23860
Washington

Our Changing Planet: Orcas & Ecosystems of the San Juan Islands

Explore the San Juan Islands to learn about how this small archipelago does its part to protect marine life, leave no trace and work toward local food and housing sustainability.
Program No. 23860RJ
Length
7 days
Starts at
2,149

At a Glance

How is the changing environment impacting the resident orca whale population? How can a tiny archipelago curb the effects of climate change? As the first U.S. county to become a voluntary “Leave No Trace” area, the San Juan Islands are a great example for proving that no act of conservation is too small. Alongside conservationists and marine biologists, study the local whale population and delve deep into their evolving ecosystem. Make a positive impact back on land during a local beach cleanup and help preserve the beautiful coast for local creatures as well as future generations.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to 5-10 blocks and on uneven paths. Standing up to one hour. Elevators unavailable at some locations. Buses do not have lifts.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Explore the only whale-watching park in the world and the first museum in the world dedicated to whales living in the wild, as you study orcas in-depth.
  • Help preserve the shore during a beach clean-up and then discuss and analyze the items you’ve collected with environmentalists.
  • Learn about sustainable farming and living at two farms, a unique salmon restoration hatchery and during a presentation about sustainably-designed affordable housing project on Lopez Island.

General Notes

This program is part of “Our Changing Planet” series, exploring the solutions to the challenges of global climate change in communities around the United States. Learn more at www.roadscholar.org/planet. For a similar program with more of a general destination focus, please see, "Best of Washington's San Juan Islands: Exploring the Archipelago" (#18520).
Featured Expert
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Cindy Hansen
Cindy received her bachelor's degree in zoology with a focus on marine mammals from the University of Washington. She was the onboard naturalist for Mosquito Fleet Whale Watching for eight years, worked as the education curator for The Whale Museum from 2007 to 2016, and is currently the education and events coordinator for Orca Network. Since 2001, she has spent the winters migrating with the gray whales to San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja, Mexico and working as a naturalist and group leader for Baja Discovery.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Andre Entermann
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Kathleen Foley
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Cindy Hansen
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Suggested Reading List
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