Department of Epidemiology

Student Epidemic Action Leaders (SEAL) Team

Logo for the SEAL Team: A round logo with a magnifying glass image in the center. Text reads SEAL Student Epidemic Action Leaders

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.

How do I join?

Applications for the 2023–2024 academic year have closed, those selected will be offered a position before winter quarter registration on November 3, 2023. Masters and PhD level students in any department in the School of Public Health can revisit this page in Fall 2024 to apply to join the SEAL Team. There are no prerequisite classes.

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 the Winter, Spring, and Fall quarters. They will also have the option of taking a public health surveillance course (EPI 506) in Spring. 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. In the Fall quarter, meetings will be once a month. 

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 (

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