While there are often opportunities to go deep in our respective fields, breakthroughs can come from unexpected connections and interdisciplinary discussions. The Salish Sea Science Roundtable is a virtual monthly seminar inspired by just that. Each month we’ll connect to share emerging science that’s shaping Salish Sea recovery and sustainable development, reconnect with colleagues in different fields, and enjoy thought-provoking discussions. We hope you’ll join us virtually the first Tuesday of each month from 12:30-1:30 pm PT and once a quarter in person for a happy hour.
Do you have a topic you want to learn more about or are you interested in sharing some of your organization’s new science? Email Marielle (email@example.com).
Facilitated by the Salish Sea Institute at Western Washington University.
Elin Kelsey, PhD, is a leading spokesperson, scholar and educator in the area of evidence-based hope. In 2014, she co-created #OceanOptimism, a twitter campaign to crowd-source marine conservation solutions which has reached more than 95 million shares to date. Elin’s work focuses on the reciprocal relationship between humans and the rest of nature. The new science of Climate Emotions reveals that our emotions shape our reactions to the climate justice crisis in profound and complex ways. They impact the actions we take, our capacity for resilience and our psychological well-being. The sense of empowerment we feel when we engage with hope from an evidence-based stance increases our capacity for meaningful climate action. Elin’s talk will outline strategies to adopt a hopeful stance in the midst of the climate crisis and the pervasive culture of doomism.
While the event is free, registration is required to help prevent Zoom bombing. Once you register Zoom will email you your unique link to join. If you have trouble accessing your unique link, you can always re-register to join directly at https://washington.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYld-2tpzooH9y4K-zCPrkxn0t0Y3Bq1_SO or use the meeting ID: 928 0459 1258.
Drop by for an informal reception with Elin Kelsey afterwards.
5:30 – 7:00 PM on March 5
Stones Throw Brewery at 1009 Larrabee Ave, Bellingham, WA 98225
This is a no-host happy hour
For the most up to date information on the roundtable topic and speakers, follow the shared calendar in:
Southern Resident Killer Whales are struggling to avoid extinction. Lack of prey (i.e., Chinook salmon), noise and disturbances, and contaminants are three major stressors. Rob Williams from the Oceans Initiative shared updated population model results that explore the cumulative effect of stressors and the population’s viability under different scenarios. In parallel, the University of Washington Tacoma, Western Washington University, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Puyallup Tribe collaborated to identify priority contaminants of emerging concern present in the Salish Sea that have the potential to adversely impact exposed organisms. Andy James and Ruth Sofield shared that the initial effort focused mainly on salmonids, but the team also piloted a framework for understanding the effect of contaminants of emerging concern on Southern Resident Killer Whales.
Liz Duffy of Long Live the Kings and Isobel Pearsall of Pacific Salmon Foundation shared an update on the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project. The project was a seven-year collaborative, international research effort focused on identifying factors affecting early marine survival of Chinook and coho salmon and steelhead in the Salish Sea. The evidence from more than 90 individual studies supports the conclusion that, while no single factor is responsible, changes in food supply and an increase in predators are the primary factors driving the decline. Local factors including habitat degradation, contaminants, and disease also impact salmon health and survival, while climate change is an overarching challenge compounding these factors.
The story of coho salmon in the Strait of Georgia is complex. Historically it supported a very lucrative recreational fishery. However, the fishery collapsed in the 1990s due to a combination of factors including changes in distribution as well as declines in marine survival. Chrys Neville (Fisheries & Oceans Canada) examined recent changes in trends in the coho salmon population within the strait and possible factors associated with these changes. Tanya Brown (Fisheries & Oceans Canada) then showcased the work that DFO has being carrying out in collaboration with a number of First Nations, ENGOs, Streamkeeper organizations, and other external partners to identify and characterize 6PPD-quinone toxic hotspots in salmon habitat in British Columbia, Canada.
Heather Welch (researcher at NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center and UC Santa Cruz) discussed how modeling can potentially allow fisheries management and regulations to proactively and dynamically adapt to climate impacts. In the new paper, researchers predicted the change in habitat and by extension jurisdiction for 14 species of ecological, cultural, and commercial importance during recent heatwaves. Marine species have and will continue to move in response to climate change, irrespective of jurisdictional borders. This sort of real-time modeling can help fishers find valuable species while also avoiding endangered species like sea turtles.