This refers to a PREVIOUS SW, held February 4, 2017
Please see this page for the most recent Sound Waters information

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Session A 11:00-12:15
A.1 A History of Food and Abundance in North Puget Sound

goat, wagon, barn, tree, garden area

Washington is a young state and we lack a strong connection to our indigenous past. Consequently, the Puget Sound region lacks a strong culinary tradition.

How can our area’s Native traditions and the re-discovery of foraged foods meld with the current farm-to-table movement to create a unique, sustainable regional cuisine?

Discover a new point of view about food and dining from 'a local boy' who is passionate about all aspects of food origin, food transformation, food presentation, and the sharing of healthy and delicious food.

Here is an opportunity to learn how to change your relationship to food and get a history lesson at the same time.

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A.2 Cultural Resources Management 101: Archaeological Stewardship

Cultural resources are non-renewable: once destroyed, they are destroyed forever. This class will outline the federal and state laws that protect artifacts, human remains, and historic buildings, and discuss the unique field methods used by compliance archaeologists.  It will be very light on local history, which can be found at the library, but very heavy on policy and field methods. This class will be very beneficial for developers, outdoor recreation enthusiasts, students, and people of all ages who have always been interested in archaeology.

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A.3 Dams and Dirt: Shoreline and Nearshore Response to the Elwha Dam Removals

 

Two dams on the Elwha River disrupted the flow of sediment to the Strait of Juan de Fuca for nearly 100 years, contributing to erosion of the Elwha River delta and altering coastal habitat. In this class, Dr. Miller will summarize the physical and ecological changes observed in the nearshore zone during and after dam removal on the Elwha River.  He also will describe how researchers are tracking the response of coastal systems, both physical and biological, and present their most up-to-date findings.

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A.4 Discover Your Inner Marine Naturalist at the Smith and Minor Islands Aquatic Reserve

Two women standing just off shore in a kelp field Did you know that Whidbey Island has its own Aquatic Reserve?

Were you aware that the Smith and Minor Aquatic Reserve (SMIAR) supports the largest persistent bull kelp forest in the state of Washington?

Would you be surprised to hear that birds such as the Harlequin duck, black oystercatcher, and numerous loons and grebes grace the shoreline of the Aquatic Reserve?

Birdie Davenport, Aquatic Reserves Manager with the Washington Department of Natural Resources, and Rick Baker, Executive Director of the Whidbey Watershed Stewards and lead for the SMIAR citizen stewardship committee, will acquaint participants with this local jewel.

Rhinocerous Auklet hiding in wrack line on beach

Hone your naturalist and scientist skills while participating in hands-on observations and curiosity-building activities. Then discover how you can apply these skills as a citizen scientist for the kelp forest habitat and bird monitoring programs.

Photo Left: Two citizen scientists making observations among kelp

Photo Right: A Rhinocerous Auklet rests perfectly camouflaged in the wrack line.-- If you were walking on the beach, would you notice it?   

www.aquaticreserves.org; www.dnr.wa.gov/managed-lands/aquatic-reserves

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A.5 Emerging Science at the Intersection of Ecology, Genetics, and Law

hand in plastic glove holding a bottle and collecting a water sample from a stream

The past three years has seen an explosion of interest in the use of environmental DNA (eDNA) in ecological and conservation applications. For researchers previously reliant on manual count data, eDNA – trace genetic material recovered from the habitat in which it was generated – has quickly become a potential new avenue through which to examine the world.

Organisms of all kinds shed cells containing species-specific DNA into the environment; this DNA can then be recovered and identified. We are now interested in making these kinds of genetic tools useful for questions of larger scale basic ecology, conservation, environmental science, and policy.

Researchers generally use two distinct methods of molecular detection to characterize environmental samples: quantitative surveys of one or a few species, and qualitative surveys of many species simultaneously.

This class will introduce attendees to the ideas and methods behind these emerging methods of sampling the world, linking to real-world questions of law and policy that such next-generation science might directly inform.

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A.6 Fishing For A Living: Kingfisher, Terns, Gulls . . . And A Few Surprises

Belted Kingfishers are chunky, cranky year-round residents, while Caspian Terns are elegant birds that grace Whidbey’s waters only in the warmer months. These opposites share fishing grounds with gulls and some birds that may surprise you. Learn their fishing techniques and other fascinating information about their natural history.

 

This is the 5th installment in a projected series of 6 presentations on Fishing for a Living, but it stands alone and participants need not have taken any of the previous classes.

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A.7 Growing Food with High Tunnels

A high tunnel with a peak in the center.Cool summer weather and heavy spring and fall rains limit the growing season in western Washington, and it can be challenging to produce an adequate quantity and quality of high value, warm season crops.

High tunnels are temporary structures with arched or hoop-shaped frames covered with one or more layers of clear plastic. High tunnels extend the growing season as it is possible to plant earlier in the spring, and production can extend later into the fall. High tunnels create a microclimate, increasing daytime temperatures and protecting the crop from severe weather, including wind, heavy rain, and frost. When the temperature is increased, the plant growth rate is increased. This not only decreases the time to maturity (crops are ready for harvest earlier), but overall yield is also increased.

Plastic covered hoop tunnel with door at endAlthough many crops can be grown successfully in a high tunnel, the limited production space is used to its best advantage for high value crops. Tomato is a warm season crop that is always in high demand, but most varieties do not ripen in western Washington. Maximum daily temperature is increased by approximately 5oF in an open-ended high tunnel in western Washington, and temperature increase in a close-ended high tunnel is even greater. The total marketable yield per square foot for tomato in western Washington is 9 pounds in a high tunnel and 0.70 pounds in the open field.

Disease prevention is another advantage of using high tunnels. In western Washington, tomato is frequently threatened by late blight (caused by Phytophthora infestans), which thrives in the cool, humid climate of the region. A well-managed tunnel (well ventilated to reduce air humidity and leaf wetness) can protect the crop from late blight, reducing or eliminating the use of chemical fungicides. Irrigation is essential in a high tunnel, and drip irrigation is used to apply a low volume of water frequently. Thus, high tunnels can optimize crop growth and yield while improving fertilizer efficiency and decreasing pesticide applications, which leads to water quality and environmental quality preservation.

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A.8 Impact of Wastewater Effluent and Sewage Sludge on Puget Sound.

