The Salish Sea Curriculum Repository is a collaboration between faculty at Whatcom Community College (WCC) and Western Washington University (WWU) to make available open educational resources (OER) for use in developing and teaching lessons and courses about the Salish Sea. Faculty are invited to submit teaching materials to the repository. The OER designation means that assignments and activities made available through this repository are licensed for others to use, adapt, or redistribute them, 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 Western faculty (Natalie Baloy and Marco Hatch) and five Whatcom 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. Watch this two-minute video about the pilot course experience from the perspective of WCC students:
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. Watch this three-minute video about how place-based learning looked in the virtual world:
The work continues with WCC faculty from a broad range of disciplines designing curriculum for a Faculty Education Workshop and the newest version of the Introduction to the Salish Sea in spring 2021 -- a hybrid version with online lectures by Coast Salish scholars and local field trips that follow safety protocols. Stay tuned!
Anna Booker, History Faculty, Whatcom Community College and Project Director, 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, CA and Bellingham, WA. She received her BA from UC-Santa Cruz and an MA from the University of Montana. Throughout her career, she has pursued Public History projects that prepare and inspire students to become problem solvers in their community.
Natalie JK Baloy, 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, WA, 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, Librarian, Whatcom Community College and Repository Manger, Salish Sea Curriculum Repository. Roe has been a practicing librarian for over a decade having received her MLIS from UBC Vancouver. She focuses on digital equity and online information literacy for community college students.
Neah Ingram-Monteiro, MLIS student at UBC Vancouver and intern, Situating Ourselves in the Salish Sea.