salish sea sciences
Last summer was a rousing success—inquire now about 2019! Salish Sea Sciences connects high school students with peers and mentors across a range of scientific disciplines, providing hands-on experiences and academic foundations that help pre-college students forge career pathways that lead where they want to go.
Journey to the science of the Salish Sea.
Engage in real research with working scientists on active projects.
Learn scientific best practices—in the field, in the lab, online.
Collaborate with professional scientist mentors and instructors.
Connect with new friends who share your passion for science.
Each year, the University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories hosts nearly 200 scientists from around the world with research interests in diverse fields including genomics, biomechanics, ecology, physiology, water chemistry, epidemiology, and megafauna—to name just a few. Many of these scientists are looking forward to sharing their research with motivated high school students whose questions and supervised projects could spark new inquiry.

Develop scientific and environmental literacy.
Learn from world-class research scientists.
Participate in ongoing research projects.
Practice the routines of the scientific life.
A local scientific treasure
For over 20 years, local high school students have had access the UW Friday Harbor Laboratories, US National Parks Service, and other scientific organizations investigating the incredible water, land, flora, and fauna of the Salish Sea.
I really believe that I learned more about science and the acquisition of knowledge in those 26 days than I did throughout middle and high school. Furthermore, the knowledge I now have about the diversity of foci in the realm of science has helped me choose a school and delve into what I truly wish to study. —Eric S.
Now a global opportunity
Salish Sea Sciences extends this opportunity to motivated science students everywhere, offering a rare chance for high school students to participate with real science and working scientists in a range of hands-on projects—the equivalent to over 200 instructional classroom hours in leadership training, environmental science, and biology.

For 5 days and 4 nights, summer program students will hoist sails, row oars, and man the tiller of longboats navigating the great inland ocean called the Salish Sea, immersing themselves in maritime skills and local lore while adventuring—as crewmates and friends—within the San Juan Islands National Monument.

Challenge yourself physically in the natural world.
Camp, hike, swim, sail, row.
Monitor water currents and weather patterns.
Follow nautical charts and tide tables.
Collect geological, botanical, and zoological data.
Science as discovery
At the heart of scientific progress is the spirit of discovery, the search for buried treasure—new species, bizarre behaviors, unexpected invaders, undocumented adaptations and interspecies relationships. Whether on land, water, or online, students engage in the spirit of scientific discovery, bringing relevance to their textbook knowledge and skills.
Students who engage intensely in a shared experience naturally form a cohort, often for life. That connection has the potential to transcend external divisions of wealth, culture, race, appearance, and gender. We believe that such cohorts are effective engines of positive change in the world. While maintaining social connections has never been more convenient, experience steeped in a shared passion will form friendships that last a lifetime.
Hands-on experience
Summer students will explore local waters in wooden longboats fitted with oars and sails. Semester students will spend a full month aboard the tall ship Adventuress, heading north as far as Desolation Sound, west to Point No Point, or south to the Washington State capital, Olympia.
Expanding the classroom
All students, especially those assisting with investigations online, are encouraged to look beyond the classroom and textbooks of known science for undiscovered truths hidden between the well-plotted waypoints of active scientific investigations.

Science and Art derive from a common foundation in a willingness to experiment, fail, and try again. Science and Art equally depend on similar skills of observation and inquiry. As the distinguished biologist Louis Agassiz once said: "The way you understand an organism or solve a problem is by drawing it." Or, as one classroom teacher succinctly put it: "Knowing isn't just telling something back as we receive it; it means transformation and change." That transformation becomes all the more meaningful with its communication, both for the professional community as well as the public.

Data analysis, management, and synopses
Scientific journaling and blogging
Prototype experiment design
In-person networking, presentation, and defense
Scientific illustration
Photography and photojournalism
Field notes
Summer and Semester program students will receive a "Rite-in-the-Rain" notebook, binoculars, a memory stick, pencils, a sharpener, and an eraser. Program leaders will guide you on the practice of keeping field notes and journaling, and some of the scientists you meet will share the field notes they refer back to for inspiration as well as raw data.
The science student who not only performs tasks well but also thinks critically will be prepared to go beyond experience and bring their experiences to others. The ability to articulate clearly and succintly is important not only in college essays and job applications but also to the development of collaborative relationships beyond one's immediate social circles.
Scientists are people too. As with any profession, advancement in science requires interpersonal skills. In addition to guidance on how to present your project orally and visually, you will also have a chance to practice networking by greeting guest speakers, developing well-researched questions, cooking, arranging sit-down dinners, and encouraging respectful conversation.

What are the attributes of a leader? Listening. Questioning assumptions—especially one's own—and recognizing that every member of a group is a leader in some capacity. A leader facing a challenge has to assess risks and temper expectations appropriately. Sometimes a plan isn't working out and needs a new direction. Other times demand patience and respect, cooperating with others, not rushing to conclusions. Above all, a leader treasures the friendships formed along the way.

Work as a team
Test assumptions
Meet personal challenges
Build confidence
Think critically
Leave no trace
Leading every day
Salish Sea Sciences brings leadership principles and practices into the field, lab, van, boat, trail, classroom, and online. Applying equally to personal and professional contexts, students learn to take care of themselves and their possessions, show consideration for others, collaborate flexibly, communicate honestly and thoughtfully, and take reasonable risks in pursuit of new knowledge, skills, and friendships.
Leadership skills reinforce personal self confidence, critical thinking, and effective collaboration. Working with research scientists provides high school students with a rare opportunity to learn science by doing science, gaining a sense of agency in the face of complex, seemingly intractable problems and global challenges, through teamwork and action, communication, and creative problem solving.
Leave no trace
The San Juan Islands archipelago is both a National Monument and National Wildlife Refuge. Suburu/Leave No Trace for Outdoor Ethics is a national organization dedicated to protecting the natural environment by teaching people to enjoy the outdoors responsibly. In 2014, they designated the San Juans as one of eight "hotspots." The San Juan County Council, in a move the first if its kind, and in keeping with Resolution No. 8-2004, designating San Juan County as a Voluntary Marine Stewardship Area, passed Resolution No. 45-2014, designating the county a Voluntary Leave No Trace Area. Students will take the lead and practice the principles of Leave No Trace.