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Session A 11:00-12:15
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A.1 Aquatic Invasive Species

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

A.2 Bats: Essential Allies, Safe Neighbors

Bats are vital players in their native habitats worldwide, fulfilling critical roles in plant pollination, seed dispersal and insect control. Using photos and videos, bat researcher Sarah Schmidt will share the amazing adaptations and contributions of these flying mammals, including bats of the Salish Sea watershed. Sarah Schmidt

A.3 Can A Map Change How We Think About the Salish Sea?

For a number of reasons, organizations can find it challenging to tackle problems that cross international boundaries. The map of the Salish Sea has become an increasingly important tool to communicate about this important ecosystem shared by Canada and the US. During this class we will talk about the opportunities that lie ahead for improving cooperative efforts throughout the Salish Sea ecosystem. Ginny Broadhurst

A.4 Climate Change Impacts in the Salish Sea Area.

Learn about projected impacts to the Pacific Northwest's coastal environment resulting from global climate change. Richard Gammon

A.5 Construction of the New Mukilteo Ferry Terminal - Protecting Marine Mammals and Birds During In-Water Construction

This class will present an overview of the new Mukilteo ferry terminal project, give an update on the progress and discuss the efforts made to protect marine mammals and marbled murrelet during in-water construction. Rick Huey

A.6 Dams and Dirt: Shoreline and Nearshore Response to the Elwha Dam Removals

Class participants will learn about the physical and ecological changes observed in the nearshore zone during and after dam removal on the Elwha River. Ian Miller

A.7 Findings From the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Lead to Heightened Worries for Orca Whales in the Salish Sea

Our knowledge of how oil spills affect cetaceans (whales and dolphins) was greatly increased by work done after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Collier will discuss recent findings from studies of dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico, his evaluation of the risks posed by new or larger pipelines and increased transport of tar sand oils and other fossil fuels in the Salish Sea, and why we should be concerned with the continued existence of orca whales in the Salish Sea. Tracy Collier

A.8 Fishing For a Living: Bald Eagle, Osprey, and Great Blue Heron (The Big 3!)

The bald eagle, osprey and great blue heron are the most charismatic of our region’s fish-eating birds. Large, showy and conspicuous, each has special adaptations and habits that help them make a living. Class participants will learn more about these magnificent creatures and deepen their appreciation for these birds and their habitats. Martha Ellis,  Steve Ellis

A.9 Garry Oaks: Restoration of Oak Harbor's Namesake Tree

Oak Harbor was named after the Garry oak. Come listen to members of the Oak Harbor Garry Oak Society (OHGOS) and Oak Harbor staff as they share pictures and tell the story of this beautiful and unique tree. They will discuss the tree’s local history, the habitat, remnant stands, and the relationship to stormwater runoff. They will also talk about the restoration efforts underway to save these trees and their habitat. Brad Gluth,  Bob Bailey,  Kyle Renninger

A.10 Land Stewardship at Home

Learn practical techniques for improving and diversifying habitat in your own backyard, and learn about options for voluntary land conservation. Danielle Bishop,  Kyle Ostermick-Durkee

A.11 Life History and Management of Dungeness Crab in Puget Sound

Overview of the Puget Sound Dungeness crab fishery. Don Rothaus

A.12 Protecting Water Quality in the Salish Sea: WICD Programs and Assistance to Landowners

Learn from Whidbey Island Conservation District about resources, tools and information available on what you as a landowner can do on your property to help protect the Salish Sea. Kelsi Mottet

A.13 HAS BEEN CANCELLED -- Shipping in Puget Sound, Marine Safety, and Ecosystem Protection

Class participants will learn about the activities of US Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound, focusing on the protection of the people and ecosystems of the Puget Sound area. Lieutenant Commander Blair Sweigart

We regret this class has been cancelled

A.14 Snake River Dams: The Orca and Salmon Connection

Become informed on why Snake River chinook salmon recovery is so important to the endangered southern resident orcas. This class will present information and perspectives about why breaching the Lower Snake River dam system would provide the fastest and best opportunity to help salmon recover throughout our region. Jim Waddell

A.15 The Giant Pacific Octopus - Smarter Than a 5th Grader ?

