June 1, 2008

Dear Student,

Welcome to the Blakely Island Field Station summer session <<????insert year????>>!  I am looking forward to your participation in <<??course number and name??>>.   I am writing this letter to provide you with some important details regarding this course.  Also included is a request for some additional information the station manager needs from you.

            The facility where you will be housed is a residence hall with double-occupancy rooms furnished with twin beds and desks.  Linens are not provided, so you should bring a sleeping bag or your own linens, as well as your own towels.  Pillows are provided.  Each room has a sink and shares a shower and toilet with an adjoining room.  You should bring your own soap, etc.  There is a campus phone on which outgoing calls can be made either collect or with a calling card.  Anyone calling you may also use this number, which is (360) 375-6001.  Also, there are three computers (IBM compatible) with internet service available for your use.  If you have a laptop you are encouraged to bring it if you wish and think it would be helpful for this course.

            All meals are served family-style in our dining hall, and snacks are available at all times.  If you have special dietary requirements or limitations, please note them on the information/waiver form enclosed.  Please note that Seattle Pacific maintains smoke-, alcohol- and drug-free campuses. 

            The texts you will be using are <<??list texts here??>>.  In addition, you should also pack <<??add or delete to the following list as you see fit??>> writing materials, a laboratory/field data book, notepaper, virus-free thumb drive, a daypack, rain gear, and a water bottle.  You are strongly urged to buy a pair of wading boots.  Knee-high rubber boots are available at a variety of outlets for $20 or less.  If you have compass, watch, binoculars, or camera you might find them useful as well.

<<??The following paragraph is needed only if you anticipate involving students in SCUBA activities.??>>If you are a certified SCUBA diver and are interested in diving while on Blakely please contact the station director (Dr. Tim Nelson, tnelson@spu.edu, (206) 281-3640) right away.  All diving activities carried out under SPU auspices must follow academic diving protocols.  Thus, you will need to fill out some paperwork, get a medical exam if you haven't had one recently, and take a written and skills test if you choose to dive.  You will need to bring all of your own equipment except tanks and a weight belt.  Diving is certainly not required nor expected:  most students will not be diving as part of the course.

            The class will meet at <<??insert date and time, usually 10 am the first day of the course??>> at the Skyline Marina in Anacortes, WA. To reach the marina, drive north on I-5 through Mount Vernon and take Exit #230, State Route 20 and 20 Spur to Anacortes.  In Anacortes follow the signs directing you toward the Washington State Ferry (north on Commercial Avenue, west on 12th, continuing west on Oakes). You will come to a “Y” in the road, where the road to the ferry angles to the right, and the road to the Skyline Marina (Sunset Ave.) continues straight ahead. From Sunset Ave., turn left (south) on Skyline Way. The marina, behind a large white building, will be on the left, and there are a few parking spaces that you may use only while you unload. 

The boat we will be taking is called the <<??double-check boat name before sending letter??>> Paraclete.  For directions to the boat once you get to Skyline Marina, visit http://www.paracletecharters.com/.    There will be handcarts near the parking that you may use to load your belongings onto the boat. 

The long-term parking is across the street in a lot marked “Decatur Northwest Homeowners Association”.  The most obvious sign may be a barrel marked “DNW Impound”.  To enter this lot, you may need to unlock the chain.  The combination is “6008”.  To avoid being towed please park in the unpaved “back” portion of this lot, not on the paved area.  Put a note in your windshield (inside the vehicle) that says “SPU” on it.  If you have any trouble entering the lot or are uncertain about where you are parked, please discuss the issue with the crew of the Paraclete prior to departing Skyline Marina. 

You should allow at least 2.5 hours (depending on Seattle traffic) for the drive from Seattle to the marina, unloading, loading, and parking.  The boat leaves promptly at <<??insert time here??>>!  The returning boat will leave Blakely Island at about <<??insert date and time, usually 1 pm on the last day of the course??>>, arriving in Anacortes around <<??insert time, usually allow 1.5 hours from departure time??>>.

            Enclosed you will find an information/liability waiver form.  Please provide the information and signatures requested and return it as soon as possible to LeRoy Hubbert as indicated on the form.

            Seattle Pacific University owns and operates the Blakely Island Field Station through the generous gift of Mr. Thomas B. Crowley.  Consistent with the Christian tradition and commitment of the university, we treasure the unique opportunity it provides for learning about and caring for the living world, as well as the friendship, enjoyment, and reflection which come with it.  I hope this class will be an enriching and unforgettable experience for you.

Sincerely,

<<??Faculty members name, title, e-mail and phone number??>>