Jun 22, 2024  
2018-2019 Catalog 
2018-2019 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Salish Sea Studies

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Ginny Broadhurst, Director

The place-based and multidisciplinary Salish Sea Studies curriculum introduces students to the complex ecologies and human experiences of the Salish Sea region. The Salish Sea includes the Georgia Basin, Puget Sound, the San Juan and Gulf Islands archipelago, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. As an international body of water, the Salish Sea is governed by federal, state, provincial, municipal, and treaty laws and regulations. The name of this transboundary sea reflects the long history of the Coast Salish peoples who have lived on the shores of the Salish Sea since time immemorial. Over eight million people now share this landscape with a diverse ecosystem, including orca whales, the giant Pacific octopus, five species of salmon, herring, puffins, kelp, sea stars, and cedar trees. Many species are threatened and endangered due to human impacts on the ecoregion.

Salish Sea Studies offers students a unique opportunity to understand transboundary governance structures and tribal sovereignty in the context of the greater ecosystem. Developing a deep knowledge of this place from environmental, cultural, and historical perspectives will prepare students to work collaboratively across multiple jurisdictions, sectors, and perspectives in a range of professions, including in public service and government, industry, and nonprofit organizations. Salish Sea Studies offers a place-based complement to other majors and minors, including environmental science and policy, marine sciences, international business, anthropology, history, political science, communications, and education.


The Salish Sea Studies program develops students’ sense of place by deepening knowledge about the local ecoregion’s complex ecologies and human systems. The program prepares students to work collaboratively across international borders and academic disciplines, to understand tribal treaties and sovereignty, and to improve the health of the Salish Sea for future generations.


NATALIE BALOY, Assistant Director, Canada House Programs/NTT Center for Canadian-American Studies. Cultural anthropology, research ethics, settler colonialism, regional history.
ROBIN KODNER, Associate Professor, Biology. Marine biology, algae, citizen science.
JAMES LOUCKY, Professor, Anthropology. North American borderlands.
JENNIFER SELTZ, Associate Professor, History. History of the Pacific Northwest, environmental history.
NICHOLAS STANGER, Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies. Environmental education in Canada and the Salish Sea.
JOHN TUXILL, Associate Professor, Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies. Ethnobotany, ethnobotany, conservation biology, sustainability.
PHILIP VAN HUIZEN, Visiting Professor, History. Environmental history, transboundary politics and governance.

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