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Research—Social Sciences and the Salish Sea

August 13, 2019

The first phase of the Social Sciences for the Salish Sea project was completed this year with a full report submitted to the Puget Sound Partnership in July.

The project was initiated in response to the Puget Sound Partnership’s stated need for robust social science to inform their ecosystem recovery strategies, and the research agenda was designed to inform and respond to the needs and existing frameworks of entities involved in regional ecosystem recovery efforts, such as the Puget Sound Partnership, the Nature Conservancy, Tribal Nations and First Nations. The project was funded by the Puget Sound Partnership, the Bullitt Foundation, and the Canadian Studies Center, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies.

To protect and restore the Salish Sea—the transboundary waters shared by British Columbia’s Georgia Basin and Washington State’s Puget Sound—participants determined that there must be an understanding of the biology, physical processes and people of the region who both affect and support the environment, and provide the only means for recovering it.

Between June 2018 to June 2019, three all-day in-person meetings were held to solicit ideas from researchers and advisors for a research agenda. Between meetings, notes were categorized into draft frameworks to workshop in subsequent meetings. To date, the project has produced 33 research topics.

 The next phase of this project will be to create a “roadmap” for the research agenda that charts who would most likely fund research on each topic and which type of researcher or research team would most effectively conduct the research, from a master’s student in need of a disciplinary thesis topic to a multi-year transdisciplinary research team.

 For a copy of the report, Social Science for the Salish Sea: An Action-Oriented Research Agenda to Inform Ecosystem Recovery, click here.