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Marine Biology

Graduate Student Teaching Assistant

Position Announcement

Position Title: Teaching Assistant

Supervising Faculty: Assistant Teaching Professor Sasha Seroy, Associate Teaching Professor Jose Guzman

Course Name: MARBIO 488: Marine Biology in the Field

Employment Period: 9/1/2024 – 11/30/2024 (See course schedule below for commitment to instruct on site at Friday Harbor Labs; can adjust appointment to 9/16/2024 – 12/15/2024 to match end of summer appointment)


The Degree: Marine Biology offers a Bachelor of Science Degree (BS) in Marine Biology housed within the College of the Environment. The degree is a unique collaboration between the School of Oceanography and the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, in partnership with the Friday Harbor Laboratories.


The Class: Marine Biology in the Field 488 is a hands-on, integrative course designed to enhance students’ practical knowledge of marine organismal and habitat diversity, and oceanographic processes, with an emphasis on the interaction of biological, geomorphological, and physical facets of the nearshore marine ecosystem of the San Juan Islands.


This course consists of two stages:

  • Stage 1: A 3-week, field-based training and research experience at Friday Harbor Labs (Sept 3-20)
  • Stage 2: A 7-week, research project follow-up at UW Seattle Campus (Wednesdays Oct 2–Nov 20)


The course is intended as an integrative experience for senior level students, and requires skills in data analysis and writing relevant to the marine sciences. Therefore, three courses at the 300 level in FISH, OCEAN, FHL or BIOL.


This course aims to develop an in-depth understanding of mechanisms and processes underlying biological variability in the marine environment. For this, students will integrate relevant discipline-specific methods in a suite of guided and open inquiry-based observational and experimental studies conducted in the San Juan Island intertidal realm. Emphasis will be placed on comparative analyses among different physical environments, elucidating mechanisms underlying biological diversity, hypothesis testing, data analysis and synthesis.


Specific learning objectives are:

  • Form testable and falsifiable hypotheses relevant to key questions in the marine sciences through collaboration and discussion
  • Develop data collection protocols and experimental approaches relevant to the hypotheses to be tested and marine habitats explored
  • Observe and sample marine habitats and biota using an array of techniques that represent disciplines in biology, ecology, and oceanography
  • Enhance skills in data analyses using the field and experimental observations ∙ Compare and contrast physical and biological processes in the marine environment through data synthesis 
  • Link field and experimental observations across disciplines to mechanisms and processes in the marine environment
  • Develop skills in synthesis through reflective writing, development of a portfolio and oral presentation
  • Develop critical evaluation skills through reevaluation of experimental approaches, data collection and analysis, and presentation
  • Enhance skills in collaboration and coordination through guided discussion and group work


The Job: Marine Biology needs to hire one Teaching Assistant for MARBIO 488.


The TA is a critical component of the teaching team and will provide support to student research projects by

  • Mentoring students in the development of research skills (e.g. hypothesis development, experimental design, data collection, data analysis, statistics and graphing, oral and written communication)
  • Proved logistical support while at FHL including but not limited to securing supplies and equipment, helping studies set up field studies and experiments, transporting students and gear to and from field sites
  • Provide disciplinary expertise and background when needed


TA should expect to spend the majority of hours related to the autumn TA appointment during the 3-week field portion.


Course Schedule:

Stage 1, Field-based training and research experience at Friday Harbor Laboratories.

  • Daily from September 3 to September 20, 2022. All field and coursework at Friday Harbor Labs will be conducted 8+ hours a day, generally between 8:30am and 6pm (1-hour lunch break) EXCEPT as needed for tides or boat trips.
  • Requires lodging and duties on site at UW Friday Harbor Laboratories. Transportation costs from one round trip between Seattle and FHL will be covered in addition to compensation. Room and partial board to live on the FHL campus for these dates will be provided.
  • Autumn quarter lecture schedule: Wednesdays 2:30 – 4:20 PM (regular quarter course instruction ends on Nov 20, 2024

(Note: TA attendance during all lectures is required)

TA responsibilities include:

  • Attend all class, field and lab meetings while at FHL, reside at FHL for the 3-week field portion of the course.
  • Provide logistical assistance while at FHL (e.g. secure materials from FHL stockroom, drive U-Cars to field sites on San Juan Island, assist with field trips)
  • Help mentor student project groups to refine proposals, implement lab and field experiments, analyze and present data.


  • Academic standing as a UW Graduate Student and eligibility to hold a Graduate Student Assistantship
  • Availability for full appointment timeframe and available for the time the course is offered
  • Demonstrations of excellent written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.


Compensation: This is a GSA position governed by the UAW contract paid in accordance with 2024-2025 TA/RA/SA salary schedules.


To apply:

Please send an email to jkob@uw.edu with the subject MARBIO 488 TA and your last name.

Attach to the email a single PDF document that includes:

1.       A cover letter describing the strengths you would bring to serving as a teaching assistant in this course, as well as your strengths and background relevant to the specific activities outlined in the position and course description.

2.       A current resume that includes your work history and academic accomplishments of no more than two pages.

3.       Two references (name, title, phone, email) familiar with your teaching abilities.

Deadline: Priority application deadline of 4/12/2024


Notes: This job classification is governed by a negotiated labor contract.

The University of Washington is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. https://ap.washington.edu/eoaa/aapolicy/

To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact Disability Services Office, https://hr.uw.edu/dso/services/ 206-543-6450, 206-543-6452 (TTY) or dso@uw.edu