Friday Harbor HS Science teacher receives $19K grant to partner with FH UW Labs

A $19,000 grant was awarded to Friday Harbor High School (FHHS) Science Teacher Sam Garson to support a minimum 2-year partnership between the high school science department and Friday Harbor Labs in effort to get more students involved with high-level scientific research. This grant was awarded through a competitive process in the Partners in Science program through the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust.

Garson will be working with the Friday Harbor Labs Underwater Wired Observatory to study the effects of ocean acidification and deoxygenation on plankton in the Salish Sea. This partnership will allow Mr. Garson and his students to interact directly with lead researchers at the labs, potentially leading to additional opportunities for research and experiential education, preparing students for success in STEM at the post-secondary level. Following each summer of research, Mr. Garson will share this research at the national Partners in Science conference, also funded by this award.

According to  Garson, “I am really humbled by the selection and truly excited for what it means for the students here at FHHS. I am looking forward to not only the initial two years of collaboration with Friday Harbor Labs, but also beyond in seeing what kind of lasting programs and opportunities we can create here on the island.”

M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust of Vancouver, Washington, recently awarded 19 grants of $19,000 each (totaling $361,000) to improve science education in the Pacific Northwest through its Partners in Science program. Applications were accepted from high school teachers and mentors from a five-state region to conduct summer research. The primary goal of the Partners in Science program is to provide high school science teachers with opportunities to work at the cutting edge of science; revitalize their teaching; develop new, inquiry-based teaching strategies; and encourage more students to pursue science careers. The selection of awardees is based on the qualifications of the partner members, the quality of scientific research proposed, and the potential of its impact on the high school setting.

M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust, created by the will of the late Melvin J. (Jack) Murdock, provides grants to organizations in five states of the Pacific Northwest-Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington-that seek to strengthen the region's educational and cultural base in creative and sustainable ways. The Partners in Science program is one of its many efforts to do so in its grantmaking region. Learn more about the program at


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