Come learn about the biology and ecology of the Giant Pacific Octopus and its little cousin, the Red Octopus. Rus Higley

A.16 The Role of Organic Agriculture in Water Quality and Supply

Learn about the science and techniques to more sustainably manage water supply, and how they avoid some of the environmentally damaging impacts that agriculture can have on water ecosystems. Aaron Varadi

A.17 The Role of Renewable Energy Technology: Present and Future

Puget Sound Energy representatives will present an overview of current status of renewable energy technology including costs and how renewables fit into PSE’s planning for future generations. Walt Blackford,  Heather Mulligan

A.18 Update on the Pacific Northwest's Earthquake Hazards and Earthquake Early Warning System

This class discusses recent developments in our understanding of Puget Sound Area Earthquake and Tsunami Hazards. We will also discuss the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system that will have a "partial public rollout" later this year. Bill Steele

A.19 Use of Unmanned Aircraft for Environmental Research and Monitoring

The use of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) for environmental research and monitoring has expanded dramatically over the past few years. Learn about some of the regulatory issues and technical challenges associated with using UAS as well as the way in which Western Washington University is using UAS to carry out environmental research. David Wallin

A.20 Whidbey Island Beaches: A Geologist's View

Take a look at the formation and flux of beaches on Whidbey and make sense of the differences between beaches. Topics include bluffs, erosion, landslides and spits. Discover what could happen to homeowners and the beach when building close to the shoreline. Hugh Shipman


Session B 1:30-2:45
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B.1 HAS BEEN CANCELLED -- Ancient Salish Sea Basketry, a Demonstration and Hands-on Look at Ancient Basketry From the Salish Sea

You will become familiar with use of cedar roots, limbs/boughs and bark in basketry and make some cordage bracelets, necklaces or anklets to take home and wear. Presenters will bring replicas of ancient baskets as old as 4,500 years old from Northwest Coast wet sites. Dale Croes,  Ed Carriere

We regret this class has been cancelled

B.2 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.3 Defense of the Puget Sound/Salish Sea: Casey, Worden & Flagler

This presentation will trace the history of the three forts of Admiralty Inlet: Forts Worden, Flagler and Casey, from their construction to the present day with particular emphasis on Fort Casey. Terry Buchanan

B.4 Farming on Whidbey Island: Maximizing Benefits to the Puget Sound Ecosystem

In this class we will explore ways in which farming in Puget Sound can be part of a holistic solution of watershed conservation. Elizabeth Wheat

B.5 Getting to Know Bull Kelp in Island County

Learn where bull kelp beds are located, the seasonal patterns of bed growth and discover which animals utilize these beds. Linda Rhodes

B.6 Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans

Current research being conducted at the University of Washington to better understand these clever birds will be presented. Learn about the fascinating behaviors crows and ravens can exhibit and what benefits they gain from these behaviors. Loma Pendergraft

B.7 Hibulb Cultural Center: Indigenous Stewardship Related to Land and Water

This class will be a discussion about the tribes native to the Pacific Northwest, with a focus on Tulalip Tribes. Mary Jane Topash

B.8 How Transplanted Mussels Help Assess Contaminants in the Puget Sound's Nearshore Habitats

In winter 2015-16, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, with the help of citizen science volunteers, conducted a Puget Sound-wide assessment of toxic contaminants in marine mussels. This class will cover the methods and results of this second large-scale, nearshore contaminant monitoring program. Jennifer  Lanksbury,  Mariko Langness

B.9 Influence of Eelgrass on Native and Aquaculture Oysters in Washington State

Our local estuaries support multiple local industries, provide recreation opportunities through wildlife viewing and harvest, and are central to Northwest cultures. But they are changing fast.This class will explore how eelgrass and oysters are affected by these changes. Alex Lowe

B.10 Introduction to Low Impact Development (LID) and Backyard Green Roof Construction

Low impact development emphasizes reducing stormwater runoff and accompanying pollutant transport by techniques that allow stormwater to absorb into the ground. This class introduces various techniques to reduce stormwater run-off including reduction of impervious surfaces, creation of rain gardens, dispersion methods and pin foundations. Brad will present the construction process to create a vegetated "green" roof. Brad Gluth

