This refers to a PREVIOUS SW, held Saturday, February 2, 2019
Please see this page for the most recent Sound Waters University 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 An Aerial Tour of Island County Eelgrass Beds

Come take an aerial and underwater tour of seagrass beds in Island County and learn why they are so important to the Salish Sea. Gregg Ridder

A.2 Carbon Less Lifestyle

Concerned about climate change but don't know what to do about it? The solution starts with choices each of us make on a daily basis. In this class, you'll discover how taking small steps makes a big difference and how you can join a world-wide community of folks who share your concerns and are working toward a brighter future and a low carbon lifestyle. Maribeth Crandell

A.3 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.4 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.5 Dungeness Crab in Puget Sound - Management and Life History

Overview of the Puget Sound Dungeness crab fishery. Don Rothaus

A.6 Effects of Plastics and Microplastics On Human Health and the Environment

Learn about the impacts of improperly discarded plastics and microplastics on marine life, and the health risks from the leaching of plastic additives. Mahmoud Abdel-Monem

A.7 Firewise Whidbey-Style: Landscaping Tips for Island Landowners Living with Wildfire in Our Bioregion

The next time wildfire happens here, will you be prepared? Come learn about wildfire science and preparation, Whidbey-style. Kelsi Mottet

A.8 HAS BEEN CANCELLED -- Invasive European Green Crabs in the Salish Sea: Update and Importance of Citizen Science Monitoring

Since 2016, the globally-damaging invasive European green crab has been found at a handful of sites across the Salish Sea. You will hear the latest updates on this non-native invasive crab, and you will learn about the valuable role community science volunteers have in protecting the Salish Sea. Emily Grason

We regret this class has been cancelled

A.9 Kayaking Local Waters: How and Where

In this class, you will learn what to do to practice safe kayaking, including how to respond to a tip-over. You will learn details about kayaking equipment. Finally, you will learn where to go to get started around Whidbey, both in fresh and salt water, and how to connect with other kayakers. Sue Ellen White,  Dale Christensen

A.10 Major Bioregions of Washington State and Their Geologic, Climatological, and Biological Geneses and Differences

This class will examine the nine major bioregions of Washington. Consideration will be given to the geological forces that have shaped the landscape and the climatological features that define rainfall patterns and temperature resulting in the unique biological communities of each bioregion. Joe Sheldon

A.11 Mason Bees - The Native Super Pollinator

Learn about the efficient and gentle Mason bees and their importance to our ecosystem. Olivia Shangrow

A.12 Orca Scat Detection - Serious Research Relying On Canine Super Sniffers

Learn how researchers are working with trained dogs to collect Orca scat samples to analyze stress, nutrition and pregnancy hormones. These analyses help answer questions about the overall health of the Southern Resident killer whales in the Salish Sea. Deborah Giles

A.13 Plastics and Zero Waste Issues in the Salish Sea Region and Upcoming Legislation

Micro- and macro-plastic litter is floating in the waters of Puget Sound and in other marine bodies throughout the world. Most of this litter comes from land sources. Exporting US recyclables to China is no longer is an option. We now need to manage our own recyclables, especially plastics, here in Washington. In this session, you will learn about these issues and more. We will also discuss legislation that has been introduced to address plastic pollution, our recycling crisis and other zero waste issues. Heather Trim,  Sego Jackson

A.14 Public Infrastructure and Fish Passage Barriers: Challenges and Opportunities

This class will explore the effort to leverage local infrastructure spending with state restoration funding to remove priority fish passage barriers and restore Washington’s salmon populations. Helen Price Johnson

Commissioner Price Johnson will be joined by co-presenter Eric Johnson of the Washington State Association of Counties.

A.15 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,  Bill Steele

Brian Sherrod, the original presenter for this class, is unable to join us due to the federal shutdown. Bill Steele, a past keynote and class presenter at SWU, generously offered to take Brian's place.

