View from the Helm

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2017 in Review: A Year of Sailing, Science and Setting Our Sights on Future Growth

December 13, 2017

All together now!

This year marked a big milestone for Salish, our 20th year of hands-on learning on the Salish Sea. It was an eventful year, with many eager student scientists conducting research to investigate science questions of their own design.

Salish students completed many interesting marine research projects, which included comparing the presence of plankton with the presence of copper, water pH compared to plankton abundance, and abundance of zooplankton as compared to the abundance of phytoplankton.

Spring was action packed with 65 program days and 500 students participating in our programs, exploring Puget Sound as scientists, captains, navigators and crew. The season concluded with our annual student science symposium, which featured Dr. Thomas Poole as keynote presenter and many stellar student presentations, like this one.

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Thanks! You Helped Raise More Than $48k for Science Learning at Our Patrons of Discovery Breakfast

October 27, 2017

Many thanks to our wonderful presenters

On Tuesday, October 17, our generous community helped raise more than $48,000 for student-led voyages of exploration and discovery at our Patrons of Discovery Breakfast. This support means that we can engage even more kids in hands-on learning on the Salish Sea.

It’s wonderful to know how many of you share in our mission to get more kids excited about applied science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), while learning valuable critical thinking skills that will serve them for a lifetime of learning and career success.  Read more ›

Fall 2017: Blue Skies and Girls at the Helm

October 27, 2017

One student hauls in a 40m plankton tow.

Our fall 2017 program sailed its final day in mid-October amidst stunning blue skies, somewhat uncharacteristic for programs this time of year. This season is shorter than our spring programs, but we enjoyed connecting with several returning partner schools.

These included our “hometown” friends at the Odyssey Multiage and Woodward MIddle School programs, and our nearby neighbors at Chief Kitsap Academy.

We also forged new partnerships with the Girl Scouts of Western Washington, with a fun 3-day expedition for girls interested in marine science and STEM education. Read more ›

Salish alumna: “The science is a blast!”

August 7, 2017

Mariah at the helm of Carlyn

Salish has been working with school and community groups doing hands-on learning expeditions for 20 years. In addition to our curriculum-integrated programs, we also offer trips that cater to individual students who are interested in marine biology and maritime field-based learning. Salish “Sound for Individuals” programs give students a comprehensive view into what its like to be a scientist or mariner, and invite students to take a closer look at life beneath the surface of the Salish Sea.

In April, Salish hosted two “Sound for Individuals” programs. One of our participants was kind enough to share her experience in a recent letter:

My name is Mariah and I am a junior in high school. I participated in the Salish program April 2017. I am interested in becoming a marine biologist so I thought this program would give me some field experience. 

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Summer Camps: Exploring Messy, Wonderful Science

July 19, 2017

Salish campers had the chance to design, build and deploy data buoys

A guest post by Education Director Dan Hannafious, describing the process of designing, building and deploying data buoys during the recent Salish Sea Science Explorers Camp held on Bainbridge Island.

A large bucket of PVC pieces and parts is noisily spilled at the feet of the circle of Salish Sea Expeditions Science Campers.  In a flash, campers are reflecting on buoy design, flotation, sensor positions, line length, anchoring, tidal change, depth of deployment… and in their eyes you can see: “oh, this is going to be fun!”

Leading up to that moment, there were conversations about why build and deploy buoys? How will the minus tide this week affect our deployment? How can the sensor positions provide the “coolest” information? Read more ›

Crew Spotlight: O, Captain! My Captain!

June 20, 2017

First Mate Michael Sharp took on the role of Captain during a recent trip.

Here at Salish, it’s hard to choose which is more fun: the sailing or the science. Showing kids that they can excel at BOTH is when we get really excited. Our crew of fantastic educators is the foundation upon which our program is built, and they are exceptional in delivering programs that highlight both science and sailing with enthusiasm.

This spring, our crew was a mix of veteran Salish educators and new members that added depth and breadth to our program. They handled tricky weather with true professionalism and safety-minded creativity. We owe them all a big THANK YOU for being awesome. Read more ›

Spring 2017 Programs: That’s a Wrap!

June 20, 2017

It’s been another great season of hands-on learning and science exploration on the Salish Sea. Eighteen schools and nearly 500 students participated in Salish Sea Expeditions’ SOUND Programs this season from mid-March to early June. There were 65 program days which ranged from single day trips, to extended 3-5 day adventures.

Although the weather threw us some curveballs this spring, it didn’t dampen the spirits of our student scientists, who had the chance to explore some pretty cool science questions while aboard the Good Ship Carlyn. Some of these research projects included comparing presence of plankton with the presence of copper, and water pH compared to plankton abundance.

You can read more about our spring expeditions by visiting the Ship’s Log section of our website.
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“Thar She Blows!” Wind and Whales on Spring Programs

April 21, 2017

April 2017 marine science on deck

Teaching about plankton on S/V Carlyn

The 2017 Spring season has been blown around a bit so far, but it’s not put a damper on the fun science and maritime skills our students are learning while aboard the S/V Carlyn.

One of our students shared that he couldn’t wait to “teach this lesson to my Dad!” and another group chose to extend their marine science lessons after dinner ashore rather than take a break with some field games.

Our season began in mid-March out of Elliott Bay Marina with a day program for Seattle MESA students. Windy, rainy weather marked the first several weeks of programs, but spirits remained high.
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Learning Spotlight: What’s In a Sail?

April 21, 2017

Nora April 2017 parts of the boat

A lesson on parts of the sail

Students aboard the Carlyn explore marine science unlike any classroom experience: they formulate a science question, decide how to test their hypothesis and then collect data throughout the course of their Salish program. It’s an amazing learning process to observe!

Carlyn also affords us the opportunity to teach kids about sailing, another area of learning that is new for many of our participants. Read more ›

Funding Spotlight: Salish Selected as WA State Recreation & Conservation Office “No Child Left Inside” Grant Recipient

December 16, 2016

kids and rainier

Salish Students and Mt. Rainier

Salish Sea Expeditions is honored to have been chosen to receive “No Child Left Inside” funding through the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office in 2016. Our organization was one of 19 that received funding out of 122 applicants. These grants are made available contingent on matching funds to organizations throughout the state whose mission is to get our kids outside and connected with our natural world.

We encourage our Washington state representatives to continue funding this important program that connects kids to the outdoors, in a region with so much to offer in the way of spectacular state and national parks, ecologically important wildlands, and (especially near to our hearts) our unique marine environment.
Read more ›

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