Land disposed sewage in Snoqualmie Forest

Puget Sound and the Salish Sea are surrounded by Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) and Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) that receive and process raw sewage. Raw sewage may originate as industrial, domestic, medical, agricultural or stormwater runoff wastes. The resulting Wastewater Effluents (liquids) and Sewage Sludge (solids) are disposed of by various means.

Wastewater Effluents may be discharged to Puget Sound directly or reach the Sound through upstream discharges to wetlands, fields or rivers that flow to the Sound.

Sewage Sludge is land-disposed into forests or agricultural lands surrounding Puget Sound. Large amounts of sludge are hauled by truck to central Washington or the Yakima Valley for land-disposal on agricultural lands. Minor amounts of sewage sludge are land-filled when too toxic or are mixed with plant wastes as a disposal method referred to as composting.

In addition to these sources, there are toxic waste flows to Puget Sound from domestic and commercial septic systems that surround the Sound. Also, there are continuous waste contributions from marine traffic, as well as from animal agriculture. The leachates and runoff from these forest-and agriculture-disposed sewage sludges combine with wastewater effluents discharged into constructed wetlands and onto land surfaces. Together these provide a continuing flow of toxic wastes that contaminate Puget Sound and the Salish Sea.

The wastes that reach the Sound accumulate at a rate that far surpasses the ability of government agencies, industry, wastewater processing facilities or natural processes to protect our waters from toxins, the most damaging of these being those wastes that are classified as Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxins (PBTs).

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A.9 Island County Hydrogeology: Your Groundwater

Aquifer ImageIn this course, you will gain a basic understanding of groundwater science (hydrogeology).  You will learn about the genesis and function of our aquifers and aquitards.  You will also learn about the risks to our water resources, such as contamination and over use, and how government agencies work to protect our water resources.  The course will provide details regarding local groundwater availability and issues.

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A.10 Life History and Management of Dungeness Crab in Puget Sound

Dungeness crabs

This class will be an overview of the Puget Sound Dungeness crab fishery.

Topics will include a discussion of Dungeness crab life history, a comparison of the recreational, commercial and treaty fisheries, and an overview of the historic landings.

The upper slide shows Dungeness crab color morphs.

5 limit of Dungeness crab

 

 

 

 

The lower slide shows the 5 crab limit of large Dungeness crabs.

 

 

 

 

 

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A.11 Marine Heatwaves: Emerging Climate Phenomena

This class will take an in-depth look at marine heatwaves. In particular, we will explore what these events look like, how they are characterized and what impacts they have. We will compare the most recent 2013/14 northeast Pacific marine heatwave with similar events that have occurred in the Mediterranean Sea, off Western Australia and in the northwest Atlantic. Once we have a better understanding about what marine heatwaves are, we will discuss how these events are likely to evolve in a warming climate.

http://www.washington.edu/news/2016/03/30/tracking-marine-heatwaves-since-1950-and-how-the-blob-stacks-up/

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A.12 Overview of Washington State Environmental Stewardship Legislation

Photo of Representative Norma Smith speaking before the state HouseRepresentative Norma Smith will provide an overview of legislation and recent policy proposals related to environmental stewardship, including insight into the process of advocating for and working toward sustainable solutions.

She also will discuss the stakeholder process, roadblocks, and importance of achieving bipartisan support in order to craft policy that is forward-looking and good for the state as a whole.

Her presentation will focus on several legislative proposals spanning recent sessions in Olympia, including work on earth abundant materials, solar energy and the critical discussions around responsible policy that leaves Washington better for future generations.

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A.13 Pollinator Conservation and Ecological Pest Management for Your Farm and Garden

Pollinators and predatory insects are the unsung champions of farms and gardens. This class provides an exploration into the ecology of these often overlooked and undervalued allies, and practical approaches to enhancing their populations through habitat features such as native meadow restoration, insectary strips, hedgerows, beetle banks, cover cropping and more.Concepts are illustrated by real world case studies of farms and gardens, and by current research findings.

Attendees will gain access into the secret of these incredible insects that surround us and pragmatic strategies to improve crop yields, beautify our landscapes, and sustain our region’s food web.

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A.14 Puget Sound Fault Zones, Focusing on the South Whidbey Fault Zone and Darrington-Devils Mountain Fault Zone

In this class, we will take a look at active faults around the Puget Lowland. These faults all have evidence of producing large earthquakes in the recent geological past. We will examine geological evidence that point to these past earthquakes at several sites. We also will examine high-resolution images produced from LiDAR surveys that help guide geologists conducting field studies to document past earthquakes.

Through this careful examination of active faults, we now know that at least 13 active faults in the Puget Lowland produced 28 large earthquakes in the Puget Lowland over the last 15,000 years. More importantly, most of these earthquakes occurred in the last 4000 years and suggest that large earthquakes (M7 or larger) strike our region on average about every 200 years.

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A.15 Salish Sea Shoreline Habitats, Ecological Processes, and Monitoring

Bird eating a polychaete worm

Top Photo: Food Web in Action

The lecture will describe and illustrate the common shoreline habitat types in the Salish Sea, ranging from bedrock to mud; discussing where these habitates form, what physical processes maintain them and drive the living communities found in each, and what key ecological processes differ among them.

Middle Photo: Searching for Smelt Eggs

People laying in a row on beach looking for tiny forage fish eggs.

We will discuss how monitoring methods differ among habitat types, and the challenges of each method. Biodiversity and its drivers will be explored, as well as potential contributions of each habitat type to larger food webs in the Salish Sea.

Two women squatting on a beach using the tools of intertidal biomonitoring

 

 

 

 

 

Lower Photo: Monitoring in Sand

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A.16 Shifting Paradigm: Orca Research

Photo of OrcasThe Center for Whale Research (CWR) has been at the forefront of killer whale research since 1976. Ongoing photo-identification research protocols allow us accurately document killer whale births and deaths and also monitor the health of the federally listed endangered Southern Resident killer whales (SRKW). Current research topics include behavioral studies looking at the killing of porpoises by fish- eating killer whales, non-lethal interactions between SRKW and other marine species and assessments of population health based on monitoring of changes in the body condition of individual whales over time.

Upcoming collaborative research with CWR and experts from the University of Exeter will examine social interactions among members of the SRKW population using non-invasive unmanned drones. Drone technology will revolutionize our understanding of killer whale behavior by providing a bird's-eye view of who interacts with whom and how. With this information we will be able to refine our analysis of population viability and make future predictions concerning the health and survival of these amazing animals.