A.16 Shining a Light on Lighthouses: What You Need to Know and How You Can Help

This session will focus on lighthouses locally and around the state with special emphasis on the Admiralty Head Lighthouse at Fort Casey, Whidbey Island. Don Meehan,  Wayne Clark,  Harrison Goodall

A.17 Shore Enough! Birds of Rocky and Sandy Beaches

Come see what life on the rocks is all about. This class covers shorebird identification tips, breeding practices, their remarkable flights and the hazards they face. We will also highlight special adaptations and foraging techniques, from the long, down-curved bill of the Whimbrel to the dine and dash Sanderlings. Martha Ellis,  Steve Ellis

A.18 Tales of a Veterinarian: Living With Wildlife On Whidbey Island

Come enjoy tales about the successes and failures of a local veterinarian in treating our wild neighbors, both terrestrial and marine. David Parent

A.19 The Boldt Decision: Impacts on Environmental Policy in Washington State

Learn how the 1974 Boldt Decision continues to shape Washington State's environmental policy and establishes treaty tribes as a voice for environmental stewardship to sustain the marine resources addressed in their treaties. Barbara Bennett

Barbara Bennett will be joined by the following co-presenters:Patti Gobin, Natural Resources Treaty Rights Office, Tulalip Tribes; C. Thomas Laurie, Senior Advisor for Tribal and Environmental Affairs, WA DOE; and William Stelle, retired, Regional Administrator, West Coast Region, NOAA Fisheries.

A.20 The Great Bear Rainforest: A Look at the Salish Sea 200 Years Ago

Visit British Columbia's remote Great Bear Rainforest, learn about the Tsimishan creation myth of the Spirit Bear, and how a changing environment and development threaten this pristine area. Dan Clements

Session B 1:30-2:45
Click on any class title to see a full description of the class

B.1 Boat-Based Lidar and Multibeam Mapping of the Puget Sound Nearshore

This class will show how boat-based lidar (light detection and ranging) and multibeam sonar are being used by the Washington Department of Ecology to map physical features along the shores of Puget Sound. During the class, example data products will be shown and discussed to enhance our understanding of the human, geomorphic, and habitat features along the Puget Sound shoreline. George Kaminsky

B.2 Coast Salish Ethnobotany and Lessons for Food System Resiliency

This class will introduce some of the most important indigenous food systems, from halibut fishing to root gardens, and discuss their environmental sustainability. T. Abe Lloyd,  Katrina Poppe

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 Eager Beavers: Managing Ecosystem Engineers

Throughout Washington and much of North America, beavers are making a comeback. This class will discuss beaver biology, ecosystem benefits, relocation strategies and management infrastructure to keep these ecosystem engineers in business. David Bailey,  Elyssa Kerr

B.5 Ecological Interactions in a Warming World: How will Climate Change Affect Relationships Between Plants and Insects?

Relationships are at the heart of ecology. From birth to death, all organisms are caught up in a complex network of interactions—both positive and negative—with other living things. For some, these relationships are important enough to play a role in determining vital outcomes like survival, reproductive success, and distribution range limits. This class will explore the effects of climate on one of the most ubiquitous sets of species interactions in terrestrial ecosystems: those between plants and insects. Meera Lee Sethi

B.6 Farming for Carbon!

In this class we will explore ways in which farming in Puget Sound can be part of a holistic solution of watershed conservation. We also will explore measures of on-farm soil conservation and nutrient recycling. Eli Wheat

B.7 Forest Health in a Changing Climate

The past few years have seen marked increases in tree mortality throughout Whidbey Island and the broader Puget Sound region. In this class we will look at why so many trees are dying right now, what can (and can't) be done to help them, and where we go from here. Kevin W. Zobrist

B.8 From White Caps to Watersheds: Myriad Lives Intertwingled

In this fascinating class, the presenter's collection of video film will be used to illustrate relationships among inhabitants within an ecosystem and their physical environment. You will learn about the nature of ecosystems and the tools available to better understand them. John F. Williams

B.10 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.11 Oil Spill Risk and Commercial Vessel Traffic Impacts to Southern Resident Killer Whales in the Salish Sea

This class will provide information about commercial vessel traffic impacts and oil spill risk in the Salish Sea, with a focus on impacts to Southern Resident Killer Whales. Lovel Pratt

