Research and Learning Across the Borders in the Salish Sea

What are the social, economic, and environmental impacts of our region’s borders? How is the future of the Salish Sea shaped by our past and current relationships and policies? Why is it important to learn about and from where we are?

For Winter Quarter, 2019, the Huxley Speaker Series and the Salish Sea Institute will be present a series of talks focused on the Salish Sea. This will be the first talk in the series.

Ginny Broadhurst and Natalie Baloy will be joined by Laurie Trautman and Lydia Dennee-Lee. They will discuss the Salish Sea Institute, The Border Policy Research Institute, the proposed WWU Salish Sea Studies Minor, and some of the key issues, challenges and opportunities facing the Salish Sea region.

In addition, they will provide a brief overview of the guest speakers scheduled for the quarter. 


The mission of the Salish Sea Institute is to foster responsible stewardship of the Salish Sea, inspiring and informing its protection for the benefit of current and future generations.

The Institute:

  • Promotes dialogue and partnerships among people, organizations and agencies throughout First Nations and tribal communities, Washington State, and British Columbia
  • Serves as the administrative home of the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference
  • Hosts gatherings to cultivate collaborative governance and protection of the Salish Sea
  • Develops place-based curriculum, research and events for students to explore the environment, history and communities of the Salish Sea
  • Fosters a sense of place and raises awareness of the value of the Salish Sea and the issues that threaten its health


The Winter, 2019 Huxley Speaker Series is co-sponsored by Huxley College of the Environment and WWU's Salish Sea Institute, presenting a 10-week series on issues facing the Salish Sea.



About the Speaker

Photos of Ginny Broadhurst and Natalie Baloy
Ginny Broadhurst, Natalie Baloy, et. al.
Director & Assistant Director, Salish Sea Institute

Ginny Broadhurst is the first Director of the Salish Sea Institute at WWU. She started in June 2017. From 2007 to 2017 she was the Executive Director of the Northwest Straits Commission (NWSC); prior to that she held staff positions at NWSC and at the Puget Sound Action Team in Olympia, WA. She has expertise in stewardship, protection and restoration of the Salish Sea. She’s served on numerous regional and international advisory groups related to marine debris, ocean acidification, marine protected areas and coastal ecosystem health. Ginny earned a BS in Environmental Conservation from University of New Hampshire and a Masters in Marine Affairs from University of Washington. She and her family live in Bellingham, WA. Ginny has many favorite places on the Salish Sea, including Shaw Island Marine Preserve and South Beach at American Camp on San Juan Island.

Natalie Baloy is the Assistant Director of Canada House Programs, which includes the BPRI, the Center for Canadian-American Studies, and the Salish Sea Institute. She is committed to facilitating place-based learning and connecting across borders and boundaries. Originally from Ohio, Natalie has lived on the Pacific Coast for over ten years. She completed her Masters and PhD in cultural anthropology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and she lived on Orcas Island while writing her dissertation. From 2014-2016, she moved to California for a postdoctoral fellowship with the UC Center for Collaborative Research for an Equitable California. Natalie is excited to be back in the Salish Sea region to serve as Assistant Director of Canada House Programs, which includes the Salish Sea Institute, the Border Policy Research Institute, and the Center for Canadian-American Studies. She is committed to facilitating place-based learning and connecting across borders and boundaries. Her favorite places on the Salish Sea include Yellow Island, Mountain Lake on Orcas Island, and Yek-o-Yek Deli in Vancouver.

Laurie Trautman is the Director of the Border Policy Research Institute. She engages in a range of research activities focused on the U.S. – Canada border, particularly in the Washington – British Columbia region. Topics include trade, transportation, security, and human mobility. In addition to working with faculty and students, she collaborates with the private sector and government agencies to advance policy solutions that balance cross-border flows with the need for efficiency and security. Laurie participates in working groups that are actively engaged in the U.S. – Canada relationship, including the International Mobility and Trade Corridor Program and the Canada – U.S. Transportation Border Working Group. She co-chairs the Border Issues working group of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region and was recently appointed to the steering committee for the Cascadia Innovation Corridor. She holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Oregon, a MSc. from Montana State University, and a BA from Western Washington University in Environmental Economics.

Lydia Dennee-Lee is the Student Engagement and Leaning Coordinator for the Salish Sea Institute.

Environmental Speaker Series

The Environmental Speaker Series is hosted by the College of the Environment at Western Washington University.

The Series is free and open to the public. Talks are held each Thursday at 4:30 pm in Academic Instructional Center West room 204 - AW-204. Talks will also be streamed via zoom. Register with the Alumni Association for the zoom link. Paid parking is available in lot C.

Learn more about the Environmental Speaker Series
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