Storming the Sound
Educating for the Environment
— ideas, problems, solutions and resources to restore our world —
Storming the Sound is a conference for environmental educators in the north Puget Sound region, including the counties of Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, Island, Jefferson and San Juan. Every January teachers, environmental organizations and students gather in La Conner to share their interest and expertise in environmental education.
Storming the Sound Conference 2018
Thursday, January 25th • 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Maple Hall, LaConner, WA
Seeking all presenters!
Do you have any cool new and relevant research you’d like to present? What about innovative and exciting curricula or activities you’d like to share? If you have presentation ideas, have topics that need discussing, or challenges that need solving, please send us a proposal!
Proposals can be submitted to Jenny Smith and Jason Huntley here. Please include your topic, a brief description for our website, and the name and affiliation of presenters. The deadline for presentation proposals is December 9, 2017.
Storming the Sound invites educators who are involved, interested and passionate about the environment to come learn from and share with one another. Formal and informal teachers, students, and regional organizations enjoy interesting and relevant workshop sessions, networking opportunities, and lively discourse at this annual, one-day conference.
Teachers – clock hours are available! Washington State Teacher Clock Hour Credits (7) will be offered for free. Just ask at the registration table when you arrive at Storming the Sound.
Need a substitute? Qualifying teachers are eligible for grant funds to cover the cost of your sub! Apply here.
Registration opens December 1st.
Registration costs $10. You will need to register through Eventbrite using the links below, but you have a choice to pay on-line with a credit card, or if you want to pay at the door with cash or check, just register using the”Pay at the Door” option.
Storming the Sound will be at Maple Hall in La Conner from 9:00 to 4:30 on Thursday January 25, 2018. Doors will open at 8:30. Please plan on arriving no later than 8:45 to avoid a bottleneck at the registration table.
Storming the Sound is made possible with the generous support of our sponsors.
2018 Sponsors and Exhibitors
If you are interested in being a sponsor for this year’s event, please contact Amy Sprenger for more information.
Storming the Sound will be held at Maple Hall in La Conner in Skagit County.
WHAT TO BRING
- Knowledge of what’s on the agenda. Be prepared to select the sessions you wish to attend.
- Name tag
- A mug or cup for beverages
- Snacks (lunch is provided, there are nearby bakeries and espresso cafes)
- Conference stuff (t-shirts, mugs, ect. that you have received from other conferences but don’t need) for the “SWAG Swap” (you put your unwanted stuff on the table and take something you want).
104 Commercial, La Conner, WA 98257
From the north
Take I-5 to Hwy 20 (just north of the Skagit River and Mount Vernon). Take Hwy 20 west toward Anacortes about 5 miles to the stoplight at the Farmhouse Inn Restaurant. At this intersection turn left (south) onto the La Conner-Whitney Road. In about 4 miles, at the roundabout, take a right (west) onto Morris Street. Take Morris all the way to the end at the water (Swinomish Slough). Turn left (south) onto First Street (the main north-south street in La Conner). Take First all the way to the south end and you’ll run into Maple Hall (104 Commercial).
From the south
Take I-5 to exit 221 (Conway, Highway 534). Turn west to go over the freeway then very soon take a right onto Fir Island Road. Follow the signs to La Conner. You’ll find a roundabout as you enter La Conner. Continue straight on Morris Street (opposite side of the roundabout) about a half mile to the end at the water (Swinomish Slough). Turn left (south) onto First Street (the main north-south street in La Conner). Take First all the way to the south end and you’ll run into Maple Hall (104 Commercial).
Limited parking is available on the street so we recommend using the city lot that is on Moore Street (about two blocks east of Maple Hall). When you are at Maple Hall look to the east and you’ll see the “Parking” sign. If you place the “Event Parking Pass” on your dashboard, parking is FREE for registered participants. Click here for your free parking pass.
To help attendees set up carpools we’ve put Storming the Sound on Ridevu.com.
