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Internships with PSI

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


Featured Photo

The man with a plan

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

What's Blooming in Budd?

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

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!

Port Plaza Dock
Thursdays, June 22-Sept 21

LOTT’s WET Science Center
Thursdays, June 22-Sept 21

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.

Another fun day at the dock! We had a gaggle of young scientists collecting this week's data including long-time, super star volunteer Roberta Woods. The weather was a bit cooler and surface temperatures dropped from 22.8 to 18.4 C. The little bit of rain, coupled with the cooler temperatures, resulted in a complete shift in the plankton composition. The Ceratium fusus bloom dissipated and was replaced by a mixture of diatoms, dinoflagellates and zooplankton. Species diversity increased from 25 to 35 species. Dytilum and Leptocylindrus were blooming and we observed some fun zooplankton species including crustacean nauplii, copepods, rotifers, ciliates, larvaceans, bivalve and polychaete larvae.

Dinophysis, one of the harmful algal bloom species that we routinely monitor, was present, but in lower concentrations. A few Pseudo-nitzschia were also in the mix, but in very small numbers. Noctiluca, a bioluminescing species, was still somewhat common, but not as prevalent as last week. Polykrikos, while very common last week, was entirely absent this week. It's fascinating how quickly the composition can change in such a short time.

Join us next week to collect more data and discover what's blooming in Budd!


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 Port Plaza
Dock Date:
August 17, 2017
Vertical Net Tow Depth: 3 meters
Dominant Species:
Common Species:
Leptocylindrus, Cylindrotheca, Chaetoceros, Rotifers
# of Species Observed: 35
Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) species: Dinophysis and Pseudo-nitzchia
# of HABs per drop:
Dinophysis: 12 cells or 71 cells/L; PN: 8 cells or 48 cells/L.

See the Data

2017 Raw Data (Excel file)

2016 Raw Data (Excel file)

2015 Raw Data (Excel file)

2014 Raw Data (Excel file)

2013 Raw Data (Excel file)

2013 Final Report (PDF)

2014 Final Report (PDF)