B.11 Kettles to Nettles and More; A Tour of the Hidden Surprises Within Whidbey State Parks

Enjoy a fun and fact-filled class discovering the secrets of Whidbey's seven State Parks. Janet Hall

B.12 Living With Wildlife: How to Minimize Human-Wildlife Conflicts in the Puget Sound Area

As communities in the Puget Sound area continue to grow, the potential for human-wildlife conflict increases. At PAWS, we care for over 4,000 sick, injured and orphaned wild animals each year. Join us to learn about our efforts to solve human-wildlife conflict and to learn how you can help create a better world for animals and people in your community. Jennifer Convy

B.13 Ocean Acidification in the Pacific Northwest: What Happens to Sea Life When You Mess With pH?

Learn how the global story of ocean acidification is playing out in local waters. Citizen science can be a valuable tool for residents to support research into Puget Sound’s marine acidification story. Participants will be invited to discuss potential strategies to engage residents in testing the pH of local waters and collecting plankton samples to investigate connections between changes in chemistry and changes in marine populations. Barbara Bennett,  Paul McElhany

B.14 Puget Sound Fault Zones, Focusing on the South Whidbey Fault Zone and Darrington-Devils Mountain Fault Zone

Be warned, be knowledgeable, be prepared: hear about the active faults all around the Puget Lowland. These faults have produced large earthquakes in the recent geological past. Come see high-resolution images produced from LiDAR surveys that help guide geologists conducting field studies to document past earthquakes. Brian Sherrod

B.15 Rockfish of Washington State

Rockfish population levels have been drastically reduced in Puget Sound and Washington coastal waters due to a variety of fishing activities. Efforts are being made to monitor rockfish populations, classify and help identify critical rockfish habitat, and uphold a recovery plan for all of Washington State's rockfish species. Tim Carpenter

B.16 The Importance of Coastal Streams in The Whidbey Basin to Juvenile Salmon Rearing in Them

This class will review the recent research on juvenile salmon use of small coastal streams in the Whidbey Basin and the health of these streams and their watersheds. Todd Zackey

B.17 Update on Orca Tribes of the Salish Sea

All around Whidbey Island, the San Juan Islands and throughout the Salish Sea we often see "resident" orcas and "transient" orcas. They look very similar, but everything they do, from diet to language, is completely different. Class participants will be introduced to the natural history of the resident orcas and come away with an understanding why chinook salmon are so crucial to their survival. Howard Garrett

B.18 Water is a Public Resource - What is Island County Doing About It?

County Government is responsible for implementing and enforcing a wide range of programs designed to meet state and federal mandates for water protection. This class will identify ways Island County supports local water quality protection and what you can do to help. Commissioner Jill Johnson

B.19 Unusual Wetlands of Whidbey Island

Discover more about Whidbey Island's uncommon wetland types. Dyanne Sheldon

B.20 White Nose Syndrome in Bats

Washington bats are affected by white nose syndrome. A biologist with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will explain what they know about this devastating disease, and how citizens can help track the spread. Ruth Milner


Session BC 1:30-4:15, with break
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BC.1 Getting Ready to Rumble; Natural Hazards Encountered on Whidbey Island and Emergency Preparedness

Island County is susceptible to many hazards. These include coastal erosion, wild land fires, earthquakes, tsunami and landslides. This unique class introduces useful tools and information that will help you and your family respond, recover, and rebuild your community and your home before, during and after a disaster. This is a double session class (150 minutes) to allow adequate time for the team of presenters to share their information! Eric Brooks,  Rhonda Paulson,  Sue Ryan,  Jody Jeffers


Session C 3:00-4:15
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C.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. Sue Ellen White,  Dale Christensen

C.2 Beach Fishing

In this introductory class, you will learn how to fish from the beach for salmon, tie common fishing knots, why it is helpful to use different colors and sizes of lures, and how to play a fish. Kevin Lungren,  EZ Rider,  Lu Lee

C.3 Early Warning Systems for Biodiversity in Cascadia: A Journey via Southern Africa and Antarctica

This class will chart a powerful way to contribute to the greater good and help change public policy on the environment. Dr. Phoebe Barnard will weave the story of her work and life as it led to the development of the Pacific Biodiversity Institute-led coalition with academic, agency and citizen science partners to build a biodiversity early warning system for ecosystem health in the Cascadia region. Phoebe Barnard

