Graduate Student Life and Community

Graduate Students in the Forest

Living in Seattle

Nicknamed the Emerald City, Seattle has a lot to offer no matter your interest. Encircled by mountains, the Olympics to the west and the Cascades to the east, the hilly city has forests, beaches, snow, lakes and hiking within easy reach. While we may be known for our rain, the sunny summer months are well worth the wait.  The temperature over the year typically varies from 37°F to 79°F and is rarely below 28°F or above 88°F.Go kayaking on Lake Union, take a ferry to an island, ride a bike on one of the trails surrounding Lake Washington, learn to sail at the UW Boat House, and more. If the outdoors aren’t your speed, enjoy farmers markets, world-class entertainment, art and cultural events, and amazing food from every region in the city itself. 

Watch Introducing Seattle to get a sense of how amazing our city really is. 

First Friday

On the first Friday of every month students, faculty and staff gather together on the deck of the Marine Science Building for food, beverage, and fun! Organized by our first year students, it is a great way for the community to come together and socialize outside of the lab.


The Oceanography All-Student Educational Retreat is our annual student retreat at the UW Friday Harbor Labs on the beautiful San Juan Island. TOASTER is a long-standing tradition of the School of Oceanography, giving graduate students the opportunity to connect to each other and relax in the fun, natural setting of Friday Harbor. The weekend includes games, lightning talks, and exploration of the surrounding areas.


Not that Argo! ARGO is the Academic and Recreational Graduate Oceanographers Student Club. All current students are members. ARGO helps organize events for our students including talks, yoga and meditation workshops, book clubs, film festivals, holiday caroling, get active challenges and more!


Annual Oceanography Graduate and Postdoc Symposium is a week of graduate student and postdoc research starting with poster sessions, talks, and an art show. Prizes and awards are voted on by the student body for best talk to best figure.

The Circulation Desk Book club

Sometimes you need a break from journal articles and research! Organized and run by current graduate students, a new novel is chosen every month and discussed.

The Touch Tank Zine

Every quarter a little zine surfaces from the depths...The Touch Tank is an ongoing tradition written by graduate students for graduate students. The Touch Tank staff also organizes TouchTanksgiving, an office wide tradition in November.

Sports Teams

Everything from soccer to bowling (The Circum-bowler Currents). Our students have organized oceanography teams for intramural sports on campus.

There are more opportunities for involvement and outreach available. When you become a graduate student - you will have access to a graduate student google drive with numerous outreach activities, student help listings, grant examples, and more.