You can sign up to “Offer a Ride” or “Request a Ride”
- If you want to be a passenger you can scan the list of rides being offered without having to login. If you don’t see a driver with a trip near you then you can post your trip.
- If you want to be the driver, you enter your trip details (the neighborhood you’re starting from, time you plan to leave, return times, etc.)
Step 2: You create an account or sign in. To make Ridevu easy to use, we’ve made the event PUBLIC, so we suggest you create a Username that protects your privacy. (FYI, very shortly after the event we’ll take down the event.) We also suggest you DO NOT use your home address when you describe your trip – for initial coordination, your neighborhood is enough to get started.
Step 3: Check back to see if other drivers/passengers live near you and contact them to set up carpools.
Director, Salish Sea Institute at Western Washington University
Ginny Broadhurst is the first Director of the Salish Sea Institute at WWU. Before heading the new institute, Ginny was the Executive Director of the Northwest Straits Commission and worked with the Puget Sound Action Team. She has expertise in stewardship, protection and restoration of the Salish Sea. She’s served on numerous regional and international advisory groups related to marine debris, ocean acidification, marine protected areas and coastal ecosystem health.
The mission of the Salish Sea Institute is to foster responsible stewardship of the Salish Sea, inspiring and informing its protection for the benefit of current and future generations.
- promotes dialogue and partnerships among people, organizations and agencies throughout First Nations and tribal communities, Washington State, and British Columbia
- serves as the administrative home of the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference
- hosts gatherings to cultivate collaborative governance and protection of the Salish Sea
- develops place-based curriculum, research and events for students to explore the environment, history and communities of the Salish Sea
- fosters a sense of place and raise awareness of the value of the Salish Sea and the issues that threaten its health
8:30 Doors Open
9:00-9:15 Welcoming Address
10:15-11:25 Session 1
12:30-1:00 Poster Session
1:15-2:25 Session 2
2:40-3:50 Session 3
4:00 Closing Remarks
Download official Storming the Sound 2018 Presentation Schedule
Green STEM: STEM connections through the lens of sustainability correlated with Standards
Courtney Sullivan, Senior Manager, Regional Education
Northern Rockies, Prairies, and Pacific Region
National Wildlife Federation
There is significant evidence that environment-based education can become a significant part of the STEM solution. To meet the goal of fostering STEM understanding, we must rethink how we prepare and support our teachers and how we engage, motivate, and promote STEM to our K-12 students. The National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA is a holistic program that strives to make environmental awareness and action an intrinsic part of the life and culture of a school. This global program is transformative, not additive; it is a transformation in your pedagogical approach to teaching. We’ve worked the three major sets of national standards: National Science Education Standards, the Next Generation Science Standards/Washington State K-12 Science Learning Standards, the Common Core State Standards, and the WA Integrated Environmental and Sustainability K–12 Learning Standards to assist educators in weaving the Eco-Schools USA program into the existing curriculum to support Green STEM teaching.
Plastics in our Watersheds à Micro- and Macro-Plastics in Puget Sound!
Executive Director, Zero Waste Washington
There is growing evidence of plastics – both macro and micro-plastics – in Puget Sound waters, including in salmon, birds and shellfish. There is, however, a big data gap! We don’t have good data about the land-based sources, including quantities and types of plastics. A collaborative approach to fill this gap is launching this winter: a Puget Sound-wide effort to quantify plastics coming in stormwater and freshwater from our watersheds. Come learn about the plastics issue, recent scientific results from Puget Sound, and worldwide context. Find out how you can participate in piloting the new assessment in your area! This is a great project for volunteers, community groups and students. This session will include facts and info about plastics that you can use in your work.
Stain Resistant Fish and Wildlife: Toxic PFAS Chemicals Contaminate Puget Sound Basin
Program Director, Toxic-Free Future
Highly fluorinated PFAS chemicals (PFCs or Teflon-like chemicals) are gaining new attention as a global toxic contaminant of concern. PFAS have stain resistant and water resistant properties and are widely used in clothing, carpeting, fire fighting foams, furniture, food packaging, and in many industrial applications. PFAS have been linked with cancer, hormone-disruption, and immune system effects and they are highly persistent and bioaccumulative. PFAS have been detected in the surface waters of Puget Sound, in lakes and streams in Washington, in wastewater treatment effluent, in freshwater fish, in salmon, and in osprey eggs. And they have been detected in almost 100% of people tested. Come learn about PFAS and ways that you can help tackle this timely toxic threat.
