Sustainability in the cross-border context: Exploring the potential for the ‘Cascadia’ region

Washington State and British Columbia share many connections. Despite being separated by an international boundary, there are businesses, transportation networks, families, and Indigenous nations that knit the region together, as well as ecosystems that know no borders. In the past decade, the region has faced a growing number of climate-induced natural hazards, from fires to floods, which elevate the importance of working collaboratively with our neighbors to the north on shared challenges. This presentation will provide an overview of the cross-border area known by several names: the Pacific Northwest, the Salish Sea, Cascadia. Is it a region? What are the implications of being bifurcated by an international border? How do we approach governance in a cross-border context?

WWU’s Border Policy Research Institute is one of several entities aimed at strengthening cross-border collaboration to increase economic, social, and environmental resiliency. Is it possible for us to become the ‘world’s largest sustainable mega-region' and what does that even mean?

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About the Speaker

headshot of Dr. Laurie Trautman
Dr. Laurie Trautman
Director, Border Policy Research Institute

Dr. Laurie Trautman is the Director of the Border Policy Research Institute at Western Washington University. She engages in a range of research activities focused on the Canada – U.S. border space, and the Washington State – British Columbia region. In addition to working with faculty, scholars, and students, she collaborates with the private sector and government agencies to inform policy solutions and advance cross-border collaboration, both regionally and globally. Laurie participates in numerous efforts that are actively engaged in the Canada – U.S. relationship. She is a Global Fellow with the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars and a Fellow with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. She holds degrees from Western Washington University, Montana State University, and a PhD in Geography from the University of Oregon.

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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