Category Archives: Education and Outreach

Speaker Series: Science, Art, & History of the Salish Sea


Speaker Series

Wednesdays at 7pm

at the Bayview Cash Store

Front Room Gallery, 5603 Bayview Road, Langley (upstairs Bayview Cash Store)

Suggested donation of $10 per person


In addition to our speakers series, for the month of March and April, there will be an Art show featuring the beautiful Salish Sea

Mon-Fri. 10am-5pm, March 1 through April 26

Featured Artists: Siri Bardarson, John Hunter, Melissa Koch,

Robin Olive Reich, Carla Stehr, and Linda Warford

Featured Speakers:

  • March 6th, 2019 – “Footprints through time” – Adam Lorio
    Join us to learn a bit about how human communities around Whidbey Island and the Salish Sea have impacted each other since time immemorial. Rooted in a deep sense of place we will take a look through time to see how cultures have evolved and been molded by our landscape.


  • March 13th, 2019 – “Hidden Worlds of Marine Plankton: Life in a Changing Ocean” – Dr. Armbrust

    Every drop of seawater contains fantastically diverse groups of microbes that control key biogeochemical processes in the ocean and determine the habitability of our planet. The challenge is to scale from this world of individual cells to ecosystem function and ultimately to ocean basin processes. Our work focuses on microscopic marine phytoplankton because they are responsible for almost fifty percent of the photosynthesis that occurs on Earth each year, they form the basis of most marine food webs, and they help regulate past and current fluxes of CO2 into the ocean. Phytoplankton evolved in a dilute environment where they are never free from the influences of other microbes. Thus, they serve as critical links within interacting microbial networks of marine ecosystems. Dr. Armbrust will discuss the ways we study these essential microbial communities in the laboratory and on oceanographic cruises, with the ultimate goal of understanding how they will respond to and will help shape future ocean conditions.


  • March 20th, 2019 – “How Nature Journaling Can Enliven Your Time in Nature” – Susan Zwinger

    A hands on Workshop – Susan Zwinger will share her twenty  plus Illustrated Journals and speak about how she draws from them for both books and drawings. She will list the abundant surprising ways a journal may be used (to fit your life). Then she will help you create a simple, but beautiful, journal page to get you on your way.*Please bring blank pages or a sketch notebook and a black ink pen


  • March 27th, 2019 – “Plastic in our environment and in our lives: Problems and solutions” – Heather Trim, Zero Waste Washington
    Plastics are everywhere and their impacts and management are a growing concern around the Pacific NW and globally. Please join Zero Waste Washington for a conversation highlighting current knowledge of plastics, from microplastics in marine waters to plastics recycling challenges. Last year 300 million tons of new plastic were produced globally, and 1/3 of this was used in plastic packaging, including bags, bottles, containers and wrappers. Even in Washington State where we have strong waste reduction goals, only 15% of plastic waste is recycled. What happens to the rest of it? In this presentation, you will find out about plastic waste and what is being done to reduce plastic pollution in our region.


  • April 3rd, 2019 – “Stormwater Pollution: Challenges and Solutions” – Matt Zupich, Whidbey Island Conservation District                                                    This presentation will cover the basics of watershed hydrology, the impacts of stormwater, and scalable management techniques that can be applied to minimize stormwater pollution.


  • April 10th, 2019 – “Art as a way to communicate science: Illustrating marine life with microscopes and fiber art” – Carla Stehr                         Carla is an artist-scientist who uses her scientific background to inspire her art. During her career as a Fisheries Biologist (now retired) she examined fish, invertebrates and plankton with a Scanning Electron Microscope. High magnifications reveal that marine life is far more complex than we can see with our unaided eyes. Even individual fish skin cells or single-celled plankton have amazing structures. Images of these stunning patterns can communicate a sense of that complexity to a broad audience. Carla also uses fabric and stitch to create art illustrating aspects of marine life that might go unnoticed. She will talk about how science and art influence each other in her work, show microscopic views of marine life and their connection to her fiber art and share her experiences of using the art in nature to encourage education about the marine environment.

For more information email us at

This speaker series is brought to you by these organizations

Beach Etiquette

Aggregating anemone (Anthopleura elegantissima)

Going to the beach? This is the time of year to explore a beach at low tide. Check the tide tables before you go. The heights of the tides, or how much beach is exposed, are constantly changing.

The intertidal zone is the rich and diverse part of the beach that is exposed at low tide and covered by water at high tide. The habitat changes as you walk from the upper part of the beach down to the water and you will see different animals and plants adapted to live in each area. Animals in the zones nearer the water can only be out of water for a short time at low tide.

As you are exploring, remember, this is their home. To learn the most about an animal, bend down and look at it in its own house. If you turn over a shell or rock you might see different things hiding underneath. These animals are staying cool and damp. Replace the shell or rock just like you found it so the animals don’t dry out and die. If you touch a living animal, use a wet finger and touch very gently. 

Immature Mottled sea stars (Evasterias troscheli)

A huge number of our local sea stars (starfish) have died from a disease called sea star wasting syndrome. The good news is that sea stars may be making a comeback. A recent low tide revealed a multitude of teeny sea stars, no larger than your fingernail. Leave all sea stars where they are. Intertidal life is often in a certain place for a reason. Look closely and you may be able to see the sea stars feeding or moving on their tube feet!

Barnacles are everywhere. Like many animals, they close their shell at low tide to retain water. You may not realize they are alive but if you have a bucket with you, fill it with sea water and put a barnacle in the bucket. It won’t be long until the barnacle starts feeding. This is what they do when the tide comes in!

You never know what you will find. Snails (sometimes with egg cases), limpets, sea slugs, sea anemones, sea urchins, sea stars, sea cucumbers, crabs, barnacles, mussels, chitons … maybe even an octopus hiding in a rock crevice.

We are lucky to live in such a rich marine environment. Don’t forget to look for whales going by! Explore, be safe and have fun.

Crenate barnacles (Balanus crenatus)