FORAGE FISH, THE UNSUNG HEREOS OF THE SALISH SEA.
The tiny fish with the gigantic purpose.
Barbara Lechner and Michelle Marquardt, Volunteers
Friends of Skagit Beaches
After a brief forage fish video, a presentation will take the audience through the fun and interactive program geared towards junior ecologists (5 – 9 year olds). Through an interesting slide presentation and engaging dialogue students learn about forage fish – what, why they are important, who eats them, their vital role in the food chain, where they live, and much more. Using props, students enjoy participating in building a healthy beach for surf smelt egg spawning. The program ends with a forage fish song sing-a-long and activity booklet reinforcing the information. We will also talk about how the surf smelt egg samples are collected and processed by our Citizen Science team of volunteers. Educational outreach is one of the missions of friends of Skagit Beaches so we would be happy to bring our presentation to your classroom.
Running with Stormwater and the NGSS crosscutting concepts
Rochelle Gandour-Rood, MS, Program Supervisor
Environmental and Sustainability Education/OSPI
Come take a deep dive into the NGSS crosscutting concepts (CCCs), seeing how they grow in complexity from kindergarten to high school. We will explore together, using stormwater runoff as a launching point to discuss how the CCCs are embedded in all our work. Then you’ll share with each other how you can make these abstract concepts real with the phenomena you use to engage the students you teach.
15 Strategies for Keeping Your Audience Awake, Alert, and Inter-Active
Cathy Angell, Coastal Training Program (Padilla Bay NERR)
This interactive, fast-paced session will give you simple tools for making your presentations effective and engaging. You will learn how to present visuals that have impact; deliver data in a way that sticks in people’s brains; and design PowerPoint presentations that won’t leave the audience feeling bored and disconnected. The session is grounded in scientific research and academic principles for how adults learn best. Cathy has given this presentation to enthusiastic audiences of agency educators, scientists, and communication staff. Her material comes from a class she teaches called “How to Explain Science, Share Data, and Build Trust: Presentation Skills for Scientists and Public Officials.” Cathy is the Coastal Training Program Coordinator for the Padilla Bay Reserve and Department of Ecology in Washington State. She recently received a national award for transformative communications.
How can we improve EDI in our programs?
Ellie Price, North Cascades Institute
This is a workshop on identifying and discussing where organizations can improve in equity, diversity, and inclusion in their youth programs. We will be answering the question: How can we make our organizations and programs more accessible and relevant to the diversity of people that live in your region? I will be using the Youth Ambassadors program that I coordinate as a case study and we will define and discuss equity, diversity, inclusion, as well our role as gatekeepers. The audience will be asked to identify where they would like to improve Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at their organization, share out their needs, and create action items they can use to work on increasing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in their own organizations.
PacMam: Research and Education with a Porpoise
Dr. Cindy Elliser, Research Director
Katrina MacIver, Research Assistant
Pacific Mammal Research
Pacific Mammal Research (PacMam) is a scientific research organization based in Anacortes that studies free-ranging marine mammals in the Salish Sea, but also provides quality educational opportunities for all ages. Through research and education PacMam seeks to increase, apply and share knowledge about Salish Sea marine mammals and their environment. Our primary study is the long-term tracking of individual harbor porpoises and harbor seals through photo-identification to understand more about their life history, behavior, social structure and ecology. This type of information is crucial for their conservation and protection. But equally important is public awareness and education – you cannot save what you don’t know. To this end PacMam informs the public, from ages pre-K to 90+, through educational outlets such as presentations, hands-on classroom and field activities, workshops, and “marine biologist for a day” experiences. We have the ability to connect students to real-world research being conducted in their community; a powerful tool to get them excited about science and STEM topics. In this presentation you will learn more about PacMam and the research we conduct, as well as how we connect our research to enhance the educational outreach experiences we provide.
