Teacher in classroom

Sound Waters University

A University for All

Project Metric

500+ People attend annually.. See Our Impact
SWU project page photo of Hillary Franz - Washington Commissioner of Public Lands
Hillary, Franz , Washington Commissioner of Public Lands

Sound Waters University (SWU) is the premier educational event sponsored by Sound Water Stewards. Since the early 1990’s, Sound Waters Stewards has presented SWU every year on the first Saturday of February. The ever-popular event offers a wide range of collegiate level courses to the public. Attendees choose from a variety of emerging topics taught by select volunteer professionals. Some speakers may offer scientific information on climate change, marine animals, and coastal geology. Others may discuss local history, the culture of the Coast Salish Peoples, and much more. No one needs prior knowledge to attend. SWU encourages those with an interest in and a passion for the Salish Sea and its inhabitants to enroll.

SWU project page photo of crowd for keynote speaker
SWU project page photo of Introduction of the Jan Holmes Awardee

SWU launched a new chapter as a virtual event amid the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. In the past, over 700 attendees from the Puget Sound region would attend this event in person. A keynote presentation began the day. Three sessions with choices from a 60-class menu followed; plus, an exhibits hall ran all day. SWU aims to re-instate this format once COVID protocols allow. For 2022, SWU will be virtual and available to a global audience with internet access to enjoy. As in past years, attendees will choose from a wide variety of informative classes. SWU records all the classes so attendees may access and explore them at leisure after the event. Look for SWU to add outdoor field trips to its scaffold in 2022.

SWU project page photo of banners and signs

Sound Waters University is the primary fundraising event for the nonprofit Sound Water Stewards. It requires a fee or scholarship to register. The funds raised support the mission of Sound Water Stewards and the activities of its volunteers and staff.


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