Huxley Speaker Series features "Constructed Coastlines of the Salish Sea" by Colin Grier

  • Photo of Colin Grier on a boat with the water and a forested hillside in the background.
    Colin Grier

The Huxley College Speaker Series brings guest lecturers to WWU to address topics of environmental concern and is intended to bring together environmentally-minded members of the WWU and Bellingham communities.

Lectures are free and open to the public and held Thursdays 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. in Academic Instructional Center West (AW-204).

The speaker Thursday, Feb. 13 will be Colin Grier  of Washington State University on "Constructed Coastlines of the Salish Sea: Integrating Archaeological, Indigenous, and Ecological Perspectives":

Prior to contact with Euro-Americans, the Salish Sea was anything but a natural place. Rather, its coastscapes were profoundly anthropogenic, having been constructed, engineered and managed by Indigenous peoples over the Holocene. I first cover the archaeological record that supports this assertion, focusing on my research in the southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia. Second, I consider the social dimensions to how landscape construction and resource management systems operated in the past. Third, I bring these notions forward into the present and future, showing how an understanding of such long-term practices can directly inform how we effect the ecological recovery of Puget Sound and the Salish Sea. My take away message is that the future of the Salish Sea rests directly on our collective knowledge of its past.

Colin Grier is an associate professor in the Anthropology Department at the Vancouver campus of Washington State University. Originally from Canada, his archaeological research has focused on Salishan peoples past and present in British Columbia and Washington State. His primary research interests are changing household and community dynamics through the Holocene, the role of resource management systems and landscape construction in shaping Salishan histories, and the way in which we can learn from past cultural practices to reshape our own future. 

Complimentary Parking for the Huxley Speaker Series is available in Parking Lot 12A after 4 p.m. on Thursdays during the academic quarter.

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Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 11:55am

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