GIS for Educators
Think visually! Enhance your students’ learning through exploration and visualization of data using maps. Learn about free online-mapping tools, instructional materials, where to find data and how to create maps for your area of the Salish Sea
Marine Renewable Energy Curriculum and Collaboration
Molly Grear, PhD candidate
University of Washington Civil and Environmental Engineering
This presentation will give a brief overview of tools and ideas to get teachers thinking about how to incorporate renewable energy from the ocean into their curriculum. I will also describe opportunities for partnering with UW students, as well as how to incorporate social, economic, and environmental considerations into engineering design.
The Meltese Dodo: A Murder Mystery Thriller Through Climate Science History
Executive & Artistic Director
Irthlingz Arts-Based Environmental Education 501(c)(3)
Author of The Meltese Dodo
President, Irthlingz Arts-Based Environmental Education
This workshop is a participatory reading of Michael Hurwicz’s new radio play, The Meltese Dodo. The story tells the history of climate change science through a loose parody of The Maltese Falcon. The radio play is an adaptation of Hurwicz’s book, The Meltese Dodo, published in 2016 (http://MelteseDodo.com), recommended by the National Science Teachers Association. It has not yet been performed, so this will be a fun and interactive launch. Characters include The Earth, The Sun, a femme fatale known as Homo Sapiens, some 19th century geniuses, a yeast, a mold, and a sand flea. There are 28 characters. If there are more participants, parts can be shared. All ages are encouraged to participate! The Meltese Dodo books and some CDs with environmental songs will be available for purchase during the session.
Survive the Sound: Merging Science, Art and Technology to Save Endangered Steelhead
Long Live the Kings
Chinook and coho salmon and steelhead populations in the Salish Sea have declined by up to 90%. Come learn about the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project and get a sneak peek of Survive the Sound: an interactive web interface that uses fun imagery and real data from acoustically tagged, migrating juvenile steelhead to engage students in learning about the challenges young fish face as they head for the ocean. Find out how classrooms can follow along during the next race for survival in May 2018.
Interdisciplinary Extensions for Teaching Watershed Science
Kyle Bradshaw, Education Coordinator
Vilina Sanburn-Bill, Education Coordinator
Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association
Educators Vilina Sanburn-Bill and Kyle Bradshaw teach watershed science and salmon ecology to elementary aged children in Whatcom County. They plan to share four interdisciplinary extension lessons that they use in their classrooms. These lessons can be used by formal and informal educators to teach watershed science, however, this presentation is applicable to anyone who is interested in watershed science or wants to have some more tools in their back pocket. Come and learn some tools for teaching while having some fun yourself!
Regional Recruitment Resources for both employers and applicants!
Britta Eschete, Career Services Center
Western Washington University
Shawna Blue, Program Coordinator
Department of Environmental Conservation, Skagit Valley College
Undergraduate Student Services Specialist
College of the Environment, University of Washington
Does your organization have part/full-time opportunities for soon-to-be graduates? Representatives from the University of Washington, Skagit Valley College and Western Washington University will provide short overviews of services available to employers seeking to post internship or career opportunities and related resources or employment trends. This workshop is also ideal for community members or students who would like more information on how to search for local, regional and global opportunities in the environmental sectors. Time will be reserved for Q/A.
Car*less Commuting, that’s how we roll into a carbon-less future.
Maribeth Crandell, Island Transit
Transportation is responsible for roughly 28% of Greenhouse gas emissions. How do we plan for a carbon-less future on a city scale, town scale and a human scale? See local examples of people friendly habitats that encourage low carbon living. Examine transportation options and technologies that steer us away from single occupancy vehicles. Share your ideas, concerns and experiences. Save money, get exercise, make friends, pollute less and enjoy your commute. Let’s discover what happens when we bus, bike or walk our talk.
