specimen under microscope

Class Schedule


View Sound Waters University 2024 classes & connect with the presenters below.

For Zoom ticket holders: Buy your ticket and access all 9 recordings post-event for up to 30 days on the “Attendee Access” page.

*All speakers, panelists, and conference topics, as well as the order of events, are subject to change at any time. Power points will be made available if applicable over the next week.

8:30 – 8:45 AM- Welcome and Announcements
8:45 – 9:45 AM- Morning Keynote
Without Sunflower sea stars, sea urchin numbers increase and begin feasting on kelp, resulting in the reduction of local and regional biodiversity.
9:45 – 10:00 AM – Break & Sponsor Hall
10:00 – 11:00 AM Session 1
Physical & Cultural Environment
Tides and Currents of the Salish Sea. The movement of water around the Salish Sea and Planet Earth has fascinated people for as long as
Salish Sea Sciences
Though we all love the colorful sea stars and frolicking otters, it’s the tiny world below that keeps our Salish Sea ticking. Learn about
Life and Resilience: From Forests to Feathered Friends
This class will introduce you to several of the guillemot\’s vocalizations and associated body postures. Which of these monomorphic birds is male or female?
Salish Sea Sciences
Forage fish are a critical keystone species in the marine food web. They specialize in eating plankton and then are eaten by other marine and
Physical & Cultural Environment
Derelict fishing gear in the Salish Sea mostly consists of gillnets and shellfish pots, these lost nets and pots also known as ghost gear remain
Natural World
Whales are an indicator of the health of our oceans, and their fates are often interwoven with other marine species.
Natural World
Check out a variety of fishes found in shallow waters around Puget Sound, where you might see them snorkeling, tide pooling or SCUBA diving.
Natural World
Climate change is becoming an alarmingly larger factor impacting greater rates of bluff and beach erosion.
Changing Environment
It is important to point out that the “waste” end of a product is only one portion of its environmental impact. Sarah will address how
Salish Sea Sciences
During this presentation, we will explore the diversity of Washington’s apex marine predators with hands-on learning, followed by shark research progress, and new discoveries.
11:00 – 11:15 AM – Break & Sponsor Hall | Connect with local organizations and businesses
11:15 AM – 12:15 PM Session 2
Changing Environment
In 2021, the sunflower sea star was petitioned for listing under the ESA. The primary threat to the species was identified as a pandemic of sea
Salish Sea Sciences
Join Olivia as she takes you on a tour through recovery of ESA listed rockfishes in the Salish Sea, her collaboration with many partners to
Salish Sea Sciences
Kelp forests in Washington have been in decline over the last 100 years – with a 36% decline in kelp forests in the San Juan Islands in less
Salish Sea Sciences
Help defend inland Washington waters from the invasive European Green Crab in this hands-on interactive workshop. 
Salish Sea Sciences
In this session, you will learn about the framework for success at tackling water pollution problems in the Salish Sea and how you can help
Physical & Cultural Environment
What is Swinomish place-based science, traditional ecological knowledge, and indigenous science; how that ancestral knowledge from our elders is collected, used, and protected through data
Natural World
This class will provide a basic overview of Pacific Northwest forestry with an emphasis on ecological forest management, water quality, and the symbiotic relationship between
12:15 – 1:15 PM – Break for Lunch & Sponsor Hall
1:15 PM – 2:30 PM Session 3
Salish Sea Sciences
Forage fish are a critical keystone species in the marine food web. They specialize in eating plankton and then are eaten by other marine and
Natural World
Learn about the different octopus species of the Salish Sea through the unique lens of a professional SCUBA Diver, and underwater photographer and videographer.
Natural World
how to identify the region\’s whale species and dive deeper into their behavior and travel patterns. We\’ll also highlight some of the major
Salish Sea Sciences
Our oceans absorb roughly one-third of the carbon dioxide produced by humans, and this absorption is making our local marine waters more acidic. 
Physical & Cultural Environment
Janet conveys what she and Island County are doing to manage both interests, such as her success in writing and securing a grant to update
Salish Sea Sciences
How to catch more crab from shore or boat. Covers: equipment; best baits; license requirements &regulations; Whidbey Island locations; best times & tides; crab
Natural World
While beavers can cause challenges for landowners, they are invaluable for creating, protecting and preserving fresh water and wildlife habitat. There are solutions to help
Physical & Cultural Environment
Presenting on the water quantity and water quality considerations for Island County, respectively; providing an overview of our hydrogeology program, \”Aquifers 101\”, water availability, and similar
2:30 – 3:00 pm End of Day & Sponsor Hall | Connect with local organizations and businesses

Our Speakers

Maria Mudd Ruth

Author and Pigeon Guillemot surveyor
Maria Mudd will present on Marbled Murrelets at Sound Waters University on Saturday February 4, 2023.
Learn More Maria Mudd Ruth

Erin Gless

Executive Director, Pacific Whale Watch Association
Erin Gless is the Executive Director of the Pacific Whale Watch Association. She holds a BS in Biology with Marine Emphasis from Western Washington University
Learn More Erin Gless

Jack Hartt

Author and Adventurer
Deception Pass was Jack\’s last state park to call home, living there for fourteen years, and performing numerous rescues and recoveries in the churning
Learn More Jack Hartt

Jason Morgan

Northwest Straits Marine Projects Manager
As manager of the Foundation’s Derelict Fishing Gear Program, he works with state, federal, Tribal, and recreational stakeholders to achieve the program’s goal
Learn More Jason Morgan

Janna Nichols

Citizen Science Program Manager, REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation)
Janna has personally conducted over 1500 REEF surveys (most from the Pacific Northwest) over the past 2 decades. She even has a Nudibranch (sea slug) named after
Learn More Janna Nichols

Phillip Dionne

Forage Fish Research and Management Lead, WA Dept of Fish and Wildlife
Phillip Dionne is the forage fish research and management lead for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
Learn More Phillip Dionne

Olivia Carmack

Marine Biologist
Olivia Carmack is a marine biologist and SCUBA Diver with Paua Marine Research Group based out of California.
Learn More Olivia Carmack

Kyra Anderson

Lead Research Scientist for WA DNR
Kyra Anderson works for WADNR\’s Acidification Nearshore Monitoring Network (ANeMoNe) as the Lead Research Scientist.
Learn More Kyra Anderson

Joseph Mangiafico

Joseph Mangiafico is a diving aficionado and has spent over 2,100 hours diving on both the East and West coasts!
Learn More Joseph Mangiafico

Jonathan Robinson

Snohomish County Beach Watchers Program Coordinator
Jonathan works for Washington State University Snohomish County Extension as the Beach Watchers Program Coordinator.  He is a trained Marine Ecologist with an emphasis in
Learn More Jonathan Robinson

Jackie Selbitschka

Washington Regional Manager, Reef Check
Since then she has worked at many organizations teaching hands-on marine science and certifying scuba divers. Her passion is to share the incredible life that
Learn More Jackie Selbitschka