Salmon Swimming upstream

sound Waters University February 3, 2024

Sound Waters University

4 orcas swimming in a line
Photo by Jill Hein

Are you curious about the health of our seas, the impact of climate change, whales, and salmon habitat, or the status of seastars?

Thank you for celebrating the 30th Sound Waters University: You, Me, and the Salish Sea: Responding to a Sea of Change.

Zoom Recordings

  • $50 | Zoom recordings only
*Available to watch until March 9, 2024 on the attendee access page.
Sunflower Seastar on Eel Grass
Photo by Tabitha Jacobs-Mangiafico

You, Me, and the Salish Sea: Responding to a Sea of Change

Hybrid Event

  • Up to 30 expert live classes were offered in person.
  • 3 classes to attend live or via Zoom.
  • Immersive field trips*

*Become a monthly supporter for future opportunities to get involved.

Immersive Field Trips

  • Old Growth Forests
  • Salmon Habitat Restoration: Cornet Bay & Leque Island
  • Winter Birding: Whidbey, Camano, & Fir Island
  • Geology of Bluffs & Beaches
salmon in stream

2024 Class Selection Live for Attendees

*Scroll down in your Eventbrite confirmation email for your password to the “Attendee Access” page to sign up for your classes.

Agenda (Click to expand)

TimeAgenda ItemTopicsRoom
7:45 AM – 8:30 AMDoors Open + Packet Pick-upWelcomeCoupeville High School Main Entrance
8:30 AM – 8:45 AM30th Year CommencementOpening Remarks, Flow of the Day, and Jan Holmes Award AnnouncementAuditorium
8:45 AM – 9:45 AMKeynote
Jason Hodin on Sunflower Sea Stars Captive Rearing at Friday Harbor Labs (University of Washington)Auditorium
9:45 AM – 10:00 AMBreak & Sponsor Hall
Connect with local organizations and businessesCoupeville High School Commons
10:00 AM – 11:00 AMSession 1 Concurrent ClassesTides Wait for No One, Pigeon Guillemot Postural Displays and Vocalizations, Waste Wise, Forage Fish of the Salish Sea, Derelict Fishing Gear, Orca Network Update, Sebastes Searchers Unite: What you can do to save the Salish Sea’s most charismatic characters & more. Classroom assignments to be determined on two levels with elevator access. Rm: 102, 106, 109, 110, 114, 202, 206, 208, 213, Library and Auditorium
11:00 AM – 11:15 AMBreak & Sponsor Hall
Connect with local organizations and businessesCoupeville High School Commons
11:15 AM – 12:15 PMSession 2 Concurrent ClassesStormwater Monitoring, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, Bull Kelp Health and Monitoring via Community Science: REEF Check, European Green Crab Invasive Species Identification and Community Science Workshop, Federal listing update on Sunflower Seastars (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), Forestry 101, & more. Classroom assignments to be determined on two levels with elevator access
12:15 PM – 1:15 PMLunch & Sponsor Hall
Connect with local organizations and businessesCoupeville High School Commons
1:15 PM – 2:30 PMSession 3 Concurrent Classes & Wrap-upWhat Island County is Doing for Our Environment, Crabbing 101 workshop, Octopus of the Salish Sea, You, Me, & the Whales of the Salish Sea, Forage Fish of the Salish Sea (2nd session), & moreClassroom assignments to be determined on two levels with elevator access
2:30 PM – 3:00 PMClosing & ConnectionsConnect with local organizations and businessesCoupeville High School Commons
4:00 PM – 6:00 PMSocial Dinner & DrinksInvitational social for our Sound Waters University Sponsors, Speakers, individual Orca level donors, and above. Callen’s
Presenters, class titles, and times subject to change

2024 Presenters

Ariana Winkler Habitat Restoration Project Coordinator Snohomish Conservation District
Chandler Colahan Education Coordinator at Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Chris Kelley Hydrogeologist for Island County Public Health
Cindy Hansen Orca Network’s Education Outreach Advocacy Coordinator
Dr. Dayv Lowry Rockfish Recovery Coordinator for NOAA Fisheries
Erin Gless Executive Director, Pacific Whale Watch Association
Jack Hartt Author and Adventurer
Jackie Selbitschka Washington Regional Manager, Reef Check
Janet St. Clair Island County Commissioner for District 3
Janna Nichols Citizen Science Program Manager, REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation)
Jason Hodin, Keynote Senior Research Scientist, UW Friday Harbor Labs
Jason Morgan Northwest Straits Marine Projects Manager
Jen Schmitz Natural Resources Division Manager
John Hudson Crabbing Expert
Jonathan Robinson Snohomish County Beach Watchers Program Coordinator
Joseph Mangiafico SCUBA Diver
Katie Allen Community Scientist Coordinator, WA DNR, Nearshore Monitoring
Kyra Anderson Lead Research Scientist for WA DNR
Lisa Hillier Senior Biologist-Marine Fish Science Unit WDFW
Maria Mudd Ruth Author and Pigeon Guillemot surveyor
Nolan Kitts Forest Resource Planner
Olivia Carmack Marine Biologist
Paul Belanger PhD Geologist, Paleoclimatologist & President of Sound Water Stewards
Phillip Dionne Forage Fish Research and Management Lead, WA Dept of Fish and Wildlife
Sarah Bergquist Interim Director WSU-Extension Islan County, Waste Wise Program Coordinator
Tim Gohrke Friends of Skagit Beaches & Storm Water Monitoring area project lead
Todd Mitchell Environmental Director of the Swinomish Department of Environmental Protection with the Swinomish Tribal Community
Vivien Coop Climate Change Researcher with the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community’s Department of Environmental Protection

Add on field trips during checkout:

There are no upcoming events.

Are you interested, but can’t attend on February 3rd? Purchase zoom streaming only and have access to the limited class recordings for 30 days.

See menu above for links to Field Trips and Exhibit Hall

Add on a Field Trip during the checkout process at EventBrite

Discounts & Scholarships Available

  • Students, Teachers, Active Military, Veterans, and AmeriCorps: 50% off your general admission. Include your photo ID, ID #, school, and/or place of work.
  • Full or partial scholarships are available to help offset the general admission ticket. We understand financial situations are different for everyone. Please reach out and let us know if you would like to attend.
  • Requests will be processed on a case-by-case basis
  • To request discounts and scholarships, email

CEU are available for both classes and field trips – scroll down

Sound Waters University (SWU) is the largest educational activity and fundraiser presented by Sound Water Stewards (SWS) 501(c)(3) non-profit of Island County.

Join our mailing list! Receive email updates on marine announcements, early registration access, and more. See the box at the bottom of this page.

Zoom Recordings – Virtual Attendance

Recording Policies

  • Must not be shared
  • Are available for 30 days.
  • Access to recordings only, no refunds available. 

Limited Scholarships Available

Thank you to our Past Sponsors/Grantors

Become a sponsor of this event.

Learn more about our different levels.