It already is known that family social structures are critically important in helping whales survive at a time when their population is critically endangered. Researchers have been able to observe these relationships during fleeting glimpses of the whales when they surface for a breath. Our upcoming drone research will yield data showing which whales in a group share food, intervene during conflict, and babysit. This information will allow us to understand what sort of social behavior helps whale reproductive success, and help us make more accurate predictions for their health and survival.

Presenters:
Howard Garrett will give this talk in lieu of Deborah Giles
  
A.17 The Giant Pacific Octopus - Smarter Than a 5th Grader ?

Giant Pacific Octopuses, or GPOs, are an iconic resident of the Puget Sound and the North Pacific, and are the largest species of octopus in the world.

You’ve probably heard that octopus are smart.  The question is how smart - smarter than a 5th grader?  This talk will explore just how amazing these animals are and discuss the issues around measuring intelligence in both octopus and people.

You’ll learn about local species including the world’s largest species the Giant Pacific Octopus and its little cousin the Red Octopus.

Presenters:
Rus Higley will give this class in lieu of Tim Carpenter
  
A.18 Underwater Photography: Made in Puget Sound

A zooplankton life form up close floating in ocean, transparent with bron spot, cone shaped with speherical section at base of cone

My presentation is a discovery of Puget Sound and the Salish Sea through underwater photography. You will also hear about my methods for improving topside or land photography.

I have been scuba diving and doing photography for less than eight years. In that short time I have created a successful fine art photography business, won awards for my work and seen my work internationally published.

During my presentation, as throughout my life, I will be stressing the importance of the health of our local waters and marine environments.Much of the life on our planet is under serious stress from pollution, over fishing, and a host of other human made problems. Let's discuss our experiences of how we have tried to educate and enlighten people about the importance of keeping our world healthy.

 My goal is to enlighten and inspire people about the amazing world that lies just below the surface of the area where we live. Let's have some fun sharing in the beauty and fascination of ecosystems right here in our own back yard.

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A.19 Whidbey Island Beaches: A Geologist's View

West Beach

Do you have a favorite beach on Whidbey? Do you wonder why it looks different than a beach on the other side of the island? Do you wonder why it looks different than it did just last year? In this class, Hugh will try to make sense of these differences.

By looking at how Whidbey Island’s beaches have formed and how they continue to change, we will see what some of our shorelines looked like in the past and maybe get some idea of what they may look like in the future.

We will talk about the bluffs and how erosion and landslides affect our beaches. We will also talk about the spits and how they are affected by storms and waves, and why these beaches can change so rapidly.

Ala Spit showing gravel substrate

We will explain how what happens in one place on the shoreline may affect things somewhere else. We will also talk about the effects of building on the shoreline – what happens to us, and to the beach.

There will be many wonderful examples from around the island. We may see your favorite beach, or we might introduce you to some places on the island that you didn’t know about – maybe a new favorite beach!

For a preview of Whidbey Island beaches: http://gravelbeach.blogspot.com/search/label/whidbey

Top photo: High Bluffs at West Beach

Bottom photo: Storm Deposits at Ala Spit


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A.20 Whidbey: A View from the Water

Most of us don't think about what it means to live on an island unless we're walking the shore or waiting for a ferry. However, for some people their geography, weather, natural- and social- history is defined by being on an island.

 

Longtime resident and kayaker Sue Ellen White and her husband decided in 2014 to circumnavigate their home island in a series of multi-day paddles. In the seven days it took, they saw Whidbey from a new perspective. Sue Ellen documented the trip for the "South Whidbey Record" in an award-winning series, "A Week around Whidbey." This class will share images and perspectives from the trip and will give participants an opportunity to discuss how living on an island influences the lives of its inhabitants.

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Session B 1:30-2:45
B.1 Crabbing 101

photo of Dungeness crab

This class is a true crabbing 101, or as much as can be delivered in 75 minutes.

We will cover: crab habits and addictions; the rules for catching and possession; the many ways to catch crabs such as trapping, snaring, and netting; how to keep crabs alive; cleaning crabs; cooking crabs; picking crabs; and freezing crab meat.

We'll look at many equipment options and make suggestions as to how to best set up a pot.  We'll discuss the best baits, Whidbey Island locations and times, and how to keep from losing your pot.  If we have time, we might trade recipes and taste the results.

Presenters:
John Post will give this class in lieu of John Hudson
  
B.2 Down the Drain and into Salmon: How Contaminants Find their Way into Puget Sound Salmon

bar graph showing PCB concentration in Chinook from different locations

Level of PCBs are elevated in Puget Sound Chinook salmon; Photo By Richard Bell

Puget Sound is unique among developed estuaries in the contiguous United States due to its fjord-like shape and form, and the underwater structure of the basins that restricts the circulation of water, sediment, many living organisms, and contaminants. Created by the advance and retreat of powerful glaciers, Puget Sound is a deep, fjord-like estuary consisting of distinct, yet interconnected basins, providing an ocean like habitat for many marine and anadromous species.

The basins are separated by underwater shelves or sills that act as barriers to water circulation, reducing the flushing rate between Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean, trapping pollutants that find their way into the food web, including some salmon species.

graph showing rising stable isotope levels 

 

Stable isotopes are used to measure salmon's position in the food web (trophic position) and where in the ocean they feed (marine distribution)

This class explores which species and populations of adult salmon are most threatened by inputs of toxic contaminants to Puget Sound. The first section of the class provides an overview of the levels and patterns of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) present in five species of adult Pacific salmon sampled from Puget Sound and other regions along the northeastern Pacific Ocean. POPs are man-made toxic contaminants, resistant to biological degradation, accumulating over time in wildlife feeding in POP-contaminated habitats, often to unsafe levels. Marine environments, including Puget Sound, have distinct POP patterns based on historic inputs, and animals foraging for extended periods of time can accumulate POPs in proportion to their availability in those environments.--

-- Discover which salmon species have a more Puget Sound like contaminant fingerprint.

The second section of the class evaluates species differences in salmon marine distribution and feeding ecology as factors accounting for species and population differences in accumulation of toxic contaminants in adult salmon. In particular, we explore the relationship between contaminant patterns measured in salmon and their levels of stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen, chemical tracers used to infer marine distribution and trophic status of salmon species and populations.

This class will provide you with a greater understanding why the Puget Sound ecosystem is more impacted by contaminants inputs than other urbanized estuaries and why some of our salmon species and populations are more exposed than salmon from other regions.

