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.

More: Science for policy

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.

More: Research and products

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

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;…

One of the herring rescued by the staff at the Vashon Island Nature Center. Photo courtesy of Amy Carey.

Dispatches: Herring rescue

January 29, 2018

A Puget Sound scientist’s work is never done. PSI’s Lead Ecosystem Ecologist Tessa Francis sent us this e-mail about a recent call to identify some wayward…

Harbor Seals sunning on intertidal rocks of Puget Sound. Photo: Tony Cyphert (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/tony717/14630242564

Study would explore changes to protections for seals and sea lions

January 18, 2018

As wildlife managers work to recover Puget Sound’s diminished Chinook population, a proposed white paper is expected to review the impacts of some of the…

Browse posts by keyword