salish sea sciences
Apply now for Summer 2018! Salish Sea Sciences offers motivated STEM students ages 14-18 an immersive 26-day summer research experience in partnership with the University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories. You could be one of up to 20 students to learn what it takes to be an effective collaborator with working scientists in a broad array of marine-based disciplines.
Journey to the San Juan Archipelago in the Salish Sea.
Engage in real research with working scientists — in the field and in the lab.
Learn scientific best practices and marine stewardship.
Collaborate with professional scientists, illustrators, and photographers.
Connect with new friends who share your passion for science.
This summer, the UW Friday Harbor labs will host 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 advanced high school students whose questions and supervised projects could spark new directions for inquiry. Is the scientific life for you? This could be your chance to find out.

A local scientific treasure
For over 20 years, students living in the San Juan Islands have benefited from educational outreach provided by the UW Friday Harbor Laboratories, US National Parks Service, and other locally based scientific organizations. Some students even go on to participate in real-world research through pre-college internships with working scientists at the Friday Harbor Labs.
Now a global opportunity
Salish Sea Sciences extends this incredible opportunity to students everywhere, offering motivated high school STEM students the chance to work with real science and scientists in a range of hands-on projects toward possible high school credit.
Real time social networking
The program offers emerging scientists ages 14-18 a rare chance to meet working researchers on a personal level as colleagues, sharing meals, conversations, career directions, field work, and findings.
Living science
Students will live as scientists, contributing to a variety of on-going marine research projects directed by scientists at the University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories, the US National Parks Service, and other research organizations based on San Juan Island.
Scientific best practices
Throughout the experience, students will develop field notes. During the last phase of each program, students will have the opportunity to develop their own pilot project and present their work for review by mentor scientists.
Develop scientific and environmental literacy.
Learn from world-class research scientists.
Participate in ongoing research projects.
Experience the daily routines of the scientific life.
Trawl for specimens on UW FHL vessel, R/V Centennial.

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

Nautical experience
In collaboration with the Northwest Maritime Center/Wooden Boat Foundation of Port Townsend, Washington, students will pull together as crewmates of longboats, replicas of the type used by Captain George Vancouver's crew when they explored the North American coast from what is now Olympia, Washington to Glacier Bay, Alaska during the summers of 1792-1794. Rowing and camping together, students learn not just about the islands, they engage with each other as fellow adventurers and friends. US Coast Guard licensed longboat captains and mates have successfully lead voyages of discovery in the Salish Sea for the Northwest Maritime Center since the 1980s.
Exploration and discovery
Sea and shore take on a new perspective from the water. Remote islands, each with its own history and physical features, await exploration. Row and sail among seals, porpoises, sea lions. A breaching orca. A bald eagle high overhead. On shore, set up camp and go for a hike, scramble over rocks, discover fauna and flora you have never seen before. An unmatched diversity of life awaits.
Other activities
Whether on land or water, students will engage in scientific endeavors every day. The longboat voyage adds another dimension for students to grow as individuals and bond as a team. Evenings will often be convivial opportunities to get to know research scientists and their work well, however the long light of summer evenings also afford opportunities for additional adventuring activities such as kayaking, outrigger canoeing, swimming, folk dancing, and whale watching. We will also take advantage of local institutions such as the Whale Museum, the Island Museum of Art, and professional theater company Island Stage Left.
Camp, hike, swim, sail, row.
Follow water currents and weather patterns.
Read nautical charts and tide tables.
Collect geological, botanical, and zoological data.
Make lifelong friends.

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 lay public. Under the expert guidance of researchers, illustrators, photographers, writers, and science communicators, students will strengthen their observational, analytical, and presentation skills.

Field notes
You will receive a "Rite-in-the-Rain" notebook, pencils, a sharpener, and an eraser. Program leaders will guide you on the practice of keeping field notes and journaling; you will also see that the scientists you meet regularly keep field notes. What may surprise is that field notes can be so much more than a repository for data. Those who have a history of keeping field notes will tell you that they go back again and again to their notebooks for knowledge and inspiration as well as raw data.
Scientific illustrators will guide you on how to transform life as you see it onto the pages of your notebook. The ability to draw specimens is both a practical alternative to photography and a tool for observation. Rendering an image accurately by hand requires careful study and patience essential to the practice of science.
Drawing and sketching, like other arts, can be personally rewarding, stimulating the brain in ways that can alter ways of thinking. Many organizations invite art consultants to teach employees to draw. Why? Such activities promote skills for the future: visualization, critical thinking, imagination, and invention.
Scientific photography accurately captures the essential characteristics of a subject for sharing in traditional and digital catalogues and media. Under the guidance of seasoned photographers, you will have the opportunity to explore different uses of photography in science while also deepening your own photographic sensibilities.
Photography is an extension of the eye and the person behind the camera, not just a log of things and people in time. Out in the field, you can discover a fresh way of seeing the world. Later, while reviewing and editing your photographs, you may come to discover not only what you saw, or didn't see, but something within yourself, as well.
Writing & Speaking
It is rare for an advanced high school student not to write or speak reasonably well; what is rarer is the student who fully appreciates the nuances between different kinds of communications within a professional community or for different audiences and contexts. With the aid of instructors, you will have a chance to practice several written forms as divergent as personal reflections, blog entries, scientific hypotheses and synopses, online educational materials, and pilot project posters like those presented at professional scientific conferences.
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 skills such as greeting guest speakers, developing well-researched questions, cooking, arranging sit-down dinners, and encouraging respectful conversation.
Learn techniques of scientific illustration.
Polish photography and photojournalism skills.
Practice data analysis, management, and synopses.
Hone scientific journaling and journalistic writing.
Post blog entries.
Present pilot projects.
Practice networking skills.

What are the attributes of a leader? Listening. Questioning assumptions—especially one's own. Leaders are willing to take risks—whether social, physical, or intellectual—to meet challenges and exceed expectations. Sometimes a plan doesn't work out, calling for a new direction. Above all, a leader respects and enjoys cooperating with others, regardless of outcomes, and treasures the friendships such adventures bring.

Courage to listen, learn, and act
Working with scientists out in the field in on-going research provides students with a unique opportunity to live as professionals. In the company of these scientists and teachers, students learn by doing. And the practice of respecting mentors, methodologies, recording data, and discussing assumptions and processes, isn't just about science. It teaches a frame of mind that carries into a person's life as a whole. It is about teamwork, communication, and independent thinking. These are core qualities of leaders.
Surpassing expectations
Venturing into the unknown means taking risks. It also offers the opportunity of self-discovery. Taking a turn at the helm or plotting a course for the first time can be daunting. It isn't easy for everyone to ask questions, especially from distinguished persons. Doing so in a group can be even more intimidating. Discovering you have the power to overcome your fears, learn new skills, and realize camaraderie is powerful. It builds confidence and self-esteem. These, too, are attributes of leaders.
Following through
To live like a professional is to follow through with an idea, no matter where the data leads. To do so is to be willing to test an idea in public. Students regularly will have the opportunity to express their findings and points of view, but they also will do so formally in individual and group presentations to scientists. Students will know themselves as the scientists and adventurers they have come to be.
Leading every day
Salish Sea Sciences brings leadership principles and practices into the field, lab, van, boat, trail, classroom, and dormitory. Applying equally to personal and professional contexts, students are encouraged to take care of themselves and their things, exhibit consideration for others, collaborate well, communicate honestly and thoughtfully, and take reasonable risks in pursuit of new knowledge, skills, and friendships.
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.
Work as a team
Test assumptions
Meet personal challenges
Build confidence
Think critically