salish sea sciences
Dear Field & Lab Session Students and Families
Get ready to go virtual via Zoom, with project intensives led by the largest cohort of investigators yet! We'll survey the region's scientific riches from the land and air, gain access to field sites and labs previously unavailable to us, and yes even cook and enjoy evening and weekend entertainments together. We can't wait to discover what this experiment will reveal. Look for emails regarding adjusted pricing and scheduling, and please write or call with your questions and concerns.

Oh, and if this guy shows up on your phone or computer, please don't be alarmed. That's just Derek, aka Dr. Derek Smith, our Science Director and Obi-Wan Kenobi for the four weeks starting June 21st.
Other Covid-19 Concerns
Student safety is our utmost concern, and we are monitoring the situation closely in conjunction with our affiliated organizations. All other scheduled programs will proceed as planned.
Applications for summer 2020 are open!
Salish Sea Sciences connects high school students with mentors and peers across a range of disciplines in a stunning maritime setting, forging career pathways that take students where they want to go.
Field & Lab Science ▾ 
June 21 - July 17, 2020 · 18 students · Inquire · Details
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 contribute to active inquiries.

A local scientific treasure...
For over 20 years, local high school students have had access the UW Friday Harbor Laboratories, the SeaDoc Society, Northwest Maritime Center, US National Parks Service, and other scientific organizations investigating the incredible water, land, flora, and fauna of the Salish Sea. 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.
Develop your scientific literacy.
Learn from working research scientists.
Participate in active investigations.
Experience the scientific life.
A three-phase program
Phase one: scientific processes
Activities include interactions with scientists, data-collection on the FH Labs' research vessel Centennial, and exposure to an array of research disciplines, projects, field sites, labs, methodologies, and data sets.
Phase two: 5-day/4-night longboat expedition
Students practice leadership and collaboration while navigating the inland waters of the Salish Sea, exploring island habitats only accessible by small crafts or by private invitation.
Phase three: independent project
Students design their own investigations, combining their ideas and analyses of data collected earlier in the program to create pilot study posters for presentation to their peers, mentors, and guests at the end of session barbecue bash.
A typical day
7:00 - 8:00am · Wake up & breakfast
8:00 - 12:00pm · Field research, intertidal zone
12:00 - 1:00pm · Lunch
1:00 - 3:00pm · Scientific drawing workshop
3:00 - 3:30pm · Break & snack
3:30 - 4:30pm · Intertidal data analysis
4:30 - 5:00pm · Personal time
5:00 - 6:00pm · Evening prep
6:00 - 8:30pm · Dinner w/guest presentations
8:30 - 9:00pm · Discussion; blogging
9:00 - 10:00pm · Evening activities
10:30pm · Lights out
Way beyond the classroom
Throughout the program, our team of instructors and mentors encourage students to build on their knowledge toward new observations with potential to open new lines of inquiry. Our experience over the years proves that motivated high school students, under the guidance of mentors, ask questions that can open new inroads to scientific knowledge.
...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.

Ecology & Conservation ▾ 
July 19 - Aug. 2, 2020 · 9 students · Inquire · Details
Ecology & Conservation is an intensive two-week immersion into environmental science, marine ecology, and conservation operated in conjunction with the University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories, the SeaDoc Society, the US National Parks Service, Friends of the San Juans, SMU Consulting/University of St. Andrews, Kaigani Voyaging/Wayfinders, and the Whale Museum.

Here on San Juan Island—at the heart of the Salish Sea—the mountains, forests, rivers, estuaries, shore lands, and waters are our classroom. Combined, these forces tell a complex story of life support that defines the Pacific Northwest.
Evidence-based, creative solutions
Professional research scientists, ecologists, policy-makers, and environmental advocates engage our students, guiding them toward a deep understanding of natural systems, the causes and impacts of climate change, conservation and mitigation efforts, and environmental policy and law. Students gain the knowledge, skills, and career awareness they will need to advance evidence-based, creative solutions toward sustainability in their home communities and the larger world.
Endangered species of the San Juan archipelago
Ship noise impact and mitigation
Environmental dispute analysis and policy
Fresh and salt water quality assessment
Field studies, observation, interpretation
World-class mentors
A three-phase program
Phase one: environmental science and coastal ecology
Activities include interaction with research scientists and ecologists affiliated with University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories and the US National Parks Service in the field, skill development with methodologies and data sets, and an in-depth examination of the Salish Sea ecosystem.
Phase two: conservation and mitigation
The Salish Sea ecosystem is unique to the planet. As climate change, broadly, and human impact, regionally, test the sustainability of that ecosystem—no more obviously than the severe decline in salmon, especially chinook, and the near extinction of the Southern Resident killer whale—many individuals and organizations have risen to the task of finding solutions through science, conservation, and law. Many work here in the San Juan Islands. Students learn from and engage with the SeaDoc Society of the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Friends of the San Juans, the Whale Museum, and the Center for Whale Research.
Phase three: individual projects and presentations
Students design their own take-away projects to bring back home to their communities. Students establish their take-away question and project during phase one, but have time with their mentors to shape those projects during phase three. The program culminates with student presentations to their peers, mentors, families, and guests at the end of session barbecue bash.
A typical day
7:00 - 8:00am · Wake up & breakfast
8:00 - 12:00pm · Field study: eelgrass wasting disease
12:00 - 1:00pm · Lunch
1:00 - 3:00pm · Eelgrass beds: data analysis
3:00 - 3:30pm · Break & snack
3:30 - 4:30pm · Shoreline restoration activity
4:30 - 5:00pm · Personal time
5:00 - 6:00pm · Evening prep
6:00 - 8:30pm · Dinner w/guest presentations
8:30 - 9:00pm · Discussion; blogging
9:00 - 10:00pm · Evening activities
10:30pm · Lights out
A social mix
Often, tonight's dinner guest will be tomorrow's field or studio host, making it easy for students to engage with professionals on a personal level, as colleagues, sharing conversation, meals, career directions, field and lab experience, and asking questions in an informal low-pressure context.
Thank you again for feeding our daughter's passion at Salish Sea Sciences. Salish was the highlight of her summer. I think it also gave her the confidence to get herself an internship at UCSB Marine Science Institute this year. She fell in love with the San Juan Islands and everything she did there. As a result, we were in the Northwest doing college tours! —Parent

