Partners in Science

Brings Science into the Classroom and Students into the Field


Practicing scientists and naturalists work in close harmony with the curriculum plans of identified classroom teachers to develop an inquiry based field study. The resulting learning experience provides students hands-on experience in the development of an hypothesis, receive training in research methods, and apply those methods in the field. Modeled after the successful K-12 program developed by the Friday Harbor Labs Science Outreach Program, the San Juan Nature Institute’s Partners in Science has been enthusiastically embraced by our islands schools.

Our goal for these natural history field studies is for school children in the San Juan Islands to become scientifically literate stewards of our unique island environment and to fully incorporate that ethic in their adult lives.

Of special importance to the success of this science education program are the “partners” in the Partners in Science program. Kudos and applause to:

  • The outstanding scientists, who work directly with our staff and with the students, bring the energy of discovery and authentic scientific content,
  • Access to the guidance of the dedicated staff and the in-kind support from the UW Friday Harbor Labs, K-12 Science Outreach.
  • Peer agencies such as, for example, the San Juan County Land Bank and the Glenwood Long Live the Kings/Springs Hatchery on Orcas, as keys to the program¬ís rich field based experiences,
  • Our islands public and private schools staff who act as hosts for our visiting scientists and naturalists,
  • And the where-with-all of funding sources developed as a combination of private community and parent contributions, grants, and school support.

How can you be involved?

YES, there are funding goals still to be met. It is inspiring to see the response generated and we proudly invite sponsorship contributions. Consider sponsoring a classroom in your island school. We look forward to collaborating in
the continuing outreach of Partners in Science. Contact us at, or call 360-378-3646.

What are the elements in these science outreach programs?

Each student group designs an inquiry based research project under the direction of the project scientist, Nature Institute staff, and a classroom teacher. Often Friday Harbor Labs outreach staff provide special guidance and training. Field-based discovery and sustained involvement instill the “sense of place” within each student that is critical factor in their growth toward being thoughtful stewards of our sensitive island ecosystems. Exposure to the scientific process plus direct training for the classroom teacher results in the teacher becoming an effective resource both for their future classrooms as well as for their school peers.

Salmon in the Classroom

Watersheds and Wetlands