Celebration of Oceans and Community

Connecting scientists, educators, and citizens to address environmental challenges
February 3-4, 2011

CoEnv Dean Lisa GraumlichOn the evening of June 3, the Seattle Aquarium hosted a gathering of scientists and community members for an event called Connecting Scientists, Educator, and Citizens to Address Environmental Challenges.

Guests had the opportunity to meet outreach organizations, scientists, volunteers, educators, and citizens who all share an interest in marine environmental issues. Booths and food tables were set up around the aquarium's touch tanks, octopus habitat, and jellyfish display. Some of the groups represented included the People for the Puget Sound, Environmental Science Center, River Cleanup Coalition, Puget Sound Beach Watchers, and Polar Science Weekend.

The keynote speaker for the evening was Dr. Lisa Graumlich, the dean of the University of Washington's College of the Environment. Her talk was titled Celebration of Oceans and Community. She stressed the importance of teams, explaining that groups of scientists and citizens combined will lead us toward a more sustainable future for our oceans and coasts. She spoke about the importance of giving student scientists the ability to connect to citizens and to train them in the "art of connecting people." Dr. Graumlich said she was attracted to the Northwest because the citizens here share a love for nature and it is the combination of big-thinking from our citizens and big-science from our researchers that will ensure the future success of our beautifulecosystem.

Seattle AquariumTo conclude her presentation, Dr. Graumlich announced the first award that will be given by the College of the Environment. It's an outreach award honoring public engagement in science and will be given to students, staff, and faculty, as well as individuals outside of the University.

The event was sponsored by Washington Sea Grant and COSEE-OLC and was attended by JISAO employees Nick Bond and Jed Thompson. Daniel Hernandez, a JISAO intern in 2009, was also in attendance.

The celebration of marine ecosystem continued on Friday, February 4, with a SoundCitizens poster session. The posters were created by local high school students as part of their projects about science, community, and action related to Puget Sound. They were displayed in Mary Gates Hall on the UW campus.