Job Opportunity with Friday Harbor Lab- Spring & Summer 2017

Literature review and draft policy on dispersant use in San Juan County Waters

The Friday Harbor Laboratories (FHL) has two quarters of graduate student support (Spring and Summer 2017) for a state-funded project creating a detailed literature review and drafting of a policy statement on dispersant use for oil spills in Washington waters. The first task is to prepare a concise, non-technical (but well referenced) literature review on the dispersants that could be used in local waters, especially those most likely to be used on the types of oil transported here. It would include the dispersant effectiveness on these oil products/types, and the environmental consequences of their use. The second task is to propose a draft dispersant use policy for San Juan County, in consultation with personnel from the Northwest Area Committee and local experts at NOAA. Ultimately, this policy could be brought by SJC Council to its congressional delegation for endorsement, enabling informed, locally relevant decisions to be made quickly in the event of an oil spill. “Telling the story” of this process to groups outside San Juan County will also be important, so the student may give presentations to state and federal agency groups, other Marine Resource Committees, and volunteer citizen-science groups.


  • Some knowledge of marine science
  • Comfort with chemical concepts
  • Ability to organize, read, and synthesize diverse literature
  • Interest in environmental policy
  • Willingness to reach out to diverse scientists, regulators, and environmental groups for drafting a policy statement and for giving presentations on findings
  • Willingness and ability to either live onsite at FHL and travel to Seattle and Olympia as needed, or to travel to San Juan County for conversations with stakeholders


6 months (March 2017 to Sept. 2017) standard graduate student salary (50% FTE) and benefits, and tuition remission. A small travel budget will be provided.

To Apply:

Send one pdf that includes a statement of interest and qualifications (ca. 1 page), a current CV, and names (with emails and phones) of at least 2 references, to:

Questions about this position may be sent to Megan Dethier ( or phone 206-543-8096.

Applications will be reviewed beginning Feb. 1 and a decision will be made by Feb. 15, 2017.

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