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B.3 Eat - Prey - Love: The Fascinating Lives of Dragonflies

Happy-faced DragonflyDragonflies are incredibly beautiful creatures that live all around us, and yet their lives are cloaked in mystery and contradiction.

They come with a rich heritage of folklore and fables that vary greatly from culture to culture. European cultures tend to see them as dangerous, even deadly, while Asian and Native American cultures see them as signs of good luck, longevity, and prosperity.

The facts about dragonflies are even more interesting than the fables:

• They have six legs, but don’t walk.

• They have acute vision, but can’t hear.

• They predate dinosaurs, but are still going strong today.

Scientist-author Jim Walker presents a lively and informative course exploring the world of dragonflies, including his own slow-motion videos of dragonflies laying eggs, bathing, and spinning at 1,000 rpm in midair—the fastest known rotational motion of any animal.

Walker, known to his friends as “The Dragonfly Whisperer,” will even share tips on how to coax a dragonfly to perch on your finger, and how to see the famous Happy-face Dragonfly – which was discovered right here in Puget Sound.

In addition to presenting many newly-discovered aspects of dragonfly behavior, this class will also emphasize just how much is still to be learned about these fascinating creatures that share our world.

You can learn more about dragonflies at Professor Walker’s blog: http://thedragonflywhisperer.blogspot.com.

Photo above is of The Happy-face Dragonfly 

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B.4 Ecology and Intertidal Monitoring on the Pacific Coast

Photo of Olympic coastThe rugged, wave-swept, outer coastline of Olympic National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site, biodiversity hotspot, and the longest stretch of wilderness coastline in the lower 48 states.Photo of Olympic coast

This class will focus on the ecology of the exceptional biological communities of the Olympic coast: how they are shaped by their complex and unforgiving physical environment, and how they may be affected by changes resulting from the increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide released by human activities.  These changes include ocean acidification and global warming. Research and monitoring efforts conducted by the National Park Service to characterize these changes will also be discussed.

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B.5 Electricity on Whidbey: Safety, Distribution, Restoration and Stand-by Generators

photo of downed power linesRepresentatives from Puget Sound Energy will provide an overview of the electricity distribution system and how power is restored following an outage. They’ll also provide tips and recommendations for selecting, installing, and operating a back-up generator.

Finally, an electrified table-top display will be used to demonstrate electric safety practices and procedures.A display in a classroom

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B.6 Forest Stewardship: Sustainability and Habitat on Small Forest Ownerships - WA DNR

Forest scene with two men in hard hats walking up a wooded slopeForest management challenges are based on the objectives of the landowners.

Family owned forests that are healthy and sustainable provide beauty, wildlife habitats, privacy, and wood products, and also maintain water quality and fish habitat.

photo of Boyd talking at Forest Owners Field Day

This session will present wildlife management and forest silviculture practices for actively maintaining sustainable, healthy, multiple use forests on family owned forest land.

 

Come learn how to make a wildlife tree!

three large holes in tree trunk from woodpecker activity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                     Photo by Ken Bevis

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B.7 History of the Salish Sea

Historical photo of Native Americans in canoe

 

This class will take a look at the story of the Salish Sea. Focusing primarily on the Native American narrative, we will look at the network of tribes and their use of the water and land.Photo of Native American settlement

Attendees will learn about the resources of the region and the changes seen with early Euro-American contact.

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B.8 Inside: One Woman's Journey Through the Inside Passage

"The ocean is calling me. This is my journey." With these words, Susan Conrad scaled her world down to an 18-foot sea kayak and the 1,200-mile ribbon of water known as the Inside Passage and launched a journey from Anacortes, WA to Juneau, AK. Her debut memoir "Inside: One Woman's Journey Through the Inside Passage" is the story of that expedition. Susan shares this journey with stories and images in an inspiring, visually-loaded slideshow presentation.

The Inside Passage is a vast watershed with its roots embedded in the Salish Sea. The rugged beauty and wilderness of the BC and Alaskan coastlines could be hard to imagine if you haven't visited there before. However, Susan's Book cover of Susan's memoir, "Inside-One Woman's Journey Through the Inside Passage"storytelling and imagery will make you feel that you are on a tiny pocket beach, holding your tent and gear in the cold of the night, waiting for the tide to recede. Feel the strain of paddling for miles looking for a place to camp, struggling to stay awake in your boat. Her narrative will take you through three major ecosystems: the Salish Sea, the Great Bear Rainforest, and coastal SE Alaska.

Be transported on this journey of the sea and soul as Susan shares her intimate connection with this amazing landscape and her understanding of this marine environment through which she had the privilege to paddle.

www.SusanMarieConrad.com Link to book trailer: https://vimeo.com/141197430

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B.9 Getting Ready to Rumble; Natural Hazards Encountered on Whidbey Island and Emergency Preparedness

Island County is a beautiful and amazing area with prodigious high bluffs, glacial till and a panoramic view of Puget Sound creating an awesome landscape and a paradise to live in. Just driving across Deception Pass Bridge or sailing along on one of our Washington State Ferries takes one's breath away. But the vistas that make this such a wonderful place to live and visit also creates some difficult challenges.

As we know, Island County, due to its location, is vulnerable to natural and man-made disasters. We live in one of the most seismically active areas in the nation. There’s the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the coast, multiple fault zones crossing the islands, and others surrounding us.  Books like Cascadia’s Fault, Full Rip 9.0, Cascadia, and a variety news articles and documentaries all describe the devastation from “The Big One” that is predicted to strike our region.

It’s true that earthquakes, as well as other events such as tsunamis, high winds, ice, and fires, could also quickly damage our critical infrastructure for extended periods leaving us vulnerable. However, with the help of our intrepid volunteer organizations such as the Community Emergency Response Team or CERT and Camano Preparedness Group or CPG, we will prevail in our efforts to focus on strategies to keep our community safe, both prior to and after disaster "rumbles".

In this unique class, we will help you develop the tools needed to recover and rebuild your community and your home.  Topics include:

  • Developing a Plan For Your family;
  • Building a Survival Kit That Works; and
  • Getting Yourself and The Community Involved.
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B.10 Raptors of Western Washington: From Shoreline to Summit

Photo of Taiga MerlinOften seen, often admired, often maligned - raptors are important apex predators in western Washington. They are associated with ecosystems centered on water and forests.

