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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 "This Little Light of Mine, I'm Not Gonna Let It Shine"

This class is about the harm to living organisms caused by light pollution in our night sky. The presentation and discussion convey suggestions on how we can restore the night sky. Jay Adams

A.2 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.3 Coast Salish Public Art: Themes and Issues Visible on Ancestral Lands

Coast Salish design traditions differ from others of the Pacific Northwest, such as the work by artists from northern Tlingit, Tsimshian, and Haida Gwaii First Nations. This course will clarify these distinctions and go over some of the historic differences among Coast Salish art traditions as a basis for knowing more about contemporary Coast Salish art. There will be some discussion of ways that contemporary artists are drawing on traditions, on their innovations, and what they have to say about these historic and cultural dynamics. Crisca Bierwert

A.4 Crabbing 101 - What to Know Before You Go

Is crab on your menu? Learn crab habits and addictions, the rules for catching and possession, the many ways to catch crabs and more. John Hudson

A.5 Density, Distribution, and Foraging Behavior of North American River Otters on Whidbey Island

River otters are an indicator species and an ecological sentinel sensitive to subtle changes in their environment. Dr. Heide Island will share her research of Whidbey Island river otters, and she will also explain how to get involved with the next phase of her future research. Heide Island

A.6 Ecoregions of Washington State: Their Geologic, Climatological, and Biological Geneses and Differences

This class will examine the nine major ecoregions 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 ecoregion. Joe Sheldon

A.7 Electric Cars for Beginners: What to Know Before you Buy or Lease

The idea of driving an electric car might be only a twinkle in your eye. Maybe you’ve been thinking about this for a while and are getting close to a decision. Either way, you will take away valuable guidance from this presentation by local electric vehicle owners, as well as representatives from Puget Sound Energy. Walt Blackford,  Tim Economu,  David Parker Brown

A.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

A.9 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

A.10 Help Restore the Salish Sea Through Creosote and Marine Debris Reporting and Removal.

Through this class, you will gain an in depth understanding of the methods and partnerships currently being used to combat marine debris and creosote. Chris Robertson

A.11 Island County Hydrogeology

In this course, you will gain a basic understanding of groundwater science including aquifers and aquitards, risks to ground water and local groundwater availability. Doug Kelly

A.12 Life and Death of the Pacific Madrone in PNW Forests

Class participants will learn about the Pacific madrone, and they will learn about efforts underway to study, conserve and restore this iconic tree. Michael Yadrick,  Marianne Elliott

A.13 Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary: A Conservation Story on the Coast of Washington

This class will share information about the geological, ecological, cultural, and historical legacy of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Nicole Harris

A.14 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 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

A.15 Regime Change: Shifting 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

A.16 Sea Level Rise: Evidence of Current Changes and the Science Behind Anticipating the Pace of Change Ahead

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

A.17 HAS BEEN CANCELLED -- Shorebirds of Fields and Mudflats

This class covers shorebird identification tips, breeding practices and migration patterns. We also highlight special adaptations and foraging techniques from the probing of dowitchers to the slurping of sandpipers. Steve Ellis,  Martha Ellis

We regret this class has been cancelled

A.18 The Marine Mammal Stranding Network - Contributing to Scientific Information About Our Marine Environment and Its Inhabitants

This cass will introduce the marine mammals that are residents and visitors to the Salish Sea, their characteristics and behaviors, and some of the challenges that are affecting these animals. It will also give an overview of what the stranding network does in the Salish Sea, the critical research projects in which we are participants in and how to become involved. Garry Heinrich

A.19 Tides and Currents - Understanding the Mystery and Magic

Gravitational pull of the moon and rotational force of the earth are just two of the many reasons for tidal change across the planet. Using video, diagrams, discussions, and humor, this hour-long interactive presentation challenges assumptions, offers insights, and helps us understand the science behind what is taking place out in space and along our shores. Jack Hartt

A.20 Tribal Fishing and Hunting Rights and Practices

This class will include a brief overview on the basics of treaty hunting and fishing rights and practices. Main topics will include tribal sovereignty, treaty rights, the US v. Washington Case, and the importance of co-management processes. Shawn Yanity,  Kadi Bizyayeva,  Jesse Pecor


Session B 1:30-2:45
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B.1 HAS BEEN CANCELLED -- International Shipping Impact on the Salish Sea

The biologically rich Salish Sea is currently threatened by existing ocean-going vessel transits. Proposals for a 35% increase in this traffic, along with proposed fossil fuel export projects, create further threats. Staying informed, getting involved, understanding these approaching changes, and becoming part of the public process affects us all. Stephanie Buffum