C.4 Eat - Prey - Love: The Fascinating Lives of Dragonflies

A lively and informative course exploring the world of dragonflies including slow-motion videos of dragonflies laying eggs, bathing, and spinning at 1000 RPM in midair. Learn tips for how to get a dragonfly to perch on your finger and how to see the famous Happy-face Dragonfly discovered right here in Puget Sound. James Walker

C.5 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,  Nathan McCurtain

Co-presenter Nathan McCurtain is replacing Rein Attemann for this class

C.6 Eruption History and Hazards From Mount Baker

Learn about the volcanic history of Mount Baker and the hazards posed by this active volcano. Results of new research will be presented and current methods and status of monitoring at the volcano site will be discussed. The likely volcanic future and potential for eruption impacts will close out the presentation. Doug McKeever

C.7 Fascinating Fungi

This brief introduction focuses on characteristics of Northwest fungi, their roles in the ecosystem and suggested resources for further study. Lee Whitford

C.8 Forage Fish: Little Fish That Make a Big Difference

Learn about the critical link forage fish play in the marine food web and the challenges faced by state biologists to manage and protect these species to ensure a healthy ecosystem. Phillip Dionne

C.9 Habitat Restoration on Whidbey Island: Vision and Practice

Prairies in the Pacific Northwest? Yes, indeed. Learn about the natural and cultural history of the prairies in Ebey's Reserve. Robert Pelant

C.10 Hedgerow Agro-Ecology

Farm hedgerows originated more than 2000 years ago in Europe providing living fences for livestock and protection from invaders. In this workshop, Whidbey Island farmer and Xerces Society pollinator ecologist Eric Lee-Mäder will share the latest research findings on the contribution of hedgerows to crop pollination and pest management. He will also provide an overview of hedgerow economics, and discuss traditional installation, tools, and management practices associated with the ancient art of ‘hedge-laying.’ Eric Lee-Mader

C.11 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. You'll identify two of your favorites. This class will be strictly limited to 20 participants! Eric Cheney

C.12 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

C.13 Oil Spill Threats to Puget Sound Forage Fish

Current ecotoxicology research from NOAA studies the long term impacts of oil spills to forage fish species found in the shoreline habitats in Puget Sound. This class will focus on herring, particularly the impacts to their heart development and the cardiac functions in embryos and larvae. Nat Scholz

C.14 Pigeon Guillemots: Entertaining Seabirds of the Salish Sea

Each year volunteers from Island and Clallam Counties and in south Puget Sound study the Pigeon Guillemot colonies tracking specific information. This class will discuss the alcids that inhabit Puget Sound and present recent data on guillemot breeding success. Frances Wood,  Govinda Rosling

C.15 Return to the Salish Sea - A Radio Tapestry

Enjoy segments of the recent NPR series "Return to the Salish Sea" with environment reporter Bellamy Pailthorp. She will explain how the project came to be and share some anecdotes about the production process. Bellamy Pailthorp

C.16 Social Values and Coastal Environmental Restoration

Environmental restoration occurs at the intersection of science and technology, environmental policy, and human values. Science and technology delineate what is feasible to try to do to restore a particular landscape or environmental system, while policy enables and directs what can actually be done. Tom Leschine

C.17 Sustainability of Viticulture (growing grapes) and Enology (making wine); and Pairing Wine with Food.

Sustainable growing practices in a small, family-owned vineyard on Whidbey Island that is producing award winning Pinot Noir wines. The second half of the class will talk about wine pairing, and the relationship between food and wine. Tyla Nattress,  Karen Krug

C.18 The Effects of Light Pollution on Humans and Wildlife - and What to do About it.

This class will talk about the harm to living organisms caused by light pollution in our night sky. The discussion will also give suggestions on how we can restore the night sky. Jay Adams,  Joe Quintana

C.19 The Owls of Whidbey

In this class you will learn about owls; their natural history, physiological adaptations, identifying characteristics (including calls), as well as where and how to find them on Whidbey Island and elsewhere. Gary Piazzon

C.20 Wildlife Photography

An award-winning wildlife photographer reveals the techniques 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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