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 2021
Friday, January 29th • 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
This year’s conference will be held virtually.
Presentations for 2021 are now full. Please see our Agenda tab for more information about the upcoming sessions.
Seeking all presenters!
What excites you? What concerns you? What would you like to share or discuss?
This year, we plan to center the conference around you, the participants. We’ll create an online space for discussion, thinking, inspiration and sharing. You’ll provide the ideas, issues, and excitement.
Want to talk about diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice? Excited about something you’ve learned this year? Interested in the nitty gritty details of virtual teaching? Want to share music or art or poetry?
Proposals for a virtual session can be submitted to Susan Wood. Please include your topic, a brief description for our website, and details about the format for your session (presentation, interactive session, facilitated discussion, any Zoom features you will need to set up).
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 for Storming the Sound is free this year.
Please register online here.
2020 Sponsors and Exhibitors
Most of the information below is for our info for in-person events which we hope to host in the future. Our 2021 event will be hosted virtually. Registrants will receive login info prior to the event.
Information for in-person events (NOT 2021)
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 at the roundabout take the second exit for Fir Island Road. Stay on Fir Island Rd for about 5 miles and you’ll go over a bridge (after the bridge the road name changes to Best Road). From the bridge go 3 miles and turn left onto Chilberg Rd. 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 parking pass.
2021 Storming the Sound Presentations
2021 Keynote Speaker
Kira Mauseth, Disaster Psychologist and co-lead for the behavioral health strike team for the WA Department of Health
Coping with COVID: It’s not just you
We are all affected by COVID-19 in our daily lives in ways that we may not recognize. This presentation addresses the specifics about where we are on a larger scale with how we are each responding to this pandemic emotionally and physically at home and in the workplace. hear from the Department of Health’s Dr. Kira Mauseth on promoting personal, team and workplace resilience during COVID-19. What you’ll hear covered:
- Common neurological and physical responses
- Common symptoms and experiences
- Challenges over the next few months
- And what can be done to prevent burnout and increase resilience
Specific ideas will be shared about how to communicate and interact more effectively with others in the context of COVID-19, and how to increase our own sense of strength and resilience.
9:00-10:00 Opening Plenary
10:00-11:00 Session 1
11:15-12:15 Session 2
1:30-2:30 Session 3
3:00-4:00 Keynote Speaker
2021 Storming the Sound Virtual Presentations
Opening Plenary 9:00-9:50
Centering Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice. Shalini Singh, Diversity Recruiter & Retention Specialist Huxley College of the Environment and Ed Weber, Internship Coordinator, Huxley College of the Environment.
An overview of how Huxley College of the Environment works to recruit, support, and retain underrepresented students. Followed by a discussion on what employers/students/school reps are doing to create inclusive and equitable work environments and classrooms. How can we support each other? What are the challenges and opportunities within this? Presenters will give an overview of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives within Huxley and then break into smaller group discussions.
Shalini Singh, Diversity Recruiter & Retention Specialist, Huxley College of the Environment. Shalini advises and mentors first-generation, students of color, and underrepresented students while working in collaboration with college faculty and staff to advance the college diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
Session 1A 10:00-11:00
Moving dreams to reality: how 3 people turned ideas into successful endeavors, Pete Haase and panel (title might change)
Panelists: Amy Eberling – the Salish Sea School, Bianc Perla – the Vashon Nature Center, Keith Wiggers – Skagit Land Trust, and John Williams – Sea-Media The Salish Magazine
Session 1B 10:00-11:00
An arts approach to climate change engagement and education, Sharon Abreu and Michael Hurwicz
How music and singing can be used as a powerful tool to engage, inspire and empower people, getting to the heart of the most challenging issue of climate change. Presenters will give a brief history of the role of songs and singing in social movements, and share tips for using songs in environmental education, with a focus on climate change and water issues.
Session 1C 10:00-11:00
Hands-on Programs turned Virtual – utilizing Bitmoji classroom, Google Sites, and a watershed scavenger hunt to adapt curriculum to virtual platforms, Olivia Hubert, Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group and Karen Summers, Skagit Conservation Education Alliance
Creating effective educational content through virtual platforms can be challenging and oftentimes very frustrating. We invite you to learn how to create a Google Site and discover how a Bitmoji classroom can help you reach your students. See how a collaborative, watershed-wide summer program helped families safely explore the outdoors. Although you may not be delivering content in person this year, these tools can help you maintain impactful and interactive educational programs.
Session 1D 10:00-11:00
Connecting students and employers in the environmental field – career fairs and internships, Panel Presentation with Barbara Owens, UW; Ed Weber, WWU and Britta Eschete, WWU
COVID has changed how and what students are learning, and may have changed the jobs they will move into. Employers –learn about the skills and knowledge today’s students will bring to the environmental field. Students – how can you network, virtually connect with employers and find internship opportunities in a safe-distanced world? Learn details about upcoming virtual career fairs at both UW and WWU in February 2021. This will be an interactive session with time for your thoughts and ideas. Panel participants will include Barbara Owens, Undergraduate Student Services Specialist with the College of the Environment, University of Washington, Ed Weber, Program Specialist with Huxley College of the Environment and Britta Eschete, Career Services Center, Western Washington University
Session 2A 11:15-12:15
Is That a Weed or What? with Robin Haglund
Weeds—every garden has them & most gardeners want to get rid of them. Join Garden Mentors Academy founder Robin Haglund of Padilla Bay to deeply consider plants we call weeds, invasives, and disruptors. Learn to ID many of these plants and collect a few tips to manage some. And, perhaps, come away celebrating a few erstwhile problem plants that may be useful in your kitchen, home apothecary, and even garden spaces facing a changing climate.