We regret this class has been cancelled

B.2 Attracting Pollinators and Beneficial Insects to Your Garden and Farm

Learn how to enhance populations of beneficial insects for your garden or farm. Come away with strategies for building pollinator habitat. Hear about case studies and current research including use of pesticides. Eric Lee-Mader

B.3 Birding Whidbey Island With Craig and Joy Johnson

Join master birders Craig and Joy Johnson as they tour Whidbey Island’s diverse birding habitats and get close-up views of some of the birds that gravitate to them. Join this class to view their latest movie "Birding Whidbey Island," which features Craig’s best footage yet of local wildlife, including some interesting bird behaviors that are seldom witnessed. Craig Johnson,  Joy Johnson

B.4 Carbon Sequestration: How Island County Addresses Climate Change by Protecting Our Forests, Waters, and Rural Areas

Island County Commissioner Janet St. Clair will present a panel of experts to help understand how we address the threats of climate change when we protect and restore shorelines, upland forest, open space and agricultural lands. Janet St. Clair,  Eli Wheat,  Elsa Schwartz

B.5 Eager Beavers: Managing Ecosystem Engineers

Class discussion will include beaver biology, the benefits of beavers in a system and the management infrastructure needed to keep these ecosystem engineers in business. Elyssa Kerr

B.6 Earthquakes in Your Backyard

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.7 Eelgrass Meadows Sustain Life in the Salish Sea

In this interactive class, participants will learn about eelgrass, one of five species of seagrass native to the Pacific Northwest. Participants will learn why this grass is crucial to ecosystem sustainability in the Salish Sea. Olivia Graham

B.8 Effect of the Marine Heat Wave on Puget Sound

This class will discuss the implications of marine heatwaves for Puget Sound and the sea life that live there. Stephanie Moore

B.9 Electrosmog: An Invisible, Increasing Threat to Seabirds, Shoreline Flora, and Us

This class will present information and evidence about the dramatic effect of today’s anthropogenic electromagnetic sources on all living things, including ourselves. Precautionary and protective steps will be offered to reduce radiation exposure of 1) animals and plants in our environment, and 2) yourself and other people, as "electrosmog" in our world relentlessly intensifies. Mark Wahl

B.10 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.11 Getting to the Waters Edge: Exploring Island County Beaches

This lively and interactive class will describe many favorite beaches on Whidbey and Camano Islands, identify public access, and help you find the features you desire for your beach outings. Jeanie McElwain,  Kelly Webb

B.12 How to Save a Marbled Murrelet and Why It Matters

An introduction to the rare and elusive marbled murrelet of the Pacific Northwest. You will learn why it is important to know this fascinating seabird. Maria Ruth

B.13 Measuring Impacts of Noise Pollution on People and Wildlife

This session will cover the methods and metrics that are used to measure noise pollution, and the legal thresholds and criteria related to noise. We will also present some of the known impacts of different types of noise pollution on people and wildlife, and will address three local case studies from both urban and rural areas in Washington. Lauren Kuehne

B.14 Pinto Abalone 101: Bringing Back these Salish Sweeties

Come learn how Washington State is leading the way to bring back the Pinto abalone from the state endangered species list. Katie Sowul

B.15 Plastic Free Salish Sea: An Innovative Campaign to Reduce Use of Plastics

This class will update participants on the current status of recycling programs worldwide and review the limitations of recycling and landfills. Karin Roemers-Kleven

B.16 Raptors of Western Washington: From Shoreline to Summit

As apex predators in western Washington, raptors are often seen, often admired, often maligned. This class will look at key specialized adaptations of raptors, the ecology of various species, and address some of the mythology surrounding raptors as fact or fiction. James Watson

B.17 Sea Level Rise Close to Home: Maps, Tools and Strategies

This is a hands-on session to learn how to apply and use sea level rise projections and various tools to better visualize and understand the implications for Island County. Nicole Faghin

B.18 Shoreline Restoration Success Stories: Northwest Straits Initiative & Island Marine Resource Committee

Shoreline restoration projects take years from the time they are envisioned to the time outcomes are known. Join Lisa to celebrate several shoreline restoration projects that have been completed and hear what we have learned from each of them that can be used to inform decisions in the future. Lisa Kaufman

B.19 Southern Resident Orcas - Research, Risks and Recovery

Presenting information on the Washington State Orca Task Force recovery program, and new Canadian initiatives to protect the orca whales. Learn what actions you can take to contribute to orca recovery in the Salish Sea. Lynne Barre

B.20 The Puget Sound Dungeness Crab Fishery: Current Topics in Management and Research

This class will provide an overview of the biology and ecology of the Dungeness crab and how they are being managed throughout Puget Sound. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is also working hard to reduce derelict crab gear throughout the Sound. Don Velasquez,  Katelyn Bosley


