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Services for the U.S. West Coast

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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.

What a beautiful Fall day for collecting plankton at the dock. A big thank you to long time volunteer, Roberta, and naturalists extraordinaire, Janet and Glen, for joining us to discover what's blooming in Budd. Today's dominant species included dinoflagellates Akashiwo sanguinea, Ceratium fusus, two species of Prorocentrum, and Noctiluca. The harmful algal bloom (HAB) species, Dinophysis and Pseudo-nitzschia, were still quite common, but less prevalent than last week. While the surface temperatures were slightly cooler, the water remained stratified favoring dinoflagellate species. We'll see how this changes next week with the expected rainfall over the weekend.

Zooplankton were plentiful. We observed polychaete larvae, bivalve larvae, tintinnids, barnacle nauplii, larvaceans, copepods, rotifers, and tiarina.

This week's phytoplankton image includes Akashiwo sanguinea (3 cells), Ceratium fusus (4 cells) and one Prorocentrum gracile.

Come join us next week for our final sampling day of the season.


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:
September 14, 2017
Vertical Net Tow Depth: 3 meters
Dominant Species:
Akashiwo sanguinea, Ceratium fusus
Common Species:
Prorocentrum spp., Noctiluca, Cylindrotheca
# of Species Observed: 33
Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) species: Dinophysis, Pseudo-nitzchia
# of HABs per drop:
Dinophysis: 19 cells or 113 cells/L; PN:184 cells or 1,095 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)