Constructed Coastlines of the Salish Sea: Integrating Archaeological, Indigenous, and Ecological Perspectives

Prior to contact with Euro-Americans, the Salish Sea was anything but a natural place. Rather, its coastscapes were profoundly anthropogenic, having been constructed, engineered and managed by Indigenous peoples over the Holocene. I first cover the archaeological record that supports this assertion, focusing on my research in the southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia. Second, I consider the social dimensions to how landscape construction and resource management systems operated in the past.

A Conversation with Washington State Representative Debra Lekanoff

Join us for a Town-Hall style conversation with Representative Debra Lekanoff prior to the 2020 legislative session which begins January 13th. Rep. Lekanoff will discuss environmental, resource and climate progress as well as ongoing goals and challenges for the Salish Sea and Washington State.

For Winter Quarter 2020 Huxley College is collaborating with the Salish Sea Institute for the Huxley Speaker Series, with a focus on the Salish Sea.

Storying Climate Change in the Salish Sea

Stories are critical to understanding and responding to climate change. On the one hand, our collective imaginations are shaped by dominant, inherited narrative conventions; as public climate stories rely almost entirely on large-scale, apocalyptic tropes, many people are uncertain how to respond to them in their everyday lives. On the other hand, stories can help us make shared emotional and relational sense of the complexity of large-scale ecological and social transformations.

Indigenous Knowledge in a Changing Climate

Indigenous Peoples of North America have always had to accommodate and respond to environmental change. Oral histories, recollections of contemporary elders, and terms in their numerous languages have allowed understandings of responses to change, most recently since the colonial era. Traditional knowledge systems incorporate adaptive capacity. Now, however, many people have noted signs of greater environmental change and challenges to their resilience than in the past: species declines and new appearances; anomalies in weather patterns; and declining health of forests and grasslands.

Ocean Acidification in the Salish Sea

Ocean acidification (OA) threatens marine resources and coastal communities around the Salish Sea. These threats have spurred action to address the causes and consequences of OA. Intensified research and monitoring have advanced our understanding of ocean acidification and its effects on local marine life, public processes have led to legislation, and education and outreach have promoted understanding across diverse audiences.

From Coast to Coasts: Coordinated Research and Monitoring of Nearshore Habitats

Nearshore foundation habitats including seagrass meadows and kelp forests are faced with many stressors from climate change to local development and harvest pressures. Changing distribution and productivity of these habitats can have large effects on ecosystem services, such as climate change mitigation and local food security. Growing evidence suggests that the effects of habitat change are intimately linked across nearshore habitats, such that transformation of interconnected seascapes affects ecosystem functions such as carbon sequestration and nursery function.

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