Salish Sea Sciences is an immersive 26 day summer program for up to twenty 14-18 year olds devoted to the marine sciences and maritime ecology in conjunction with scientists and educators from the University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories, the SeaDoc Society, the National Parks Service, and Northwest Maritime Center.
...a refuge of scientific and historic treasures and a classroom for generations of Americans.
—President Barack Obama, March 2013
Declaration of the San Juan Island National Monument
Engage in the marine sciences in the field, on the water, and in the lab; navigate, row, sail, and camp on a 6 day/5 night longboat voyage, trawl on the University of Washington research vessel Centennial, prepare and present independent research to scientist mentors.
Learn from world-class research scientists.
Contribute to real scientific research.
Study in the field, the lab, and the classroom.
Write, illustrate, photograph, observe and discover.
Present your work to scientist mentors.
Practice leadership and make lifelong friends.
Earn academic credit.*
Distinguished for its unique and biologically diverse habitats, this "inland ocean" called the Salish Sea offers a wealth of research opportunities representing an array of biological sub-disciplines.
Often, the same researchers who will lead students into the field or lab the next day will be the students' guest for dinner the night before. At dinner, students have the opportunity to engage in casual conversation with scientists. After dinner, scientists provide students with short, formal presentations of their research and what students can expect the next day. Students are encouraged to ask questions!
How did you become a scientist?
What colleges and universities did you attend?
What did you like/not like about college?
Why did you develop your particular specialization?
What do you love about your work?
What are your greatest challenges?
What are the practical applications of your work?
Tell me more about your research!
After the conclusion of the program, students will receive a written evaluation, grade, and a description of the coursework completed. We do not issue credit ourselves, but we are happy to issue copies of these grade sheets to your school to help you get credit there. Students also can submit copies of their grade sheets along with their college applications.
Participants will experience 26 days of field, lab, and classroom study in the marine sciences and stewardship, including a 6 day/5 night longboat voyage, a sunset kayak trip, and a trawl on the University of Washington research vessel Centennial. Through daily field work, discussions, formal lessons, and independent and team research projects, our participants develop skills in:
Observe natural systems
Identify local species.
Recognize patterns and develop hypotheses.
Design lab experiments and field surveys.
Analyse and summarize data.
Evaluate and critically interpret data.
Communicate verbally and in writing.
Evaluate self and review peers.
Phase one: scientific processes and research
Activities will include interactions with scientists, data-collection on the Labs' research vessel Centennial, and exposure to an array of research disciplines, projects, methodologies, and data sets in a variety of island habitats and lab settings. A typical day might include data collection with Labs or National Parks researchers and lessons in scientific drawing and data analysis. Most evenings, contributing scientists and participants come together for conversation and presentations over a home-cooked dinner.
Phase two: longboat voyage
Students take to the Salish Sea on a 6 day/5 night longboat voyage—replicating the experiences of Captain George Vancouver and his crew when they first charted the waters of the archipelago in the 1790s. Led by our staff and educators associated with Northwest Maritime Center/Wooden Boat Foundation in Port Townsend, Washington, students practice leadership and collaboration while navigating the inland waters of the Salish Sea and discovering island habitats only accessible by small crafts or by invitation.
Phase three: putting it all together
Upon returning from the longboat voyage to the Spring Street International School campus in Friday Harbor, program participants have the opportunity to continue research with mentors as well as work individually and in teams to prepare capstone multi-media projects that they will share at a celebratory dinner for all the professional researchers who shared their expertise and instruction over the 26 day period.
Other activities include a Shakespeare play, Sunset Kayak trip, or ice cream outing. Every evening, a team of students will write a brief blog entry about the day's activities on the program website. Students will collect notes, drawings, data, and reflections in a notebook. They will receive a thumb drive on which to collect photographs and any other digital creations.