We will discuss key specialized adaptations of raptors that make them successful hunters, overview the ecology of species most often encountered in westside ecosystems, and address some of the mythology surrounding raptors as fact or fiction.

Photo: Taiga Merlin

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B.11 Salish Sea Soundscape: Underwater acoustics from a marine mammal perspective

Two dolphins under the surface looking at us

Did you know that it hurts me to have to shout above the cacophony?

Humans and other terrestrial animals are often visual creatures. Light however, does not travel well underwater, while sound does. As a consequence, many marine animals, including marine mammals are acoustic creatures. They rely on sound for many basic life functions such as navigating their environment, finding food and mates, as well as avoiding danger.

Therefore, as stewards of the Salish Sea, it is important for us to understand underwater sound and how some sounds may affect marine life.

This class will cover three important themes in underwater acoustics. 1) The Basics of acoustics. a. What is sound? b. How do we measure it? 2) Salish Sea Soundscapes. a. Geophony: natural sounds of non-biological origin b. Biophony: natural sounds of biological origin c. Anthrophony: sounds of human origin 3) Marine mammals and sound. a. How they produce sound. b. How they sense sound. c. How sounds can affect them.

If there is time and people are interested we can talk about recent studies and publications related to this topic.

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B.12 Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flood Risk in Island County

Photo of storm surge impact on shoreline propertyAs global temperatures rise, the oceans warm slightly and expand, ice caps and glaciers melt, and more precipitation falls as rain instead of snow. This causes sea levels to rise.

Globally, sea levels rose four to ten inches in the last century. Researchers expect sea levels to continue rising.

With over 2,300 miles of marine coastline, much of Washington’s population lives, works, and thrives in coastal areas. Coastal communities are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, which puts much of the state’s population at risk – homes, infrastructure, livelihoods, and even lives.

Coastal climate change effects include: coastal community flooding, coastal erosion and landslides, seawater well intrusion, and lost wetlands and estuaries.

This presentation will focus on a recently completed sea level rise risk assessment for Island County, and address questions such as, "Why is sea level rising?", "How much has sea level risen?", and "How much will sea level rise?"

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B.13 Shrimps of the Salish Sea

Chocolate colored shrimp with lavender eyes resting on sandy ocean floor.

Most Northwest residents are familiar with our large (and delicious!) local spot prawns, but prawns are but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to local shrimps.

Shrimp with red,yellow, and white veritical stripes on a beige background.   shrimp

Myriad smaller species grace our waters; some with bizarre shapes, dazzling colors, and strange habits.

In this class we will get an overview of these fascinating-- yet often overlooked --creatures that are so essential to our marine ecosystems and fisheries.

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B.14 Stormwater Impacts to Marine Habitat

Photo of sediment runnoff into nearshoreThis class covers watershed characteristics, and how factors such as land-use patterns and management practices can affect stormwater quantity, quality, and flow rates.

You will learn how these factors impact nearshore marine ecosystems and see specifically how stormwater pollutants affect salmon.

Photo of oil-contaminated water going down storm drain drainRob will describe land management methods that reduce pollution from stormwater, including use of rain gardens, bioswales, and other 'Green Infrastructure' practices.

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B.15 The Importance of Place: Place-based Science and the Swinomish Culture - Swinomish Approach to Environmental & Resource Issues, and Restoration of Kukutali Preserve

map of Swinomish Reservation and the Kukutali Reserve

Kukutali Preserve is the first Tribal State Park in the history of the United States to be co-owned and jointly managed by a federally- recognized Indian tribe and a state government. The Preserve is located near La Conner, WA, and lies entirely on the Swinomish Reservation. The preserve encompasses 83 acres spanning 3 islands with over two miles of natural shoreline, and is adjacent to 38 acres of Tribally owned tidelands.

The Swinomish People have long standing traditions of protecting, honoring, and thanking Mother Earth for the resources that nourish our people. The culture of the Tribe is intrinsically tied to the health of the environment that sustains the habitats for our important natural resources.

While some of our work is directed at addressing immediate and specific environmental or ecological concerns, our objectives focus on the long-view and sustaining the Swinomish culture. We use the knowledge of our ancestors combined with scientific research to develop innovative ways to protect our environment and resources not just for now but for the next seven generations.

Our work is strongly place-based and centered not just on protecting the natural resources themselves, but also sustaining access to the cultural practices they support. For Swinomish, it is not enough to simply work for the survival of a species or a habitat; we strive to protect and preserve resources and their place in Swinomish culture.Marine landscape with kelp on surface of water and islands and Mt Baker in distance

 

Lower Photo: View of Mt Baker, Kukutali Preserve, and Skagit Island from Hoypus Point

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B.16 The Seastar Wasting Syndrome and Citizen Science

Purple sea star showing signs of diseaseUpper Photo: A Pisaster ochraceus with lesions in the middle stage of  Sea Star Wasting Syndrome

What's in a name? We call them starfish but as they are not fish we also call them sea stars. We all remember the joy of finding them on the beach as a child, then pointing them out to our children, and for some of us, to our grandchildren. This class is a chance to learn about sea stars and their relatives and where you might find them on beaches around Puget Sound.

Seastars are more than just cute creatures. They hold an important place in our marine environment. Learn about where seastars fit into the food web of our beaches.  What eats them? What do they eat?  Why is this important to the ecology of our area?   

Sadly, many of our seastars died in recent years from a mysterious illness that scientists call Seastar Wasting Syndrome. What is this syndrome, and what do wePeople near rocky waterline at low tide conducting a survey on sea starsknow about what might be causing it? How badly are populations in our area affected?  Academic researchers and citizen scientists are participating in a University of California-Santa Cruz study being conducted in the Puget Sound region. Michael Kyte will provide the latest information about these questions, including reports of the latest population trends, and results from the monitoring of local seastar populations.

Lower Photo: Citizen scientists conducting a survey on sea stars along a rocky shore at low tide

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B.17 Thinking Outside the Hive - Using Native Bees for Pollination

Using native bees for pollination

Few people realize the value that our wild and native bees provide to our gardens, crops and orchards.

Join Dave Hunter, founder and owner of Crown Bees, in a discussion of pollinating with native hole-nesting bees.

The Puget Sound is host to a variety of native bees that use holes for nesting. While these bees provide no honey, they can be amazing pollinators, far surpassing the imported honey bees in their pollination ability.

Nesting holes for native bees

Come be part of a discussion to learn:

• How to find/raise these gentle bees.

• Why they are gentle.

