A catalyst for ecosystem recovery

The University of Washington Puget Sound Institute provides analysis, research and communication to inform and connect the science of ecosystem protection.

The big picture: Our comprehensive approach

Ecosystem management in Puget Sound has become increasingly complex. Scientists now recognize that what happens on the land is intricately tied to the health of the water. We face climate change and unprecedented population growth, and researchers have identified thousands of different human-caused pressures on the ecosystem. Given limited resources, how can managers and policymakers make informed decisions about where to focus their recovery efforts?

More: About PSI


The Puget Sound Institute provides expertise across three major areas:

1. Science for policy

Technical assistance to resource managers and policymakers
PSI and our partners receive major funding from the Environmental Protection Agency to support and enhance new strategies for improving the health of Puget Sound.

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United States Environmental Protection Agency

Puget Sound Partnership

human wellbeing indicator wheel
The human wellbeing indicator wheel was developed to provide a social science perspective on ecosystem management.

2. Research

Scientific studies
Our expertise is strongly grounded in original research. Since 2010, PSI scientists along with our collaborators at the Center for Urban Waters have published on a range of topics, including the ecology of forage fish, stormwater, microplastics, social science and emerging contaminants.

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3. Communication

Trusted, decision-critical information
We bring together scientific findings from around the region through synthesis, study panels, technical peer-reviews and publications such as the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound and Salish Sea Currents.

More: Connecting the science

Browse: Encyclopedia of Puget Sound

A collection of Salish Sea Currents printed flyers.
Salish Sea Currents stories are published online in the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound and also printed as annual booklets and flyers.


Recent blog posts

A Southern Resident Killer Whale. Photo courtesy of NOAA.

Governor signs executive order to protect orcas and Chinook

March 14, 2018

By Christopher Dunagan for the Puget Sound Institute Worried that Puget Sound’s revered orcas are headed for extinction, Gov. Jay Inslee is calling for quick…

Core sample from Hood Canal showing a cotton-like mat of Beggiatoa bacteria extending above the seafloor. Oct 2006. Photo: Matt Lonsdale

Does Puget Sound need a diet?

March 7, 2018

As the region’s population grows, scientists say we can expect to see increasing amounts of nitrogen and other elements flowing into Puget Sound. Known as…

Looking for student science writers

February 7, 2018

Are you a student interested in science journalism? PSI has a great opportunity for up to five student writers to help us report science stories…

A school of Pacific herring, Clupea pallasii. Photo: National Geographic Creative / Alamy Stock Photo

New Puget Sound herring research

February 5, 2018

Herring may not be the most charismatic species in Puget Sound. They don’t breach dramatically out of the water. Fish mongers don’t throw them through…

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference 30th Anniversary (1988-2018)

PSI sponsoring wide range of sessions at SSEC

February 1, 2018

Five members of the Puget Sound Institute are leading sessions at the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference to be held April 4-6, 2018 in Seattle. Session…

Tanya Roberts

PSI welcomes Tanya Roberts as Research Scientist

January 29, 2018

Tanya Roberts is PSI’s newest research scientist, and comes to us from the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Environmental Assessment Program. While with Ecology (2005–2012;…

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