Scientific Diving ▾ 
July 19 - Aug. 2, 2020 · 9 students · Inquire · Details
Starting in summer 2020, Salish Seas Sciences will offer a scientific diving course designed specifically for high school divers with a recreational certification. Upon completion of all requirements, students will be certified as an American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) Scientific Diver and can receive Verification of Training at their present and future institutions. Diving course students will reside with a cohort of Salish Sea Sciences students, investigators, and instructors participating in related programs.

A comprehensive approach
The Salish Sea Sciences scientific diving course is a fast-paced, comprehensive field experience, teaching not only scientific diving techniques, but also team coordination and remote operation logistics. The course is a balance of practical methods application and academic instruction led by experts in a small and relaxed class environment. Students gain real-world exposure to ongoing projects through access to scientific, ecological, and cultural sites.
This course is designed to teach and develop underwater scientific diving skills for high school students. Therefore, the following requirements must be met before the commencement of the course:
Open Water certification
50 logged open water dives post certification
Recently passed a diving physical exam
Scuba gear (cylinders & weights provided)
Travel insurance & DAN diving insurance
Adherence to AAUS safety standards
Two intensive weeks
The scientific diving course runs for two weeks with intermittent dry days scheduled to minimize the risk of decompression sickness. Most days will consist of academic lectures and/or field excursions to local sites. Students will be taught diving safety protocols and expected to strictly follow all measures. Divers may abstain from any dive without reprimand and given a new "dry" task with no detriment to their course outcome (although a minimum number of 12 dives is required for certification as an AAUS Scientific Diver). Students will be expected to update dive records and an ecological field notebook with observations daily.
A scientific skill set
Students will learn numerous practical scientific diving and experimental methods. Navigation/search and light salvage techniques, habitat quantification, invertebrate and fish population assessment, deeper diving and night diving considerations, enriched air nitrox, blue water diving protocols, and equipment operation and repair are included. Students will gain hands on experience conducting surveys at a variety of ecological sites. We will also certify students in the Divers Alert Network Diving First Aid for Professional Divers, which includes First Aid, CPR, AED, Hazardous Marine Life, and Emergency Oxygen administration.
Academic coursework will include diving physics and physiology, decompression theory and planning, emergency dive accident management, enriched air nitrox, coastal ecology, and oceanography.
Students will be evaluated based on skin and scuba diving skills, a Rescue and Nitrox exam, a final exam, a presentation, and (most importantly) attitude. Completion of all required skills and exams is necessary for certification as an AAUS Scientific Diver.
A typical day
7:00 - 8:00am · Wake up & breakfast
8:00 - 10:00pm · Academic session: Diving physics
10:00 - 10:30pm · Break & snack
10:30 - 12:30pm · Academic session: Diving physiology
12:30 - 1:00pm · Lunch
1:00 - 5:00pm · Open water session:
Habitat structure and quantification
5:00 - 6:00pm · Gear clean up and evening prep
6:00 - 8:30pm · Dinner w/guest presentations
8:30 - 9:00pm · Discussion; dive logging
9:00 - 10:00pm · Organism identification/readings
10:30pm · Lights out
Designed for high school students
The course is an extension of Salish Sea Sciences programs connecting high school students with expert mentors in the San Juans. Students live and work together as a cohort, forming personal bonds under the supervision of instructors and resident advisors. Graduates leave the experience with life long friends and colleagues. Home-style cooking and round table discussions with notable divers and experts convey the warmth of community and lifestyle expectations for students' post-secondary aspirations.
Thank you for facilitating such an AMAZING learning experience for our daughter. She was transformed by her time with you. I knew it was going to be a remarkable experience, but had no idea it was going to be that remarkable! —Parent

