Salish Sea Studies

Salish Sea Studies is an emerging land- and place-based, experiential, multidisciplinary, and transboundary field that examines our shared bioregion's complex human-environment systems.

Through Salish Sea Studies engagement, faculty, students, and bioregional communities can build meaningful connections across borders, disciplines, and systems to help bring to life an environmentally healthy and just future for the Salish Sea.

Salish Sea Studies formed through collaborations between and beyond Western Washington University and Whatcom Community College. 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.


Introduction to the Salish Sea, Spring 2019

The first Introduction to the Salish Sea 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.


Introduction to Salish Sea, Spring 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.