliamna, Porcupine Island), one at Chignik Lake, and three on the Wood River Lakes (Aleknagik, Nerka, Kulik). Each field station features cabins, boats, laboratory space and equipment to support research activities. The stations are occupied primarily during summer months in support of various types of studies on salmon. See the Alaska Salmon Program for further information (additional information for each of the three major sites may be obtained at the UW Office of Research Field Stations site.

Closer to home, SAFS also maintains a field station in Washington at Big Beef Creek (BBC) on Hood Canal. This station has a native salmon stream plus abundant well water, pristine tidelands, and access to seawater in Hood Canal. Laboratory and housing facilities are available to researchers. Information on BBC Research Activities for 2009 is available.

A small shellfish research laboratory on Puget Sound at Manchester, Washington, is located in facilities provided by the National Marine Fisheries Service. At this facility, the School is conducting studies on oysters, clams and mussels to provide information and assistance to the rapidly developing shellfish aquaculture industry in the Pacific Northwest.

Special Collections & Resources

University of Washington Fish Collection

The UW Fish Collection, part of the UW Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, is housed in the Fisheries Teaching and Research building, a SAFS facility. This collection of preserved fishes, one of five major permanent collections on the West Coast, is by far the largest in terms of number of specimens. Presently, the collection contains more than 300,000 juvenile and adult specimens. About 25 percent of the collection consists of freshwater species, primarily from Washington, Oregon and Alaska. The remaining collection comprises marine fishes and invertebrates collected mainly in the eastern North Pacific Ocean, from the Aleutian Islands to Baja California, and in the western tropical Pacific, from Christmas Island to Guam and the Philippines. Curators of the collection make specimens available upon request to researchers within and outside of SAFS, and provide ichthyological information to the public.

Fisheries Archives

The School Archives housed in the Fishery Sciences building contain records pertaining to research conducted by SAFS personnel, including data, reports and technical papers, proceedings, reprints of peer-review publications, maps, field logs and journals, and photographs and film. While some of the archive holdings are the same as those housed in the UW Archives, much of the content is unique and available only at this archives facility. Additional holdings pertaining to SAFS research, teaching and administrative activities are retained at the UW Archives.

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