The Salish Sea Curriculum Repository is a collaboration between faculty at Whatcom Community College (WCC) and Western Washington University (WWU) to make available teaching materials for use in developing and teaching lessons and courses about the Salish Sea in bioregional colleges and universities. The repository includes teaching materials developed as open education resources (OER) as well as an index of curated resources that have been published elsewhere.
Faculty are invited to submit teaching materials to the repository to facilitate OER sharing. The OER designation means that assignments and activities made available through this repository are licensed for others to use, adapt, or redistribute, with attribution to the creators. This work is funded by a 2020 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities titled "Situating Ourselves in the Salish Sea: Using Experiential Learning and Storytelling to Inspire Critical Thinking about Place."
The first Introduction to the Salish Sea Course was offered spring quarter 2019. The course was taught in parallel by two WWU faculty (Natalie Baloy and Marco Hatch) and five WCC faculty (Anna Booker, Anita Harker, Kaatje Kraft, Ian Stacy, and Jennifer Zovar) using place-based activities that integrated the humanities, natural and social sciences, and Indigenous ways of knowing. By the end of the course, students had acquired an introduction to the complex ecologies and human experiences of the Salish Sea region, an international body of water that is governed by the United States, Canada, and over sixty Tribes and First Nations.
An example from spring 2019
The second iteration of the course was offered online spring quarter 2020. With less than two weeks notice, a global pandemic required faculty to pivot to the virtual environment. This unexpected change to what was supposed to be a fully experiential course had some silver linings. Faculty developed creative ways for students to get outside, think critically about place, and continue to develop tools for advocacy and policy engagement.
Today, the work continues with faculty from regional higher education institutions and community partners designing curriculum for online, in person, and hybrid versions of courses that fulfill the Salish Sea Studies Minor.
Anna Booker is History Faculty at Whatcom Community College and Project Director of Situating Ourselves in the Salish Sea. Anna has been a practicing historian in both the public and private sector for twenty-five years, including twenty years of teaching community college students in Oakland, California, and Bellingham, Washington. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California-Santa Cruz and a Master of Arts from the University of Montana. Throughout her career, she has pursued public history projects that inspire students to make sense of their surroundings.
Natalie JK Baloy
Natalie JK Baloy is Associate Director of the Salish Sea Institute, Western Washington University. Natalie is committed to facilitating place-based learning and connection across disciplines, borders, and boundaries. Originally from Ohio, she moved to the Salish Sea region to complete a PhD in cultural anthropology at the University of British Columbia. She and her family moved to Bellingham, Washington, five years ago. As a settler scholar and community member, she strives to practice and support grounded, relational, and bioregional teaching and learning in partnerships across the Salish Sea.
Roe McKernan is Librarian, Whatcom Community College and Repository Manger, Salish Sea Curriculum Repository. Roe has been a practicing librarian for over a decade having received her Master of Library and Information Studies from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She focuses on digital equity and online information literacy for community college students.
Neah Ingram-Monteiro is a Master of Library and Information Studies student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and intern, Situating Ourselves in the Salish Sea.