Western Washington University has hired Ginny Broadhurst to be the new director of its Salish Sea Studies Institute, an interdisciplinary center for collaboration, education, research and community involvement established in 2015 focused on the health of the Salish Sea and its environs.
Broadhurst starts at Western on June 5.
“I am excited to make the new Salish Sea Studies Institute a place where we raise understanding and appreciation for the Salish Sea for students and those tasked with managing it on both sides of the border,” she said.
Broadhurst worked at the Northwest Straits Commission from 2003 to February 2017, first as its Marine Program manager then for the last 10 years as its executive director. She has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Conservation from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s degree from the School of Marine Affairs at the University of Washington.
Today more than 7 million people inhabit the Salish Sea basin. Increasing population and industrialization, climate variability, and other human activities place increasing strain on the Salish Sea’s ecosystem and the health of humans connected to it. The Salish Sea basin and the people who inhabit it have much to share with each other, and the Institute, as an intentionally collaborative effort, brings these diverse groups together in multiple ways and across boundaries of all types to facilitate this sharing.
The Salish Sea Studies Institute provides programmatic efforts related to the health of the Salish Sea that crosses disciplinary boundaries; provides a mechanism and platform for outreach activities aimed at increasing knowledge of the sea, its many cultures and economies, health and sustainability; facilitates and improves opportunities for external funding of teaching and research on issues related to the sea; and more.
The institute will also serve as the ongoing home for the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference, a multinational gathering which assembles scientists, First Nations and tribal government representatives, resource managers, community/business leaders, policy makers, educators and students to present the latest scientific research on the state of the ecosystem, and to guide future actions for protecting and restoring it.
“Having this new institute housed at Western Washington University provides an excellent forum to elevate transboundary environmental and cultural issues of concern so that solutions can be developed,” Broadhurst said.
For more information on the Salish Sea Studies Institute or its mission, contact Western’s Office of Communications and Marketing at (360) 650-3350.