The Northwest Indian College‘s new $2.2 million Salish Sea Research Center will be fully operational by July 1, according to an announcement from the college.
The facility, located on NWIC’s main Lummi Reservation campus, will support an array of research programs and areas of study, including the college’s Bachelor of Science in Native Environmental Science program. The 4,200-square-foot building includes five main laboratories, a biology room, a wet lab, a live lab, an ecology room and an analytical chemistry room.
“The Salish Sea Research Center provides our students the opportunity to work with faculty to engage in research projects and develop their science and technical skills,” NWIC President Justin Guillory said, in a press release. “Of course, the building itself is great, but the learning that will occur inside the building is where our mission as a tribal college comes alive. New buildings help us build more students.”
Research already planned for the facility includes an examination of Bellingham Bay nutrient and oxygen dynamics, which is going on its seventh field season this year. That project is being done in partnership with Western Washington University and Washington State University’s Whatcom County Extension.
Also, in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and Lummi Natural Resources, NWIC researchers have begun a project examining the dynamics of red tides.
The Salish Sea Research Center was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation and by NWIC’s $44 million capital campaign, which has led to significant growth at NWIC in recent years.
Since 2005, eight new buildings have been constructed on the college’s main campus alone and two more buildings will open within a year as a result of campaign contributions.