• Tips on how to gain the most pollination in your yard, orchard, or garden.

• How these gentle bees can increase our worldwide food supply; all without the use of chemicals or GMOs.

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B.18 HAS BEEN CANCELLED -- Unraveling the Secret Life of Kelp Using Population Genetics

diagram of coastline showing kelp fields showing  how much some are related using piecharts

Kelps are large algae that sustain some of the most productive and dynamic ecosystems on the planet. Organisms like the Giant Kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera, and the Bull Kelp, Nereocystis luetkeana, form a complex food-web system that is dependent on the kelp itself as source of energy and shelter.

Because of their important role in coastal temperate reef ecology, kelps have been the focus of research by marine ecologists for decades. However, scientists have only recently used molecular ecology to unravel kelp life history.(Molecular ecology is a science that links molecular population genetics with ecology,)

Kelp life history is particularly challenging to study because of its haplo-diploid life cycle that alternates between a macroscopic stage, (the seaweed that we all know), and Female gametophyte and young sporophyte as seen through a microscopemicroscopic stages that remain cryptic to most and extremely difficult to study, (hence being named kelp's black box). Yet, the completion of the life cycle and the recovery of kelp beds after disturbance is dependent on these “invisible” stages.

This presentation will walk you through some of the techniques from a molecular ecologist's toolbox, and show you how we applied them over the last six years to unravel the life history and micro-evolution of Giant Kelp. You will also be shown some very recent results on Bull Kelp genetic diversity across its range in the Salish Sea and along Washington's Pacific coast.

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We regret this class has been cancelled due to presenter illness
  
B.19 Update on 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 everything they do, from diet to language to mating practices, is completely different, and they have avoided each other for centuries.

We'll look at the unparalleled 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. The Southern Resident orcas of the Salish Sea and coastal waters, now down to only 80 members, have specialized in chinook salmon for millenia, but those salmon kings are scarce these days, and the orcas are barely surviving. We'll talk about why chinook are so crucial to their survival, and what we can do to help them find more of their chosen fish.

For more information, see:  www.orcanetwork.org/

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B.20 Want to help with wildlife conservation?--Start with Washington's Action Plan

Butterfly resting on leaf with wings open

Note:Taylors Checkerspot - Ted Thomas USFWS


Washington's State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) directs the focus of many of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's conservation projects and guides determinations of our state's Species and Habitats of Greatest Conservation Need. The SWAP identifies actions to conserve wildlife and their habitats before they become too rare and restoration efforts too costly to implement.

Learn how the SWAP was updated in 2015 and more about Citizen Science projects that help implement this important plan.Any conservation partner with an interest in wildlife and habitat can use the SWAP.A group of people in a field near bushes looking at organisms in grass

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B.21 Weather in the Marine Environment

Are you a fisherman, research scientist, field worker or boating enthusiast? Are you considering learning how to sail or buying your first boat for the family? Maybe you are writing a novel or screenplay and you need more marine weather information to create a realistic story for an adventure or tragedy.

Sotrmy weather and waves striking a pierAnyone with an appreciation for being on the water will enjoy this opportunity to hear about the experiences of this sailor-instructor-meteorogist.

Understanding the weather and using that knowledge to support our maritime activities is an essential skill for work and play on the water. Applying marine weather skills in boating operations increases crew safety, protects the vessel and equipment, and ensures faster and more efficient passages. 

This overview of the weather and its influence on our water based activities will provide a basis for further exploration of this essential topic.

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Session C 3:00-4:15
C.1 A Glacial History of Puget Sound and Its Relevancy to Communities Today

Bluff near beach where face of bluff has sloughed off revealing different sediment layersStratigraphy of large landslide at Dabob Bay

The last glacial period in Puget Sound shaped the Puget Sound region.

The natural resources, locations of cities and towns, and transportation routes are all impacted by the events that took place in Puget Sound between 20,000 and 13,000 years ago.

Lidar Map of part of Whidbey IslandUnderstanding the legacy of the last glacial period provides insights to how our communities have grown and the challenges we face in the future.

The emphasis of the class will be on linking what took place during the last glacial period with what we see on the ground, along our shorelines, and in the water today.

LiDAR imagery showing glacial ice movement, Fidalgo Island and North Whidbey Island

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C.2 A Taste of Place: Learn the Basics of Common Edible Native Plants and How to Incorporate Them Into Your Garden Landscape

Nootka RosePacific Northwest native plants provide the outdoor enthusiast with an opportunity to add beauty to their neighborhood and backyard landscapes and to protect natural resources as well. And for the adventurous, native plants can also serve as a food source.

Come learn about Pacific Northwest native plants from fourth-generation Whidbey Islander, Kelsi Franzen. Learn to identify common native plants, and how you can include them in both your garden and as part of your next meal.

 

Photo: Nootka Rose

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C.3 Contaminants of Emerging Concern in the Puget Sound

Puget Sound Recreation

Contaminants of Emerging Concern is a moniker applied to a group of man-made chemicals that generally: 1) occur at low levels in the environment, 2) are unregulated, and 3) may pose some environmental risk.

In this session we intend to provide a better understanding of what these are and where we are finding them in the Puget Sound.

We will discuss how these compounds might be affecting wildlife or humans, and if there is any evidence that such effects might be taking place.

By the end of the session we hope that attendees will have sufficient background to judge if/whether there is real reason for concern.

Photo from Puget Sound Partnership

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C.4 Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve: A Legacy of Community Preservation

Photo of Ebey's Landing State ParkWhen residential development threatened to cut off access to a beloved beach and replace the heritage farmland of Ebey's Prairie with subdivided residential lots, local residents recognized that a way of life was about to be lost. Community, historical, and environmental groups from far and wide began to mobilize, and started a conversation that would last decades and test the bonds of friendship. The effort became a balancing act – to find a way to preserve a cherished and historically significant cultural landscape, without sacrificing the needs and future of a working rural community. Years of litigation, contentious council meetings and exhausting public discussions followed until eventually a new approach to preservation emerged.

Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve would be a model that depended on the participation of the local population and relied on government partnerships to preserve this rural farming community. Today the Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve protects and shares the history and heritage of Central Whidbey Island, from the Native Americans who settled the island, to the explorers and pioneers who were lured to the area by politics, adventure, or the desire for a new way of life.

