School of Public Health

Student Epidemic Action Leaders (SEAL) Team

Logo for the SEAL Team: A seal with a detective hat and eyeglass like Sherlock Holmes.The Department of Epidemiology’s SEAL Team provides students with experience in applied epidemiology through methods training and field assignments at state and local health departments.




What does the SEAL Team do?

SEALs will attend in-person meetings and complete at-home assignments to develop knowledge and skills in communicable disease and applied epidemiology. All training activities will prepare SEALs to sign up for field assignments at the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and local health jurisdictions (LHJs) where they will assist in outbreak investigations and other public health preparedness and response activities. The nature of the field assignments will depend entirely on what real public health issues are affecting our community. 

SEAL Team Competencies

What is the time commitment?

SEALs will enroll in EPI 594 in Winter 2021, a public health surveillance course (EPI 506) in Spring 2021, and EPI 594 in Fall 2021. During the Winter quarter, we will have weekly meetings. SEALs will begin signing up for field assignments in the Spring. During the Summer quarter, students will have the option to register for one credit, but can remain on the SEAL Team without registering. In Summer quarter, there will be no in-person meetings, but SEALs will still be expected to complete field assignments, regardless of registration status. That means, SEALs will not be expected to stay in Seattle the entire summer, but will need to be around enough to complete a sufficient number of field assignments. SEALs are expected to complete one or more field assignments during each quarter that they are on the team. In the Fall quarter, meetings will be once a month. 

How do I join?

Masters and PhD level students in any department in the School of Public Health, who will not graduate before Fall 2021, can apply. There are no prerequisite classes.

Applications are open now through October 26, 2020, at 12:00 PM, to become a SEAL Team member. To apply, review this document for membership application instructions, and submit your application in one PDF to the SEAL Team Application Google Form.

Those selected will be offered a position before Winter quarter registration. 

Is this for credit and can it count as my practicum?

The first quarter will count for 2 credits while subsequent quarters will each count for 1 credit. SEALs are not required to register for a summer credit, but can if they want. It may be possible to develop your SEAL Team commitment into a practicum, though this will be on a case by case basis. 

For questions, please contact SEAL Team Director, Janet Baseman ( or SEAL Team RA, Anne Massey (