Salish Sea Semester ▾ 
Fall & Spring, 2021-22 · 18 students · Inquire · Details
The Salish Semester provides motivated high school juniors interested in science with an opportunity to step away from regular school into an in-depth semester-long journey to learn from the Salish Sea, its creatures, and its people. Based at the UW Friday Harbor Labs and conducted in concert with local scientists, students can dive into marine science while keeping up with coursework in their other subject areas.
Slated for 2021-22—inquire to learn more
Limited to 18 motivated high school juniors
Based at UW Friday Harbor Labs
Science emphasis with support for all subjects
Expeditions on longboats and a tall ship
Salish Sea Sciences is pleased to have partnered with the Northwest Maritime Center and Sound Experience to help students learn outdoor leadership while practicing ship-based scientific inquiry. For three weeks at the heart of the semester, students will visit areas of scientific significance and collect data while learning from the Salish Sea and its peoples aboard the century-old National Historic Landmark tall ship, Adventuress.
Real research, real relationships
The curriculum is interdisciplinary, immersive, and experiential, mentored by semester-school staff in coordination with professionals in multiple areas of inquiry, careers, and points of view. The touchstone of the program is the life sciences, with a focus on the marine sciences particularly. Students situate their scientific work within the larger scope of the place, learning the history and culture of the Salish Sea and how to assess and potentially mitigate the "wicked problems" of human impact. Block scheduling facilitates this in-depth, blended approach.
Critical thinking, analysis, and problem solving
The semester program follows an arc from exposure to expertise: throughout the semester, students share a common course structure, thematic content, and research opportunities. By week five, each student will have identified a core question for individual pursuit. That question will drive the remainder of their semester's work, leading them to complete a scientific research paper and project poster, a paper providing historical, political, economic or cultural analysis of a related issue, a TED talk-styled community presentation, and a communications, educational or other form of public engagement as related to the student's interest.
Empowering the leaders of tomorrow
The core of the program is research, whether in field or lab science or in the social sciences and humanities. That research includes the opportunity to work alongside professional scientist mentors and learn the basics of statistics, meet with and interview city, county, and state representatives and learn from stakeholders representing such diverse interests as housing, fisheries, energy production or conservation, and discover the diverse and rich history of the peoples of the coastal Northwest.
Marine Field & Lab Science (Science)
Wicked Problems: Humans in the Maritime Environment (History)
The Salish Sea: Cultural Perspectives (English)
Math Maintenance (Algebra II, Pre-Calculus, AB/BC Calculus)
Spanish Maintenance (Spanish 3, Spanish 4, AP Spanish)
Partial credit in Leadership
Partial credit in Physical Education
Additional courses
Support for select Advanced Placement courses (APs), including AP Environmental Science and AP US History, maintenance of languages other than Spanish, college and career counseling, guidance for individual capstone projects, and support for other academic areas will be arranged on an individual basis per session with staff, qualified local tutors, and sending school.
Co-curricular and after school activities
Other activities include theater, kayaking, hiking, beach walking, bonfires, sailing, canoe paddles, ice cream outings, Farmer's Market Saturday, Pelindaba Lavendar Farm, Visits to Roche Harbor, Contra Dancing, pick-up sports, jogging, music, jigsaw puzzles, card games, and board games.
Sep. 1 · Arrival: UW Friday Harbor Laboratories
Week 1 · Orientation: Semester begins
Week 2-3 · Coursework; Core question: Project definition
Sep. 26-29 · Outdoor leadership: Longboat-based science
Week 4-5 · Coursework; Core question: Project development
Oct. 1 · Adventuress: Embark
Week 6 · Adventuress: Science and tall-ship maritime skills
Oct. 10 · Olympic National Park: Sol Duc Resort & Hotsprings
Week 7 · NatureBridge: Elwa River Restoration
Oct. 16 · PSATs
Week 9 · Adventuress: ports of call, Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia
Nov. 1 · Adventuress: return to Friday Harbor
Week 10 · Roundup: Data and analysis
Week 11-13 · Coursework; Core question: project development
Nov. 25-29 · Thanksgiving break
Week 14-15 · Coursework; Core question: project completion
Week 16 · Conclusion: presentations, celebratory dinner
Dec. 16 · departure

Journey to the heart of the Salish Sea.
Engage in real investigations with expert mentors.
Learn best practices—in the field, studio, lab, underwater.
Collaborate with world-class experts and instructors.
Express your knowledge and experiences effectively.
Connect with new friends who share your career interests.
Salish Sea Sciences does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender identity, sexual identity, or sex in administration of our educational policies, admissions policies, and other school-administered programs and activities. Salish Sea Sciences is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization (EIN 82-3307581) and as such donations are tax-deductible within the guidelines of US law. Charitable contributions allow us to grow our programs and to provide scholarships for students from groups underrepresented in STEM fields.