This refers to a PREVIOUS SW, held February 6, 2016
Please see this page for the most recent Sound Waters information

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Session A 11:00-12:15
Click on any class title to see a full description of the class

A.1 A Guide to Kayaking Local Waters

The Salish Sea provides many of the best places on the planet to paddle. We will "tour" Whidbey with trip information and attractions for day trips (and a few overnights) compiled by WISK--the Whidbey Island Sea Kayakers network. Dale Christensen

A.2 Adapting to Projected Climate Change in the Pacific Northwest

Learn about impacts of climate change on the Pacific Northwest region, including changes to aquatic systems, increase in forest fires, and sea level rise. Will also discuss efforts to adapt and increase the resiliency of our natural resources to the projected effects of climate change. Ingrid Tohver

A.3 Coastal Geology: Bluffs, Beaches and Landslides

Learn about coastal geologic processes on Whidbey and Camano Islands. We will talk about shoreline erosion, beach formation, and how our coastline changes over time. Hugh Shipman

A.4 Environmental Assessment & Monitoring: Integrating UAVs, Aerial Photography, and Mapping Technologies

To be covered in class: 1) distinctions between types of UAVs; 2)how each can benefit our environmental assessment and monitoring efforts; 3)some of the basics of using UAVs for geographic information systems and mapping including post-processing, ortho-mosaicing, georeferencing, spatial analysis, and 3D structure-from-motion(SfM). Russ McMillan,  Brad McMillan

A.5 Eyes on the Beach, Boots in the Mud: On the lookout for invasive European green crab in Puget Sound

Learn about the Invasive European Green Crab and how to distinguish it from our native species. Find out how to get involved in a new research study for this spring and summer where you can have fun setting traps and transect lines, measuring and sexing crabs, counting molts, and collecting data. Jeff Adams,  Emily Grason

A.6 Fishing for a Living: Cormorants and Mergansers

Learn more about the dark and streamlined cormorants that are so well-adapted to our local waters and about 3 local species of merganser, odd ducks of the waterfowl world. Presenters are long-term Coupeville residents who have been leading field trips and giving talks on a wide range of natural history topics for over 25 years. Participants need no previous knowledge. Steve Ellis,  Martha Ellis

A.7 Gardening with the Natives (Plants)

Are you looking to go completely native? Or, do you want to add some of the best of our NW native plants to your garden? We will talk about how to choose the best plants, and how to plant and place them so they thrive and show their best qualities. Trees, shrubs, ground covers, and ferns will all be covered to help gardeners create layered gardens with seasonal interest. June Davis

A.8 Glacier Research and Monitoring in Washington's National Parks: A History of Changing Climate and Water Supplies

Glaciers are magnificent indicators of climate change because of their sensitivity to temperature and precipitation, and the lasting evidence of their former size. Dr. Riedel will trace Puget Sound’s climate history from the last ice age to the last century. He will share with you his recent field work monitoring glaciers in National Parks. Jon L. Riedel

A.9 Green Shores™ For Homes Washington State and British Columbia

Learn how the Green Shores for Homes program benefits homeowners and the environment and how local governments can use the program to encourage homeowners to make ecological improvements along the shoreline. Maggie Glowacki

A.10 Ikkatsu Project: A Puget Sound Bottle-Boat Voyage Highlights Our Addiction to Plastic

See an incredible video with a fabulous sound track document the voyage of a most unusual kayak. Be inspired by the courage, creativity, and conviction of one man to change our addiction to plastic. Ken Campbell

A.11 Island County's Shoreline Master Program: Process, Status and Issues

Learn about Island County's Shoreline Master Program, including the review and approval process by Washington State's Department of Ecology. Brad  Johnson,  Tess Cooper

A.12 Know Your Risks: Do extreme storms and predicted sea level rise threaten your shoreline property?

Property owners will learn how to use NOAA's tools to assess their risks of damage. Strategies will be discussed to mitigate risks when dealing with aging structures. Barbara Bennett

A.13 On an Incoming Tide: Seabirds, Marine Debris, and Citizen Science

Beached birds and marine debris: One of the Salish Sea's largest citizen science programs. Erika Frost

A.14 Prairie History and Restoration in Ebey's Reserve

Prairies in the Pacific Northwest? Yes, indeed. Learn about the natural and cultural history of the prairies in Ebey's Reserve. Explore the challenges and lessons learned in restoring some of these prairies and why these efforts are important. Robert Pelant

A.15 Puget Sound Orcas

A leading researcher will teach about our resident orcas and about potential issues holding them back from recovering their population. Mike Ford

A.16 Salmon & Forage Fish in Island County? For Real? Indeed....