B.12 Orca Emergency Response Legislation in Olympia - What's Up and How to Participate

Learn about environmental challenges faced by Southern Resident orcas and how you can effectively participate in the legislative process to enact positive environment changes. Rein Attemann,  Nathan McCurtain

B.13 Puget Sound Kelp: Challenges and Opportunities

In Puget Sound, the canopy forming bull kelp contributes to the creation of underwater forests unique to our region. These forests attract juvenile rockfish and salmon that use the tangle of large kelp fronds as safe refuge and all-you-can-eat buffets. This class will provide a brief primer on the unique biology and ecology of kelp before discussing the current state and trends of Puget Sound kelp forests and potential causes of decline. The potential role of kelp aquaculture in providing similar ecosystem services to natural beds also will be discussed. Max Calloway

B.14 Pulling Together - Local Jobs in Watershed Restoration and Stewardship

In this class you will learn about the negative impact of invasive plant species, the conditions that promote their growth, and how climate change can provide the ideal invasive sites for these generalist species. Learn how the Pulling Together in Restoration program is charting the pathway toward resilient and healthy watersheds and is establishing a model that validates the efficacy and benefits of local jobs in stewardship. Jill Silver

B.15 Sea Level Rise in Washington State: Probably More Than You Need to Know

This course will cover the background, methods and results of a recently published updated sea level rise assessment focused on coastal Washington State. Ian Miller

B.16 Shellfish Studies in Puget Sound: How Ocean Acidification Impacts Oysters in Our Current and Future Oceans

In this class we will first discuss the phenomenon of ocean acidification, focusing on how natural features of estuarine systems like those found in Puget Sound can exaggerate climate change impacts. We will then engage in a hands-on activity to understand how Pacific oysters are impacted by ocean acidification at different life stages. Finally, we'll explore how the field of genetics can be used to ensure oysters will thrive in future oceans. Yaamini Venkataraman

B.17 State of the Sound - Actions Within Island County to Help Recover and Sustain Puget Sound

Come learn about Island County’s shared roadmap for ecosystem recovery in our watershed and Puget Sound. Lori Clark,  Dawn Spilsbury Pucci

B.18 The Salish Sea Estuarine Circulation: Causes and Consequences

Learn about the unique estuarine circulation that occurs in the Salish Sea. The driving force for this circulation is the combination of (i) dense, salty ocean water at the mouth of the system, (ii) lighter, freshwater coming in from rivers, and (iii) turbulent mixing of the two by tidal flow at rough constrictions like Admiralty Inlet. Parker MacCready

B.19 Toxic Phytoplankton of the Salish Sea

Learn about the various types of toxic and harmful algae in the Salish Sea, and how public health agencies keep people and the food supply safe. Neil Harrington

Session BC 1:30-4:30, with break
Click on any class title to see a full description of the class

BC.1 Getting Ready to Rumble: Natural Hazards Encountered on Whidbey Island and Emergency Preparedness (Double Session)

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 3:15-4:30
Click on any class title to see a full description of the class

C.1 A Glacial History of Puget Sound and Its Relevancy to Communities Today

The emphasis of this class will be to provide an overview of the glacial history of the Puget Sound and to link that glacial history to what we see on the ground, along our shorelines and in the water today. Understanding the legacy of this glacial history provides insights into geologic hazards, how our communities have grown, and the challenges we now face. Dan McShane

C.2 Become an Effective Environmental Advocate For This Place We Call Home!

We’re all short on time and energy and we need to make the most of what we’ve got when taking steps to actively advocate for the human and non-human inhabitants of our environment. Learn how the art of persistence and patience in the advocacy process can reap its rewards! Marianne Edain

C.3 Harmful Algal Blooms in the Puget Sound Region

This course will give an overview of which phytoplankton species are harmful around the world, and more specifically, which species are found in our area and which species cause the Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)in Puget Sound. Cheryl Greengrove,  Julie Masura

C.4 Island County Hydrogeology

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.5 Joyality - Tools for Empowerment, Connection and Conscious Action