Maribeth Crandell has walked, biked and bused to work for a decade. She’s taken some low carbon vacations in the Northwest and beyond. Now she works as Mobility Specialist for Island Transit, to spread the joy, share the love of public transit.
Conservation Classrooms by Skagit Landtrust
Richelle Potter, Community Art and Nature
Lisa Miller, Outreach Programs Coordinator
Stacy Dahl, Youth Engagement and Outreach Specialist
SWC Community Engagement Committee
Attention Educators and Youth leaders: Skagit Land Trust (SLT) is now offering several special places throughout the county as outdoor classrooms for you and your pupils to explore. Research shows that learning in nature can boost performance, critical thinking, and enhance creativity. It is even associated with a reduction in discipline issues in the classroom. All good things! Obstacles like transportation costs, unfamiliarity of the location, or lack of tools to teach in nature can get in the way or organizing field trips. Join the discussion to share some of your barriers, get a glimpse of field trainings, have fun with an activity or two that connect to Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM)! In addition, you will hear about a new resource available to educators brought to you by partners of the Skagit Watershed Council (SWC) Today is your chance to preview the guide and pick your new outdoor classroom.
Understanding Microplastic Marine Pollution with Citizen Science Partnerships
Julie Masura, Senior Lecturer
University of Washington Tacoma
Jenny Smith, Development & Education Coordinator
Plastic marine debris is found in coastal and marine waters worldwide. There has been an increase in the study of microplastics, synthetic polymers < 5 mm, throughout the world. Researchers at the Center for Urban Waters, University of Washington Tacoma have collaborated with Service Adventure Education (SEA) and Sound Experience, local boat-based environmental education groups in Puget Sound, Washington, to collect environmental samples and educate participants on marine debris environmental issues, specifically microplastics. Both groups were trained on how to collect microplastics in the field using a modified manta net, sending the samples to the Center for Urban Waters for analysis. Undergraduate student researchers participated in the program through assisting in training, demonstrating collection on vessels, and processing samples in the laboratory. This presentation will review the progress of development of these relationships, benefits of each group’s contributions, and challenges met during the partnerships.
What’s Your Story: What makes an effective press release, printed article or a social media posting?
Ken Stern, Publisher and Editor
Bill Reynolds, Reporter
Don Coyote, Photographer
The La Conner Weekly News
Bellingham-based freelance journalist for online, print and broadcast media
Creator of Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told, publisher of the daily e-digest “Salish Sea News”
Attend this session to learn from a variety of perspectives and extensive knowledge bases with regards to what constitutes meaningful environmental journalism, effectively sharing what you’re doing, how environmental news coverage has changed over the last 30 years, and looking forward. Participating in the session are representatives whose careers have included founders/publishers of weekly newspapers, editors/reporters/photographers, public relations management and communication directors working within private, public and not-for-profit sectors.
STEM Outreach and Education with the Salish Sea Research Center
Thayne A. Yazzie, STEM Education Outreach Coordinator
Northwest Indian College
The Salish Sea Research Center (SSRC), located at Northwest Indian College, helps students and faculty combine cultural knowledge and traditional and non-traditional scientific methods to question, observe, and understand the natural environment. During this time, the SSRC has worked to build a bridge with science research and student communities; specifically, elementary and middle school students. DIY Plankton Nets, Ocean Acidification Labs, Water Filters, DIY Rovers and a Marine Food Web Card Game which helps students identify local animal species (including common phytoplankton and harmful algae species) teaches trophic levels, food webs, energy conservation, and includes cultural artwork and indigenous language. The SSRC is committed to conducting environmental research and STEM outreach that incorporates traditional and cultural perspectives in emergence with Western and Indigenous science.
The first Storming the Sound was held at Padilla Bay Reserve in 2000. The idea caught on and now Storming the Sound attracts about 150 professionals. The conference primarily attracts environmentally minded educators and professionals from around the central Salish Sea region.
Check out our photo archive of past Storming the Sound conferences!