Learn how Whidbey and Camano Islands provide both salmon habitat and important habitat for the forage fish that are vital in salmon diets. Dawn Pucci

A.17 SeaFloor Volcanic Eruptions and Life in Extreme Environments in Real Time

Through rich video you will journey to the world of underwater volcanoes and hot springs - one of the most extreme environments on Earth. Find out what it is like to dive in the three person submersible “Alvin” to a depth of 12,000 feet and travel along a huge underwater canyon. See strange organisms and hear explosions on the ocean floor. Deborah Kelley

A.18 Stormwater Pollution Solutions for Salmon

NOAA scientists and their regional collaborators are working to identify clean water technologies that protect salmon and their habitats from the harmful effects of toxic stormwater runoff. Class participants will learn about the most important water quality threats to salmon and their food webs. New information will be presented about clean water strategies that remove these contaminants and demonstrably protect the health and integrity of our watersheds. Nat Scholz

A.19 The Secret Lives of Pigeon Guillemots on Whidbey Island

Pigeon Guillemots endear us with their bright red feet, playfulness and daring teamwork as they evade predators to fly food supplies to nests in Whidbey's sandy bluffs. They are also important as an indicator species monitoring the health of Puget Sound. Learn about the Whidbey Audubon Society's ongoing research study of guillemot breeding and nesting behavior Phyllis Kind,  Ann Casey

A.20 Tides, Currents, and Life

The tides and currents of the Salish Sea directly affect our lives and all marine ecosystems. Up and down, round and round, why do the waters move? We will look at the physical factors that create the tides and currents that are such a part of our lives on Whidbey Island, the Salish Sea, and the entire planet. Jack Hartt

A.21 HAS BEEN CANCELLED -- Washington's State Wildlife Action Plan and Citizen Science - Conservation

The new State Wildlife Action Plan and how citizen science helps meet SWAP objectives. Wendy Connally

We regret this class has been cancelled


Session B 1:30-2:45
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B.1 A View of Oysters in Washington

This class is a broad view of oysters in Washington State. Find out about suitable beach types for starting an oyster garden. Kurt Johnson,  Kevin Lungren

B.2 Birds, Backyard Habitat & Beyond

Enjoy a 60 minute film by Craig and Joy Johnson of wildlife taken in their Whidbey Island yard, followed by a Q and A session on ideas to increase the variety of birds in your yard and more! Craig Johnson,  Joy Johnson

B.3 Crabbing 101

This class is a true crabbing 101. We will cover crab habits and addictions, the rules for catching and possession, the many ways to catch crabs, how to keep crabs alive, and how to cook and clean them. We'll discuss the best baits, Whidbey Island fishing locations and times, and how to keep from losing your pot. John Hudson

B.4 Electricity on Whidbey: Safety, Distribution, Restoration and Stand-by Generators

Learn about your energy grid from Puget Sound Energy experts, and hear about their response to restore energy after outages. Get tips on selecting, installing and using a back-up generator and get a hands-on demonstration of electrical safety practices. Walt Blackford,  Larry Berdan,  Greg Parkinson

B.5 First Four Years: Wildlife Response to Removal of the Elwha Dams

How has removal of the Elwha Dam affected the wildlife in the last four years? How do wildlife help or hinder restoration efforts? Kim Sager-Fradkin

B.6 From Mountains to Sea: Local Aerial and Underwater Photography

Amazing photos of deep waters of the Salish Sea and the mountain peaks that feed the sea. Technical challenges of photographing in these extreme areas. Veronica von Allworden

B.7 Global Climate Change: Pacific Northwest Impacts

This class will focus primarily on the marine environment, addressing ocean acidification, sea-level rise, toxic algal blooms, and changes in species diversity /invasive species. On a regional scale, the class will also look at implications for agriculture, water resources, snowpack, and forest health. Richard Gammon

B.8 How Clean Energy Technology Can Be Used to Mitigate Climate Change

Class participants will learn about approaches for a next-generation energy system that also can be applied toward a carbon neutral objective. Joel Swisher

B.9 Island County Hydrogeology: Your Groundwater

You will learn about the genesis and function of our aquifers and aquitards. You will also learn about the risks to our water resources, such as contamination and over use, and how government agencies work to protect our water resources. The course will provide details regarding local groundwater availability and issues. Doug Kelly

B.10 Kelp: Ecology, Stressors, and Species Identification.