Resilience Training for Activists: The Role of Nature Connection, Grief and Joy in Empowered Activism. This interactive workshop will explore how we can maintain our active hope and inspiration in these challenging times. How can we empower ourselves and others to create a community of changemakers who act from our love for this world, rather than from our fear? How can we experience and honor our grief at what is happening to our world without drowning in it? This workshop is an exploration of these questions and an introduction to ecopsychological tools for resilience and regenerative leadership Rachel Taylor

C.6 Keep It Green: Shoreline Vegetation Conservation

Come hear from Island County Planners about the role that flora play in slope and shoreline stabilization, enhancement of our water quality, and providing essential habitat for local wildlife. Janet Wright,  Hannah Liss,  Greg Goforth

C.7 Marine Birds of the Salish Sea

Find out about the diversity, ecology and population status of marine birds in the Salish Sea. John Bower

C.8 Marine Debris in the Salish Sea

Learn about marine debris sources and impacts and how you can make a difference through citizen science. Hillary Burgess

C.9 Ocean Acidification

This class will provide you an overview of ocean acidification and how both global mechanisms and local effects are involved. Jan Newton

C.10 HAS BEEN CANCELLED -- Ocean Research College Academy (ORCA) - Running Start Students Collecting Real-time Data in Possession Sound

Connecting students to the places they live has been a cornerstone of the curriculum at the Ocean Research College Academy (ORCA). Come learn about this outstanding program and its contribution to our understanding of the Salish Sea area. Ardi Kveven

We regret this class has been cancelled

C.11 Pinto Abalone - Efforts to Protect this Species in Washington Waters

In this class we'll discuss a beautiful marine mollusk that is Washington's only species of abalone. We'll learn about the biology of the species, the history of the fishery, and why the species is not recovering even though the fishery has been closed since 1994. We'll discuss the current captive-breeding program, the latest results of monitoring and field experiments, and what you can do to help. Henry Carson

C.12 Protection Island Aquatic Reserve Avian and Marine Mammal Survey

How does citizen science contribute to our understanding of our natural world? How can you become involved? Come and learn about a local citizen science project that is revealing patterns of sea bird habitation and migration in our area. Betsy Carlson

C.13 The Giant Pacific Octopus

This class will cover the basics of giant Pacific octopus (GPO) biology and ecology, explore GPO intelligence and behavior, and touch on citizen science efforts to learn more about the GPO population in the Puget Sound. Tim Carpenter

C.14 The Salish Sea: Three Bodies of Water Seen as One

What is the Salish Sea and what can we do to protect this special place? Bert Webber

C.15 Tsunamis in the Salish Sea: Hazards, Sources, Recurrence

The Salish Sea has experienced tsunamis in the past, and certainly will again. Geologic evidence and computer simulations allow scientists to determine which Salish Sea areas will be most affected by tsunamis. Come and learn about this fascinating subject along with the associated hazards and what do to in the event of a tsunami. Carrie Garrison-Laney

C.16 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 their behavior is completely different. We'll look at the natural history of the species, how and where field research is being done to find out more about them, and the resulting picture of diverse orca populations worldwide. We'll also talk about Governor Inslee's Orca Recovery Executive Order, and the resulting Task Force process to find solutions. Howard Garrett

C.17 Upstream Land Use and Its Impacts On Our Shoreline and Oceans

This class will discuss the effects of human development on the Salish Sea, including chemical and biological changes on the shoreline and in our coastal waters. Actions we can take to mitigate changes in land use to protect our environment and its inhabitants will be presented. Matthew Colston

C.18 What Marine Mussels Can Reveal About Legacy Contaminants, Fossil Fuels, and Pharmaceutical Drugs Along Washington's Salish Sea Coastline

Since 2012 the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has been using transplanted mussels to monitor contaminants in nearshore areas of the Salish Sea. This class will summarize details about legacy contaminants in the nearshore, where and how fossil fuels are making their way into local marine waters, and which chemicals of emerging concern (pharmaceuticals and personal care products) we are finding. Jennifer  Lanksbury

C.19 Wildlife Photography

An award-winning wildlife photographer reveals the techniques and stories behind samples of his work. Bart Rulon


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