Our students enjoy learning in an environment where new ideas and discoveries are a constant source of inspiration; they are excited to engage with peers and faculty and are proactive about seizing opportunities, building their expertise, and sharing their knowledge.

“[In SAFS] I have met some amazing people that work on a diversity of topics, from polar bear dietary trends to parasites in tropical places, and anywhere in between. I was constantly learning something new from my peers, faculty, research staff, post-docs, and graduate students. This research-orientated program has given me opportunities to gain skills in the lab and in field locations as remote as rural Alaska. I am grateful for my experience in SAFS… a small community within a large university.”

Hyejoo Ro, class of 2019

“I came to SAFS because the hands-on experiences offered to undergrads are unlike those at any other university. I have hiked streams around Seattle and in Alaska and I’ve been out on boats on Lake Washington, Puget Sound, and by the San Juan Islands. Even if the great outdoors isn’t your thing, there are plenty of opportunities to work with faculty and grad students on projects ranging from larvae under microscopes to data analysis to identifying pickled fish.”

Kyla Bivens, class of 2020

“My time at SAFS has brought me to India to understand the importance of rivers and how they are studied there, to the Methow Valley to wrestle beavers and to see the science of river restoration in action, and finally to the lakes of Washington to understand the complex ecosystems that lie beneath the water. SAFS has equipped me with the knowledge to tackle the toughest problems in the field and also provided a community of passionate students to reach out to for help and to discuss the latest in all things aquatic.”

Ethen Whattam, class of 2019

“SAFS provided me with a tight-knit community within a massive university, where I’ve made amazing friends and built  professional relationships. The professors and advisors are all so encouraging and inspiring; they made it so easy to get involved in research right from the beginning of my time at SAFS. I studied birds and mammals in the San Juan Islands, volunteered at NOAA, gained lab work experience, and spent a summer exploring pristine salmon spawning habitat with the Alaska Salmon Program. Majoring in SAFS was the single best decision I made as an undergrad at UW.”

Katie Wold, class of 2019

“The professors in the department are so approachable, and working with graduate students in the field or in the lab I always felt like I was an equal. The field trips, labs, and capstone project explore diverse habitats and have prepared me for the realities of being a research scientist in the field and the broader science community. The undergraduate community is truly “in it together”—working together on lab projects and data analysis, getting feedback from each other on papers and presentations.”

Andrew Chin, class of 2020

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