The first part of the course will provide an overview of kelp ecology, stressors and restoration. The second part of the course will be focused on identification of local species. Helen Berry,  Tom Mumford

B.11 Native American Adaptation to Whidbey and the Salish Sea.

Lou will discuss the Native American cultural adaptation to the mega-optimum zone of the Puget Sound region with a focus on Whidbey Island. The tools, food, dwellings, and life ways will be shared with the audience. Lou LaBombard

B.12 Paternity, Prey and Population Structure: Insights Into the Lives of Cetaceans Through Genetic Studies

Learn about recent advances in molecular genetic techniques used to explore aspects of cetacean behavior and ecology that previously seemed intractable. Kim M. Parsons

B.13 Shellfish, Can You Dig It?

Learn about dangerous biotoxins and where it is safe to harvest shellfish in Puget Sound, including Whidbey Island. Maribeth Crandell,  Audrey Kuklok

B.14 Surprising Stopovers of Juvenile Chinook

Follow the journey of juvenile Chinook salmon to pocket estuaries and small independent streams and learn about their early weeks of development. Eric Beamer

B.15 The Curious Harbor Porpoise - How We Monitor Its Acoustic Activity

Discover how curious and tenacious scientists developed acoustic instrumentation and other methods for studying harbor porpoises. Find out what they have learned and how their research findings might lead agencies to adopt programs that could protect these marine mammals. Aileen Jeffries,  Anna Hallingstad

Anna Hallingstad is replacing Aileen Jeffries as the instructor for this class.

B.16 The Ecology of Seagrasses and Adjacent Habitats

Learn about the ecology of seagrass habitats in Puget Sound and the outer coast of Washington. Explore the effects of stressors on these habitats and aspects of their resilience, protection and restoration. Ronald Thom

B.17 The Seasonal Clock of Feather Renewal: Molt and Avian Life Histories

Watch the mysterious life of birds unfold as you learn about the importance of molt and feather quality as drivers of avian life history evolution. Join the few people in the world who know about the recently discovered molt-migration system of western migrant birds and its potential conservation implications. Sievert Rohwer

B.18 Update on Island County Environmental Programs Including Priorities, Focus Areas, Goals and Successes

County Government is responsible for implementing and enforcing a wide range of programs designed to meet state mandates for environmental protections. These include, but are not limited to, surface and ground water quality, marine habitat and shellfish health, watershed planning, shoreline planning, growth planning, FEMA flood requirements, water availability, septic effluent disposition, solid waste, and endangered and listed species protections. This class will identify ways Island County leverages existing projects and programs and prioritizes local recovery efforts to ensure the best investment is made to benefit our watershed. Commissioner Jill Johnson

B.19 What are we learning about our influences on Puget Sound and the Salish Sea?

Learn how our collective actions impact Puget Sound and participate in a brainstorming session on how to transform ideas about positive lifestyle changes into actions. Mindy Roberts

B.20 Where the Wild and Robotic Things Are - Deepgliders

The ocean is large, deep, and mostly inaccessible without significant effort. Data collection is difficult and expensive but we've developed some impressive robots to help. This talk is about autonomous underwater gliders, specifically a new version from the University of Washington - Deepglider(TM) - that covers full ocean depth (6000 m). Fritz Stahr

B.21 Wild Foods and Ethnobotany of the Salish Sea Region--A Walking Tour

Join me for a wild food walk around Clinton to identify edible plants, tell stories, contemplate legends, share recipes, and nibble and pluck our way into knowing. We will move slowly on level ground but please dress for the weather. Meet in classroom before heading out. T. Abe Lloyd


Session C 3:00-4:15
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C.1 Attracting Pollinators and Beneficial Insects To Your Garden and Farm

Learn how to enhance populations of beneficial insects for your garden or farm. Come away with strategies for building pollinator habitat. Hear about case studies and current research including use of pesticides. Eric Lee- Mader

C.2 Beach Fishing

In this introductory class, you will learn how to beach fish for salmon, tie common fishing knots, why to use different colors and sizes of lures, and how to play a fish. Kevin Lungren

C.3 Cruising Locations and Hazards Around Puget Sound

Doug Bishop

C.4 Environmental Legislation in Olympia: What's Up and How to Participate

Sego and Rein will provide an overview of legislative proposals currently under consideration by our Legislature and teach you a few simple tools to use to easily and effectively give comments to your elected officials. Come hear about the Environmental Priorities Coalition, proposals that impact Puget Sound,and efforts to establish product stewardship and address toxics. Sego Jackson,  Rein Attemann

C.5 Evidence Of Historic Tsunamis Inundation In Island County

This class provides a brief overview of tsunami generation, propagation and sources that pose a risk to Camano and Whidbey Islands. The majority of the class will focus on the geologic record of tsunamis in Island County and the active investigations by students and researchers at Central Washington University. Jim Rich,  Brian  Ostrom,  Colin Bloom,  Andrew Raulerson

C.6 Getting a grip on bull kelp: Can we use citizen science to map it?

