About Us

Vision

WSG envisions healthy, productive and reliant coastal and marine ecosystems that sustain Washington’s rich cultural and maritime heritage, vibrant coastal communities, clean waters and beaches, prosperous fisheries and aquaculture, diverse wildlife and an engaged public.

Mission

The WSG mission is to help people and marine life thrive by supplying research, technical expertise and educational activities that support the responsible use and conservation of ocean and coastal ecosystems.

Values

To accomplish its missions and achieve its vision, WSG adheres to a set of core values focused on excellence, innovation and societal impact. It seeks to forge tools, foster insights and build capacity for sustainable management and use of Washington’s marine resources.

In maintaining a portfolio of high-quality projects and activities, WSG addresses emerging issues as well as those of longstanding significance and balances its investments among promising and proven researchers.

Facilitating practical and collaborative solutions to today’s ocean and coastal issues, WSG serves as an unbiased broker of scientific information and real-world expertise.

Partnerships

Partnerships are a cornerstone of the Sea Grant model. WSG collaborates with federal, state, and local government, Washington tribes, schools districts, and businesses on a wide variety of marine-related research and education projects. To learn more, contact wsgres@u.washington.edu.

Background

For more than 45 years, WSG has served the Pacific Northwest and the nation by funding high quality marine research and working with communities, managers, businesses, educators and the public to advance regional understanding and sustainable use of ocean and coastal resources.

Based at the University of Washington (UW), WSG is part of a national network of 33 Sea Grant colleges and institutions located in U.S. coastal and Great Lakes states and territories. The National Sea Grant College Program is administer by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and funded through federal-university partnerships.

WSG’s location at the UW provides access to one of the nation’s largest research universities and a leading recipient of federal science support. As one of the 13 core units within the UW College of the Environment, WSG draws on the college’s academic strengths in fisheries, marine science, engineering and policy.  WSG also works with many other colleges and departments in the UW system, as well as other academic and research institutions throughout the Pacific Northwest to support both faculty and students.

Working with a broad range of organizations focused on use and conservation of the marine environment and its resources, WSG supports the needs of an even larger set of stakeholders. Among WSG’s primary partners are institutions of higher learning, NOAA and other federal and state agencies, local and tribal governments, nongovernmental organizations, K-12 educators and students, industries and businesses, news media and, most importantly, the public.

At all levels, WSG relies on an engaged and active advisory committee that provides ideas, perspective, feedback and direction on the implementation of WSG’s mission. The committee’s membership represents program partners and stakeholders and is listed on the WSG website.

WSG organizes its activities around four core functions: research, outreach, education and communications. The integration of these four core functions is key to carrying out WSG’s mission.

Research

Research sponsored by WSG combines scientific excellence and a focus on issues and opportunities faced by ocean users and managers in Washington and the Pacific Northwest.

In a highly competitive selection process, top priority goes to projects the build regional scientific capacity and provide knowledge for use in the marine and coastal environment. Form uncovering ocean acidification’s effects on mussel threads and salmon olfactory function to investigating the recovery of coastal transportation systems after a tsunami, WSG supports a mix of basic and applied research.

In addition, each WSG research project must include an outreach plan for making the results available to broader audiences who can use them. In 2016, the WSG research portfolio induced 34 ongoing projects supporting more than 100 investigators, 66 institutions and about 60 graduate and undergraduate students.

For more information go to Research.

Outreach

Outreach experts provide technical assistance and connect marine and coastal constituents to the best scientific information available.

WSG specialists work in a broad range of topic areas, including aquaculture, fisheries, water quality, habitat restoration, citizen science, aquatic invasive species, community sustainability, coastal development and management, marine operational safety and technology, oil spill prevention and hazard resilience.

For more information go to Community Outreach.

Education

By engaging learners of all ages, WSG’s education activities enhance the public’s understanding and stewardship of marine resources and provide professional development opportunities that nurture and encourage ocean-related careers. WSG supports informal educational programs for K-12 students, including an annual science camp and a statewide ocean sciences tournament for high school students.

WSG also presents undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students with opportunities to compete for many different fellowship programs that expand horizons and enhance future careers. In addition, WSG research projects explore workforce development and provide training for undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral investigators.

For more information go to Ocean Learning.

Communications

Maintaining the program’s commitment to providing unbiased, science-based information, WSG communications keeps the public up to date on current research and technology and supports marine user needs for the latest news on relevant issues.

The team maintains the WSG website and social media channels, produces publications and materials supporting the range of WSG activities and proactively responds to media inquiries about Sea Grant outreach and research.

Using a variety of communications platforms, WSG works to translate technical and scientific findings into useful information for a broad set of constituents.

For more information go to Press Room.