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Internships with PSI

Intern or volunteer on one of PSI's research projects or outreach campaigns.


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The man with a plan

PSI researcher, Andy Suhrbier helps shellfish growers adapt to changing ocean conditions.

What's Blooming this Summer?

Track water quality and plankton communities at these City of Olympia Stream Team sponsored events.

Phytoplankton monitoring summer schedule 2018

Citizen Science Phytoplankton Monitoring

Join Stream Team and PSI biologists at the Port Plaza dock this summer to get up-close-and-personal with some of the smallest organisms in the sea –phytoplankton. Drop a net into the rich waters of Puget Sound to collect a jar of nutritious plankton soup. Prepare to be amazed as a drop of water comes to life under the microscope. Grab a clipboard and record water temperatures, salinity, water clarity and weather conditions. See how many other creatures you can find living among the pilings – barnacles, jellies, sticklebacks, mussels, and more!

This year we will also sample at Long Lake Park (located in Lacey) and Pioneer Park (located in Tumwater). Come check out some freshwater plankton!

Port Plaza Dock
First, second, and third Thursday of the month
June 21-August 30, and Saturday, Sept. 15

LOTT’s WET Science Center
First, second, and third Thursday of the month
June 21-August 30, and Saturday, Sept. 15

Long Lake
Thursdays, June 28th, July 26th, August 23rd, and Saturday, Sept. 8th.
1:00 - 2:00
Long Lake Park,
2790 Carpenter Rd, Lacey

Pioneer Park
Saturday, August 4
1:00 -2:00
Pioneer Park,
5801 Henderson Blvd SE, Tumwater

For the complete taxonomic experience, journey over to LOTT’s WET Science Center to see live plankton projected onto the Big Screen. Learn why biologists monitor plankton and then help create a complete species list. Keep your eyes peeled for three species capable of producing powerful biotoxins. Data will be shared with other monitoring programs including NOAA’s SoundToxins, Washington Dept. of Ecology’s Eyes Over Puget Sound, and Washington Department of Health’s Biotoxin Program.

We had a surprisingly good turnout for our last “What’s Blooming” event of the season. The tall ships, Hawaiian Chieftain and Lady Washington were still docked, so this helped draw people down to the port. Luckily the rain held off for us as well, so we were able to keep the scopes out until the very end. The water has cleared up a lot over the past few weeks, our Secchi Disk reading was 4 meters. Plankton diversity was pretty high this week, 33 different species seen. These included a variety of diatoms, dinoflagellates, and zooplankton. There was a small concentration of HAB species present, 30 cells per liter of Dinophysis and 107 cells per liter of Pseudo-nitzschia. This was a great way to end the season, thanks volunteers for joining me! We hope to see you next year.

More Information

Contact PSI's Aimee Christy or Mary Middleton (360-754-2741) or

Michelle Stevie at the City of Olympia Stream Team (360-753-8336)

Stream Team Logo


Learn More: Monitoring programs and plankton identification

Northwest Fisheries Science Center

NOAA/NWFSC SoundToxins

WA Dept. of Ecology Marine Water Quality Monitoring – Eyes Over Puget Sound

King County Puget Sound Marine Life Photos

NASA Earth Observatory

Univ. of British Columbia - Phyto'pedia

Dr. Rita A. Horner. A Taxonomic Guide to Some Common Marine Phytoplankton. Book contains photographs and descriptions of 134 local species.

Budd Inlet Snapshot --
What's Blooming Now?

Location: Budd Inlet
Dock Date:
September 15, 2018
Vertical Net Tow Depth: 3 meters
Dominant Species:
Common Species:
# of Species Observed: 33
Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) species: Dinophysis & Pseudo-nitzschia
# of HABs per drop:
Dinophysis: 5 cells; P-N: 18 cells.

See the Data

2018 Raw Data (Excel file)

2017 Raw Data (Excel file)

2016 Raw Data (Excel file)

2015 Raw Data (Excel file)

2018 Final Report (PDF)

2017 Final Report (PDF))

2016 Final Report (PDF)

2015 Final Report (PDF)