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Program summary: STaRS (Student Training as Research Scientists) is a year-long marine science field research training program culminating in an in-person project presentation of the research experience. 


We are excited to launch STaRS for adults 18+ years old!


  1. Increasing scientific literacy and understanding of the scientific process

  2. Obtain experience and exposure to field research tools, techniques, and marine science advisors/mentors

  3. Understand how science and research can influence policy and action steps for conservation

  4. Learn how to read and understand scientific literature

  5. Complete and present an independent project using skills you learn along the way


We have just released our second annual Adult STaRS project, Orcas of the Salish Sea STaRS!


Qualifications to enroll in Orca STaRS for 2024:

  • Ability to attend 6 out of 7 in-person boat trips

  • Available for ~30 hours of virtual instruction + reading assignments

  • Interested in connecting with a like-minded community

  • Availability to attend the end of year camping trip at County Park on San Juan Island


Orcas of the Salish Sea STaRS Summary: 

This course includes seven field excursions on the water with a total of 4 other team members.



If you have an interest in gaining knowledge about the orcas of the Salish Sea, beginning interest in the scientific process, the Orcas of the Salish Sea STaRS program may be for you. 


Regardless of your background, the focus of this program will be on improving scientific literacy while participating in Bigg’s killer whale research.


You will learn how to read and discuss scientific papers, collect data in the field, and create graphs and maps based on existing data sets, all while investigating seasonal movement patterns of Bigg’s killer whales in the Salish Sea.

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Take a look at the 2023 schedule. Sign up for Group D, Group E, or Group F. The only difference in D and E are the times of the boat trips. Group F is the 80% virtual option, only two spots available.   


The very first boat trip will be as a whole group and leave from San Juan Island. The remaining boat trips will be small group and embark from Anacortes, WA with The Salish Sea School.  


Timeline for STaRS 2023

  • Enrollment closes December 30, 2023

  • February - Group wine and design in Anacortes

  • March - September - Monthly in-person lessons and field excursions

  • July - Optional, attend Superpod together

  • September - Group camping trip at County Park in San Juan Island 

Orca STaRS Group D - SOLD OUT
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