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

C.1 Acoustic Monitoring and Land-based Observations of Harbor Porpoises

An overview of research and findings from the Harbor Porpoise Project, this class will also cover the natural history of the harbor porpoise and their place in the Salish Sea. Mallory Palatucci

C.2 Bats: Essential Allies, Safe Neighbors

Bats play a critical role in habitats worldwide. Photos and videos will show how bats adapt and contribute to their environment. The discussion will include ways to support bat conservation. Sarah Schmidt

C.3 Habitat Happenings! Restoration for Wildlife on Whidbey and Camano Islands

Learn how our local forests, wetlands, and prairies are being enhanced to improve wildlife habitat. From heavy machinery to the tiny baby plants, join us as we explore the wild world of restoration. Jessica Larson

C.4 Hiking Close To Home

This class will provide an overview of a recently published trail guide "Hiking Close to Home." This class will take you on a walking tour of local trails that are accessible year round while you sit comfortably in your seat. Lace up your shoes, grab your walking stick and get ready to go exploring! Maribeth Crandell

C.5 Linking Indigenous Science, Modern Research and Restoration

Learn how incorporating Indigenous Science can tell a more complete story and guide modern day environmental work. Todd Woodard

C.6 Ocean Acidification, the Natural World of the Salish Sea and Beyond

In this class we will start with some basics about how the ocean waters are changing. Then, we will look at some of the more common responses among different kinds of organisms, including some that are common in the Salish Sea. Brooke Love

C.7 Personal Preparedness for Major Emergencies

This class will discuss the types of emergencies that can affect us, what you can expect from emergency services, and the personal resources you will need to protect yourself. H.L. "Rusty" Palmer

C.8 Protecting the Salish Sea Region: Its Waters, Endangered Species and People

The Washington State Attorney General's Office represents the State in lawsuits to protect Washingtonians and our environment. In this class, we'll discuss some of these cases, how they've proceeded, and what's coming next. Bill Sherman

C.9 Protecting Your Bluff by Restoring Native Vegetation

Understanding bluff dynamics, and the role of vegetation in slope stability. Gwendolyn Hannam

C.10 Puget Sound Kelp Forests: Seeing the Marine Forest for the Trees

Kelp provide critical ecosystem functions as food, shelter, nursery and hunting grounds for some of Puget Sound's most charismatic creatures. Come learn about recent updates on kelp conservation and the projects in place to protect and restore kelp habitat. Max Calloway

C.11 Sea Level Rise and Shoreline Development: How Can We Prepare?

This class will cover strategies Island County residents are employing to minimize impacts of sea level rise and associated guidance that Island County has been preparing as a part of the Shoreline Master Program. Meredith Penny,  Anna Toledo

C.12 Shrimps of the Salish Sea

This class will go beyond the shrimp we know about, and introduce us to some of the bizarre and interesting species in our local waters. Gregory Jensen

C.13 Songs for the Sea: Using Music for Self-Care and as a Tool in Navigating Climate Crisis and Change

This workshop will weave important self-care skills with creating an action plan for how you will personally move forward to address these important issues. We will draw upon music and tools related to conflict transformation, stress management, and social action; no prior music experience needed. Barbara Dunn

C.14 The Joy of Mushrooms: An Introduction to the Fungi of South Whidbey

This presentation is an introduction to the mushrooms of South Whidbey, focusing on identification, ecology, and the beauty of fungi. Heidi Hoelting

C.15 The Pigeon Guillemot: How A Small Seabird Can Teach Us About the Health of the Puget Sound

Emily Terao

C.16 The Secret Life of Aquarists: Behind the Scenes at PT Marine Science Center

Get an inside view of how a small aquarium functions at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center. Ali Redman

C.17 Toxic Phytoplankton of the Pacific Northwest

In the Pacific Northwest biotoxins produced by phytoplankton can become concentrated in shellfish causing diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP), Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) and Amnesiac Shellfish Poisoning (ASP). This class will present information on efforts undertaken by the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and federal and state agencies to determine how to predict potential spikes of shellfish poisoning in Washington waters. Neil Harrington

C.18 What Are You Drinking?

Learn everything you ought to know about how drinking water gets from a raindrop to your tap! John Lovie,  Randi Perry

C.19 Whidbey Island: Change of Worlds, 1774-1860

Penn Cove was the most densely populated and perhaps the most strategically located Salish community in the region, and yet Coupeville today is a sleepy village that time forgot. How did that happen? This class will share the untold dramatic, complex, often disturbing stories of this transition. Lynn Hyde

C.20 Wildlife Photography

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

 

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