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C.5 El Nino and La Nina and What it Means for Our Waters

map of north and south america showing la Nina as a large arrow impacting the areaThe state of the tropical Pacific atmosphere-ocean system impacts weather patterns across much of the globe. Warm conditions in association with El Nino and cold conditions associated with La Nina result in different kinds of weather patterns in the Pacific Northwest.

This class will review how the tropical Pacific influences our weather and the regional marine ecosystem.

Find out what we have learned from the last two El Nino events. Many predictions have been made about what to expect following an El Nino event. Did these predictions bear out?

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C.7 Ferry Tales

"Ferry Tales" will bring together maritime stories - old and new - from Puget Sound and the Salish Sea. There will be stories of the boats - and the people who run them and ride on them; stories that provoke laughter, demonstrate courage, and cause us to reflect. www.globalvillagestory.wordpress.com

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C.8 Forage Fish: Why We Care and How We Monitor

Forage fishes are small schooling fishes that form a critical link in the marine food web between zooplankton and larger fish and wildlife consumers. Status of forage fish populations can be an indicator of the health and productivity of nearshore systems.

Learn about how and where the waters and shorelines of Puget Sound support significant populations of forage fish species such as Pacific herring, surf smelt, Pacific sand lance and Northern anchovy.   Each of these species' life history and critical spawning habitats will be reviewed. We will also discuss existing regulatory protection measures for the conservation and possible restoration of these habitats.

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C.9 Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans

Photo of crowFor most of human history, crows and ravens have captured our attention and imagination. Few other species have featured so heavily in our myths and folklore; they have been tricksters, teachers, spies, saviors, or even harbingers of doom, depending on which culture is telling the story. But why do they hold such a prominent place in our culture? What  about crows and ravens makes them so interesting to us?

Crows and ravens are certainly charismatic. Crows pay attention to us, and can quickly learn and remember who among us are friends or foes. They form funerals around their dead. They invent novel ways to play and have fun. They steal from one another, and employ trickery to keep their treasures safe from others. They mate for life, and provide extensive care to their young. They figure out a myriad of ways to exploit their environment (including us) for their own gain. Perhaps the reason why we find them so fascinating is because they remind us of ourselves.

In this class, I will talk about many of these interesting behaviors. What are crows and ravens capable of, and what benefits do they gain from these behaviors? I will also discuss some of the research we are doing at the University of Washington in our effort to better understand these clever creatures.

For more information about the presenter, Loma Pendergraft, please visit his website at: clevercrows.wordpress.com

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C.10 Gray Whale and Other Cetacean Research off the Pacific Northwest

This class will present new findings on gray whales and other cetaceans in the Pacific Northwest from the perspective of an active researcher studying a number of local species. Information will include recent results from photo-identification and tag deployments. Photo of researcher deploying tag on whale

New research on gray whales has revealed a far more complex role for this species in the region and shown that  several local populations use our waters more extensively than solely as a migratory corridor.

We will also discuss the recent dramatic changes in occurrence of several other species and latest research findings concerning them.  For example, recent results show that humpback whales have increased their use of Pacific Northwest inside waters as a feeding ground and are potentially returning to a role more similar to that which occurred prior to whaling. Harbor porpoises also have shown an increase and return to Puget Sound waters.

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C.11 How Does a Community Address Climate Change?

flow chart superimposed over an aerial view of the Swinomish territory

Upper Photo: Swinomish Climate Change and Community Health Project

Lower Photo: Swinomish Indigenous Health Indicators

The effects of climate change on public health are projected to be multi-various and significant. The health and wellbeing of Indigenous peoples face some of the largest-scale and potentially most devastating impacts from climate change.

Akin to public health impact assessments across the country, the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community’s (Swinomish) Climate Change Impact Assessment (2009) and Action Plan (2010) identify impacts including but not limited to: heat-related illness; vector- and food-borne diseases; respiratory conditions exacerbated by smoke from wildfires, air pollution, and increased pollen counts; and, injuries; and, adverse impacts on mental health. Yet the Swinomish Assessment and Action Plan are missing information about impacts to health and wellbeing as defined and prioritized by the Swinomish people because there is no existing assessment and planning framework that effectively includes Indigenous health values, definitions and priorities.

a conceptual framework for community connection including words in this tribe's original languageIndigenous health and wellbeing are directly tied to the health of lands, waters, air and natural resources in ways unlike the majority of the U.S. population, supporting unique health values, definitions and priorities for Indigenous people. Due to these deeply-seated and distinctive connections and worldviews, changes to any part of the coupled social-ecological system have amplifying ramifications for Indigenous health and wellbeing. Yet available frameworks for assessing health impacts and developing action plans do not take into account these varied and diverse health values. Swinomish are proactively addressing this gap by creating community health assessments that reflect Swinomish health definitions, values and priorities.

In this class we will provide a background on how Swinomish, like many Indigenous peoples, define health and wellbeing on familial and community-wide scales, rather than the individual scale, and the myriad connections between human, environment and spiritual worlds. We will then describe the Indigenous Health Indicators, a set of Swinomish-specific health indicators, which we use in health planning and decision-making. We will provide examples from our most recent project assessing climate change impacts from sea level rise and storm surge to Swinomish community health.

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C.12 Marine Renewable Energy

Indoor pool area with research equipment

Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division's wave testing basin, the site of the 2016 US Department of Energy's recently-awarded Wave Energy Prize competition (Photo Credit: www.whitehouse.gov)

Washington State is a national leader in renewable energy, producing 30% of America’s utility-scale hydropower, and ranking within the top ten for generating electricity from wind energy. According to federal 2014 statistics, our state produces more than nine times the electricity from renewable energy than it does from nuclear power, (the only other considerable electricity generation).

In addition to its enviable hydropower and wind energy resources, Washington also boasts considerable wave and tidal energy. By federal estimates, Washington ranks third among states for potential tidal energy sites and fifth for available wave energy. Together, these technologies could theoretically power tens- to hundreds-of-thousands of Washingtonians’s homes.

Axial flow turbine under water

 

Image of laboratory testing of an axial flow current turbine (Photo credit: Univ WA)

Currently, there is an incredibly wide range of methods and technologies proposed to harness ocean energy; and research and development efforts are underway here in the Pacific Northwest to responsibly, reliably, and efficiently leverage our renewable ocean energy resources. Academia, government, and industry are working together locally on topics ranging from increasing the accuracy of resource assessments to developing energy technologies for better managing potential environmental impacts. This course will be a broad survey of ocean energy technology, with emphasis on its potential role in the Pacific Northwest.

