(1) experiential

science & conservation  curriculum

The experiential science curriculum includes:

  • observations and IDs of different marine life and behaviors

  • hydrophone deployment (press play below!)

  • help with harbor porpoise and pinneped surveys for PACMAM

  • intro to geologic history and oceanography

  • identification of marine flora/fauna

  • tidal knowledge

  • first nations influences

  • phyto/zooplankton netting

  • microscopic observations of collected samples

  • marine grass observations

  • forage fish observations

  • + much more!

The following Next Generation Science Standards are met: HS-LS2-6, HS-LS2-7, HS-LS4-5, HS-ESS1-5, HS-ESS1-6, HS-ESS2-2, HS-ETS1-2.

ORCA CALLSHydrophone
00:00 / 00:18

(2) participation in local research &

citizen science

This exceptional segment provides unique and important exposure to scientific inquiry and experience with marine research equipment, both useful for college applications/scholarships.  Participation will also provide exposure to survey methodologies, long term data sets, quantitative analysis, field research, and field journaling.


These projects include but are not limited to:


(3) leadership


The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problem.” -Ghandi


Each session involves leadership development through meaningful conversations, a community where where we support each other in our journeys, and help each other identify each person's unique gifts to bring into this world. 

(4) environmental

service projects

Hikes and lunch breaks on the shores of nearby islands and state parks cultivate a land-marine connection, including involvement in environmental service projects such as debris collection, contribution to a forage fish survey, removal of invasive plants, and/or native plant plantings and much more. 

Participants will earn up to 10 community service hours! 


(5) mindfulness


Mindfulness in nature helps awaken the senses and enable one to be fully present in the moment, immersed in the beauty of the earth. These practices initiate a deeper connection to the natural world and encourage personal care for the planet.

A social and emotional learning (SEL) dimension is added through a daily mindfulness in nature practice and reflective journaling. 

SEL helps students understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is a trusted source for knowledge about high-quality, evidence-based SEL. CASEL’s widely used framework identifies five core competencies that when prioritized across settings – districts, schools, classrooms, families, and the wider community – can educate hearts, inspire minds, and help students navigate the world more effectively.

These evidence-based tools provide ways to access calming practices for stress-reduction and daily living.

(6) unplugged


The average high school student spends around 4 hours a day on their phone and checks it 196 times per day.


Guardians of the Sea provides important time away from the computer, TV, and cell phone enabling more time for learning, interacting, and 100% engagement.

To enable total presence and engagement of all senses, participants will place all phones/electronics into a water-safe compartment on the boat.  The captain will have a phone and marine radio available for emergency purposes.  Parents/Guardians will be provided this number as an emergency contact. 

“When an entire cohort unintentionally eliminated time alone with their thoughts from their lives, their mental health suffered dramatically. On reflection, this makes sense. These teenagers have lost the ability to process and make sense of their emotions, or to reflect on who they are and what really matters, or to build strong relationships, or even to just allow their brains time to power down their critical social circuits, which are not meant to be used constantly, and to redirect that energy to other important cognitive housekeeping tasks. We shouldn’t be surprised that these absences lead to malfunctions.”― Cal Newport, Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

Tuition includes:  Healthy and local lunch, snacks, water, field journal, Salish Sea Guide, community service certificate, memorable group photo, and an official Guardians T-shirt.  

Tuition: $950 + WA state tax (full tuition due 60 days prior)

Deposit: $300 (due at time of enrollment)



"every individual matters, every individual has a role to play, every individual makes a difference."

-jane goodall

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the salish sea school   |   creating student leaders in marine conservation   |   anacortes, wa