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Peter J. Isaksen, R.S.

Health & Environmental Investigator II

Special Projects

Public Health – Seattle & King County

Seattle, WA 98104-4039


Peter did not start his Public Health career until he had spent many years in the restaurant business and also two years commercial fishing in Alaska and Washington State.  Along the way he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Microbiology from the University of Washington in 1984 and finally another Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Health in 1991. 


After an internship at the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department, Peter was hired there in 1991 to conduct a superfund related creek study in which he was first introduced to mapping.  Those maps were created by hand lettering on acetate plastic for later printing.  He has been trying to map things ever since. 


In 1993 Peter was hired full time at Public Health -Seattle & King County as an Environmental Health Specialist.  He has worked in many different aspects of Environmental Public Health through the years including inspecting On Site Sewage Systems, Water Systems, Food Establishments, Schools and Pools.  His current position is in the Site Hazard Assessment Program where he researches, samples and ranks Hazardous Waste Sites in King County.  But his true love is Geographic Information Systems (GIS).  Peter is the resident GIS guru for all of the Environmental Health Section and spends a significant portion of his time advocating for and producing digital maps of Environmental Public Health activities. If you have lots of time, ask him about it!

Leadership Development Opportunities

I would like to thank EPHLI for the opportunity to experience my Fellowship year.  I have learned so much more than I ever suspected.  The relationships with the other Fellows will be a constant memory that I will cherish.  The Mentors have been engaged, interested, helpful, approachable, instructive and inspiring.  The Institute staff has been supportive, professional, outstanding, hard working and wonderful.  The best part of the entire year was learning so very much about myself.  When I first signed up for the Institute, I thought the most important thing for the year would be the project.  I suppose that was correct in a way, especially if one thinks of the project as one's self.  I learned so many valuable lessons about how my and other people's minds work and this will help me in all aspects of the rest of my life. I feel very well prepared to take on additional responsibilities and look forward to contributing at a high level for the protection of the Public's Health.