View from the Helm

Stay Current with Salish Sea Expeditions' Hands-On Learning Adventures, Highlights from the Field, and Upcoming Events

Your Support Floats Our Boat: June 2017 – June 2018 Impact Report

August 14, 2018

The “Aha!” moment. The connection that happens with hands in the water, eyes to the microscope, thoughtful calculations and more questions. A year in the life of Salish Sea Expeditions is really a collection of stories and research data that is punctuated by short videos, hundreds of photos and wonderful testimonials shared by our educators, chaperones, parents and student alumni.

If we could magically transport each of you to these hands-on and student-led experiences, that would be the absolutely BEST way to see this important process of learning the scientific method by DOING IT. But, as a second best option, we’re thrilled to share with you a report on the impact of your support for our youth communities for the period of June 2017 through June 2018.  Read more ›

Spring 2018 Program Highlights: Exciting Exploration and New Connections

June 19, 2018

Our last update took place just before the Good Ship Carlyn headed north to Anacortes. Our time in the San Juans is a particularly magical part of the season. With striking scenery and abundant wildlife, this season was no exception.

Our first trips out of Anacortes were with our friends at Anacortes Middle School, who also completed a SOURCE program exploring their local watershed in February. Their 3-day SOUND program allowed them to make further connections between the research they completed on their local watershed and how their findings might affect the Puget Sound. We also had the chance to work with Cap Sante High School students, which was a fun way to connect with another neighboring school. Read more ›

Salish Offers Opportunity to Explore Marine Careers in Dockside Programs

January 9, 2018

In the fall and winter of 2017, Salish led several dockside marine education programs aboard the organization’s new vessel Elettra III. The focus of these programs is to give area youth the chance to explore marine careers and skill development in three primary areas: science, technology and trades.

The first program was piloted in late summer with interns from the Port of Seattle as part of Salish’s involvement with the Youth Maritime Collaborative. Port interns conducted oceanographic sampling and toured ship’s systems aboard Elettra, listened to a presentation by naval architect firm Elliott Bay Design Group, and toured Ballard’s Pacific Fishermen Shipyard. Read more ›

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.

Read more ›

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. 

Read more ›

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.
Read more ›

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  • We are on our last trip of the season and we have Whitefish High School from Montana joining our crew for 3 days! They are collecting water samples to study the relationship that nitrates, plankton and turbidity have in relation to the proximity to land. They will be taking their data back to classroom to create a GIS Story Map. 
#goodshipcarlyn #studentscientists #SalishSea
  • Prepping for our last #SalishSeaExpeditions for the season. It is a surreal moment when you realize it's almost over. #sailingforscience
  • Students on this #SalishSeaExpedition from Alderwood Middle School were extra excited about life on shore this morning. #shoreexplore #intertidal #handsonlearning #marineeducation
  • Students from Alderwood Middle School examining their catch from a previous plankton tow. #microscopes #marinescience #marinelife #SalishSeaExpeditions #sailingforscience