Session 2B 11:15-12:15
2020’s Global Transportation Experiment: Changes and Choices, Maribeth Crandell, Island Transit
How has the pandemic changed our transportation choices in 2020? Covid-19 has forced us to change our ways and given us an opportunity to conduct a grand experiment. Working from home, taking buses, riding bikes, air travel, trail use, traveling less and traveling differently. What sort of changes have you noticed in 2020? What changes have you experienced yourself? How has your relationship to your personal vehicle changed this year? Who has benefited from these changes and who has suffered? Which of these changes might we chose to continue into the future? And what difference will it make, on a global and a personal scale. Let’s make the most of what we’ve learned and move into 2021 with intention.
Session 2C 11:15-12:15
Climate Change Progress & Solutions – There’s still room for optimism, Betty Carteret, Citizens’ Climate Education – Skagit Chapter
Most of us have moments of feeling alarm, despair, and even paralysis about the trajectory of climate change impacts in our communities and around the world. This talk will share a perspective on how action is already happening and there are solutions on the horizon, so there’s still room for optimism. We will also discuss how proposed legislation to put a price on carbon is the key to unlock the development and implementation of those solutions. The options for pricing carbon vary and this talk will make the case for a new approach that is market-based and inherently socially just. Come learn more about how carbon fee and dividend legislation can jump start a rapid reduction in carbon dioxide emissions that are driving climate change. We hope you’ll gain a sense of optimism and urge to take action after participating in this presentation.
Betty Carteret is a retired mechanical engineer who spent most of her career working at the Department of Energy’s Hanford site on energy technology development and radioactive waste cleanup. She is a founding member and currently Vice President of the local nonprofit Friends of Skagit Beaches. She also serves as co-lead of the Skagit Chapter of the Citizen’s Climate Education, a national organization focused on educating the public on climate change solutions and building support for carbon pricing, specifically through carbon fee & dividend legislation.
Session 3A 1:30-2:30
Curtailing U.S. military activity in response to the climate crisis, Sharon Abreu
Sharon Abreu will facilitate a discussion on the need to curtail U.S. military activity in order to adequately address the climate crisis. Topics will include CO2 emissions, overall pollution, national security related to climate change, COVID-19, and the potential for the creation of “Just Transition” programs in Washington State and across the U.S. Suggest reading in preparation: https://worldbeyondwar.org/dont-mention-the-us-military-carbon-footprint
Session 3B 1:30-2:30
Seabirds – Sentinels for climate change, and How you can help, Amy Eberling
We have around 172 birds that rely on the Salish Sea! Unfortunately, climate change is negatively affecting our local and migratory birds in many different ways including rising temperatures, sea level rise, and ocean acidification. Join us as we discuss this issue and also provide you with a way to help monitor local and migratory birds. The Salish Sea School’s mission is to create student leaders in marine conservation through experiential, place-based learning. Part of that mission includes empowering students as citizen scientists with local issues such as marine bird declines, especially the endangered Tufted Puffin
Session 3C 1:30-2:30
Polluted runoff, green infrastructure, and 12,000 Rain Gardens For Puget Sound: Tools for teaching, learning, and leaving it better than we found it,
In this session we will discuss polluted runoff, Puget Sound’s largest source of pollution. We’ll cover the basics of Green Infrastructure and look at green infrastructure efforts across the Puget Sound region. Join our discussion of tools and strategies for using runoff and green infrastructure in support of STEAM education and systems thinking.
Session 3D 1:30-2:30
Our sense of place in a virtual world: facilitated discussion, Britta Eschete, Career Services Center, Western Washington University
Imagine you are strolling along a forest trail -sunlight filtering through Cedar Trees, leafy ferns, moss studded rocks, birds chirping… wait, you are actually in a Zoom Meeting. Is it possible to creatively re-create the outdoor environment/ambiance in the digital world? Join in the discussion of who/how/what innovators are doing to facilitate a sense of place, bring your scenarios, and hopefully get some ideas and answers! Festive Fun- consider changing your virtual Storming the Sound background to your favorite environmental-world image.
Session 3E 1:30-2:30
Between Two Worlds, Nicole Casper and Swinomish Educators
Between Two Worlds is a youth education program designed to give Swinomish high school students a greater appreciation of the land and environment and provide them with the cultural and scientific tools to be good stewards. Program goals are: 1) provide experiential learning to students in indigenous science with an option to earn high school credit; 2) foster the next generation of stewards; and, 3) expose youth to Tribal role models and tribal careers in STEM. Broader objectives include strengthening relationships within the community, learning, sharing, and archiving traditional knowledge, and providing tools to help our people work both in and outside our tribal community. By teaching traditional indigenous science, modern technology, and environmental issues, we hope to help repair the trauma Indigenous people have experienced over generations. The program also helps at-risk students gain science credit for graduation through an innovative partnership with the local school district, a need identified by the Tribal education department.
Keynote – Kira Mauseth 3:00-4:00
The first Storming the Sound was held at Padilla Bay Reserve in 1999. 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!