“My grandparents had a cabin out on Lummi Island,” says Ardi Kveven, who was born and raised in Everson, WA. “Growing up, I spent time every summer exploring the beaches and experiencing all that the Salish Sea has to offer.”
Those early adventures sparked Ardi’s life-long interest in marine science and her passion for sharing what she learned with others. Earning a biology degree from University of Washington and a Masters in Science Education from Western Washington U, she embarked on a career teaching oceanography to high school and college students.
In 2003, Ardi founded the Ocean Research College Academy (ORCA), the only program of its kind in the US. Along with core classes, ORCA students receive an intensive, hands-on, college-level marine science education that enables them to graduate with both their high school diploma and an associate degree from Everett Community College.
Working with grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Science Foundation, Ardi has developed ORCA into a world-class educational program complete with a waterfront lab and its own research vessel.
“Exposing our young people to the Salish Sea provides a connection to the place they live,” says Ardi, who’s excited about the chance to foster close connections between her students and the SeaDoc Society.
“Powerful programs are about the passion of the individuals who choose to be a part of them,” she says. “I appreciate the passionate people who choose to be part of SeaDoc, and I applaud their enthusiastic efforts to save the Salish Sea. I look forward to strengthening the opportunity for our students to join those efforts and to feel empowered to make a difference.”
In recent years, some of the most powerful and effective groups making a difference in the Salish Sea’s health have been the Coast Salish tribes and First Nations. And another new SeaDoc board member we’re thrilled to have join the team, Larry W. Campbell, Sr., is a distinguished elder of one of those tribes, the Swinomish.