Bull kelp beds are important nearshore habitat, providing shelter & nutrients to a wide range of fish & invertebrates. Learn about the local efforts to map these beds,the experience and outcomes from the 2015 survey, and planning for next year. Linda Rhodes

C.8 Island Beach Rocks - Identification Of Your Favorite Beach Rocks

A lively and interactive overview of the basic classification of the glacial rocks we find on our beaches. Participants should bring several of their favorite rocks to investigate--around 6 inches is a good size of rock. Also helpful to bring a magnifying glass, magnet,small metric ruler,and knife to scratch rocks. Eric Cheney

C.9 It Takes A Village To Raise A... Park?: Partnership and Volunteer Opportunities In Our Local Washington State Parks

In the face of diminishing funding for state parks, local parks staffs are getting creative to keep parks running smoothly. Become informed about our local state parks, their current conditions, and how different partnerships and local volunteer support are being used to help our parks do more with less. Jon Crimmins,  Jack Hartt,  Jeff Wheeler

C.10 Learn to Propagate Our Native Plants

A hands-on workshop in propagating native plants that will allow you to take home your own native plant starts. Focus first on strategies to collect, clean, store and propagate seeds. Then explore various strategies to grow ferns from spores, cuttings or divisions. Please pay instructor a $5.00 materials fee and take home a few prizes. Bridget McNassar

C.11 Ocean Dynamics and the Salish Sea

Learn how water moves around in Puget Sound and the Salish Sea. Hear simple explanations and view realistic computer simulations of the physical processes and how they affect the ecosystem. Participants will learn of a daily forecast model for the ocean called LiveOcean. Parker MacCready

C.12 Preventing Oil Spills in the Salish Sea - Today and Tomorrow

In this class, Captain Raymond will cover how the U.S. Coast Guard actively works to prevent oil spills, coordinates with its many partners to prepare for potential spills, and proactively responds when oil does enter the water. He will also explain how the many partners continually assess the potential risks posed by proposed new maritime projects and look at ways to further mitigate the risk of oil spill. Captain Joe Raymond

C.13 Raptors of Western Washington: From Shoreline to Summit

As apex predators in western Washington, raptors are often seen, often admired, often maligned. This class will look at key specialized adaptations of raptors, the ecology of various species, and address some of the mythology surrounding raptors as fact or fiction. James Watson

C.14 Stormwater Impacts to Marine Habitat

This class will cover the characteristics of watersheds, how various factors impact nearshore marine ecosystems and what we can do to reduce pollution from storm water runoff. Rob Hallbauer

C.15 The Many Shades of Shellfish Enforcement, from Harvest Grounds to the Illicit Marketplace

This class will touch on how the law enforcement arm of Washington's Department of Fisheries and Wildlife manage our natural marine resources, chase down poachers, and control the black market. The two co-presenters represent 1)policy, program development, management, and science; and 2) "pistol-packing" enforcement, detective work, and officers afloat or on land. Mike Cenci,  Rich Childers

C.16 The Secret World of Slugs and Snails

A preeminent expert on the small wonders of the natural world will playfully and thoughtfully shed light on the fascinating lives of slugs and snails. David George Gordon

C.17 Understanding the Columbia River Estuary through sensors, innovation, and collaboration

Learn all about the mighty Columbia River Estuary and how scientists using new technology work to assure the water quality and preserve its diverse resources. Joseph  Needoba

C.18 Understanding Your Local Water System -- Best Practices in Management and Operations

Learn legal aspects of local water systems and best practices in management and operations. Jim Patton

C.19 Use of Unmanned Aircraft for Environmental Research and Monitoring: Challenges and Opportunities

Various topics will be presented on unmanned aircraft systems including history of development, terminology, military vs. civilian use, recent technology, regulations, and environmental research application. David Oakes Wallin

C.20 Wildlife Photography

An award-winning wildlife photographer reveals the tricks and stories behind samples of his work. Bart describes equipment, locations, and techniques for getting better photos of our local wildlife. *This is an intermediate session offering in-depth, technical information beyond the basics. Bart Rulon

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