About the Puget Sound Institute

The Puget Sound Institute catalyzes the collective actions of scientists, engineers and policymakers to restore and protect the Puget Sound ecosystem by synthesizing and integrating research findings into timely foundations for informed decisions.

The Puget Sound Institute (PSI) was established at the University of Washington to identify and catalyze the science driving Puget Sound and Salish Sea ecosystem recovery. Since its founding in 2010, PSI has advanced our understanding of the region through synthesis, original research and communication in support of state and federal agencies, tribes and other organizations working in the region. PSI receives major funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

PSI staff

Name Title Expertise
Baker, Joel Director Water quality modeling, environmental chemistry
Francis, Tessa Lead Ecosystem Ecologist Aquatic food webs, forage fish
Georgiadis, Nicholas Senior Research Scientist Ecosystem-based management and restoration
James, Andy Research Scientist Water quality, water quantity
Kinney, Aimee Research Scientist Restoration analysis, environmental regulation
Rice, Jeff Managing Editor Communications, journalism, soundscapes
Symer, Kris Web Architect Visual communications, cartography, systems admin

Founding ideas

The Puget Sound Institute is a cooperative agreement between the University of Washington, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Puget Sound Partnership, seeking to catalyze rigorous, transparent analysis, synthesis, discussion and dissemination of science in support of the restoration and protection of the Puget Sound ecosystem.

The institute brings together scientists, engineers and policy makers working on the restoration and protection of Puget Sound and provides expert advice based on the best-available science. Funding for the Puget Sound Institute comes from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which was appropriated $50 million for cleaning up Puget Sound, including $4 million for creating the Puget Sound Institute.

By design, the Puget Sound Institute will serve as the bridge between the scientific community and those charged with restoring and protecting Puget Sound. Among other activities, the institute will convene panels of experts to address difficult issues faced in restoring and protecting Puget Sound, much as the National Research Council does.

The independence of universities, combined with the unique academic culture of convening experts, puts us in a key position to provide elected leaders and policy makers responsible for the restoration and protection of the Puget Sound ecosystem with expert advice based on sound scientific information and principles.

One key institute activity will be to convene leading authorities from a diversity of disciplines to conduct commissioned critical reviews and evaluations, providing credible, consensus-based information to the Legislature, government agencies and other interested groups. The institute will also form working groups to synthesize the available science to identify opportunities for progress on specific environmental issues.