This class will cover the fundamentals of how energy is transferred to the oceans, how that energy travels to Washington, and how a variety of state-of-the-art devices harvest energy from waves and tides. We will also discuss leading research on how these devices might affect our day-to-day lives, touching on topics from the sand on the beach to our utility bills.

Though the class focus is on electricity generation, if time and interest permits, we may also cover non-conventional non-local applications such as desalinization or offshore automation. Attendees will leave this class with an understanding of how ocean energy conversion works and a familiarity with the current state-of-the-art in ocean energy technology, including familiarity with some of its advantages and drawbacks in the context of our Pacific Northwest coasts.

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C.13 Maritime Shipping Threats in the Salish Sea and Options to Protect Our Shared Waters

The Salish Sea is home to over 8 million people and is one of the world’s largest and most biologically rich inland seas.  Each year 12,400 large vessels, including over 1,322 oil tankers, charge past our communities and through this fragile ecosystem  that is home to 113 threatened and endangered species. These vessels have an enormous effect on marine life. Underwater noise, invasive organisms from ballast water, collisions with marine creatures, oil spills and other emissions into the water all negatively impact our fish and wildlife.Photo of oil tanker with Orcas in foreground

Between 1995 and 2005, 1462 accidents and 1159 incidents were reported in Washington State.  Of those, 14 were oil spills from tankers, releasing roughly 13,709 gallons of oil. Proposals to increase international shipping by 43% would turn the Salish Sea into a tanker highway, posing potentially catastrophic danger.

This class will provide information on maritime shipping threats in the Salish Sea and actions being taken to protect marine life by encouraging alternative energy sources, minimizing and removing vessel traffic risks, and advocating for best practices that care for our marine wildlife while preserving our economy.

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C.14 Our Forests in a Shifting Climate

Very green forest scene

Puget Sound area forests are dynamic ecosystems that continuously change through cycles of disturbance and development.

In this session, we’ll explore those cycles as a context in which these forests respond to climate stressors. We’ll discuss forest health and the interactions between diseases, pests, and climate, and how these interactions impact forest health and biodiversity. We’ll examine how trees respond to stress and how that relates to diagnosing problems.

We’ll conclude with a discussion of how to keep trees healthy in a changing climate and how to adapt our expectations to better match natural responses.

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C.15 Shore Friendly Approaches For Protecting Your Shoreline

More than 25% of Puget Sound shorelines have hard armoring, such as bulkheads and riprap. Most of these were originally installed with the intent to protect the property from erosion, but we now understand that hard armoring can be detrimental to our beloved shoreline ecosystem, and is not always the best solution for your shoreline property.

In this class you'll learn about Shore Friendly alternatives to hard armoring that provide both the use and enjoyment of the property while promoting and maintaining the nearshore ecosystems for the support of fish and wildlife. You'll also learn about what Island County has been doing through its Shore Friendly program, and walk away with some great educational materials for yourself and your neighbors.

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C.16 Understanding Your Local Water System -- Best Practices in Management and Operations

Logo of Whidbey Island Water Systems AssociationThis class is comprised of a panel presentation and discussion covering the legal identifications of the types of local water systems; the control of the federal government, and the state and county governments over water systems; the ownership and the responsibilities of owners of local water systems; and best practices in management and operations, including routine financing and planning for replacing capital equipment.

Time permitting, the pros and cons of consolidating small water systems will also be covered.

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C.17 Update on the Pacific Northwest's Earthquake Hazards and Earthquake Early Warning System

Shake Alert ImageWhat would you do with three minutes of warning that strong shaking is on the way from a Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake?

The developing ShakeAlert system now covering the West Coast of the US is in test mode, and is capable of producing such a warning.

New UW innovations add realtime GPS data to the strong motion seismic data to accurately characterize great earthquakes in less than a minute by measuring the ground displacement caused by the fault rupture. 

This class discusses recent developments in our understanding of Puget Sound Area Earthquake and Tsunami Hazards. We will also discuss the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system that could go public in as little as two years .

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C.18 Water Is A Public Resource - What Is Island County Doing About It?

Island County’s water supply is fundamental to our quality of life. The quality and quantity of water determines our ability to live and work on our islands.

Commissioner Helen Price Johnson will review how the County helps the community protect the vital resources of surface water and ground water on Whidbey and Camano islands.

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C.19 Will Ocean Acidification Impact Mussel Farming in the Puget Sound?

outstretched hand holding two musselsLearn about mussel farming on Whidbey Island, ocean acidification, and the possible challenges for farmers in the future. Topics include how mussels are grown, how the Puget Sound is changing, and what is the current state of water monitoring efforts in Washington.

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C.20 Wolverines in the North Cascades: The Return of North America's Most Enigmatic Carnivore

Wolverine climbing a tree

These co-presenters study wolverines, not in Alaska, not in the backcountry of British Columbia, but right here in Washington.

For the first time in a century, you now have a chance of seeing a wolverine wandering the rugged wilds of the North Cascades.

Robert attending to sensor equipment on a tree trunk

People often ask, "Aren't they mean and vicious?" Well, no, although they are one of the most unique and tenacious carnivores living in North America.

Wolverines returning to our region may be facing a race against time as the snowy habitats they depend on are increasingly threatened by climate change.

What is it like to study the world's most charismatic mountaineers? -- Come hear stories about wolverine research right here at home, and discover how some extraordinary technology enables us to learn more about Washington's recently expanding wolverine population.

Paula and Alder hiking on a trail in the Cascades

 

 

 

Join researchers Dr. Robert Long and Paula MacKay as they discuss the natural history and current status of wolverines.

They will also talk about cutting-edge methods for studying wolverines in the wild, and share personal accounts from their work as a husband-and-wife research team.

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Session tbd
tbd.0 Beach Fishing

Kevin fishing at shoreline after sundownIn this introductory class, Kevin will wade through the somewhat complex and confusing salt water fishing regulations and provide information on some popular and not-so-popular public fishing locations.  

He will demonstrate how to play a fish, how to tie the most common fishing knots, and explain why reading tide charts helps your fishing success.  

Kevin notes the importance for all Whidbey residents to understand their civic duty in defending our beaches against the onslaught of pink salmon in odd-numbered years like 2015.  In doing so, many anglers donate surplus salmon to the Good Cheer Food Bank, and Kevin will tell you how you can help.

Bring your questions, bring your gear, come to learn, and prepare to enjoy further our marine environment.

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