Sound Waters revs up for annual one-day university

A one-day university jam-packed with information about the natural world, Puget Sound, the Salish Sea and the environment is set for Saturday.

Sound Waters University returns yet again to South Whidbey High School from 9 a.m.-4:15 p.m. on Feb. 4. The university helps Whidbey residents better understand the island, how to look after it and enjoy outdoor activities. Sound Waters University, hosted by the Sound Water Stewards of Island County, typically draws between 600-700 people.

Participants can choose from 20 classes during three sessions scheduled for the day. There are over 60 classes overall, 70 percent of which are brand new, said Sound Waters Chairperson Anne Baum.

“This is really our mission at Sound Waters University: To continually educate everybody on what our environment needs and make sure people know enough that they can make choices,” Baum said. “We don’t advocate. We educate.”

The keynote speaker is Dr. Terrie Klinger, Ph.D. Klinger is director of the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs at the University of Washington. She will speak on the challenges of ocean acidification, from the processes that lead to it to outlining recommendations made by advisory groups such as the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Panel.

Classes will cover everything from marine ecosystems and habitat restoration to adventures at sea and forest management.

One topic Baum is particularly excited for is a class taught by educators from the University of Washington about how crows can recognize human faces.

“Those classes in particular are just outrageous and exciting,” Baum said.

There are a limited number of day-of registrations available for $60. For more information, visit