Whatcom Community College was recently awarded its first grant from National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The $100,000 grant will support the project “Situating Ourselves in the Salish Sea: Using Experiential Learning and Storytelling to Inspire Critical Thinking about Place.”
The grant funds will allow Whatcom to support digital mapping technology to explore and examine the cultural heritage of the Salish Sea. Students, faculty, and the community will benefit from the project via new cross-discipline Salish Sea courses and the development of digital story maps. The digital maps will be available to the public for free and the new courses will prepare students for Western Washington University’s recently approved Salish Sea Studies minor.
“We are especially enthusiastic about immersing students in place-based learning techniques that help them to make sense of their surroundings,” project director and WCC history faculty Anna Booker said in a press release. “Faculty from WWU and WCC will co-lead field trips in and around the Salish Sea, including an overnight on San Juan Island, with opportunities to engage in service-learning projects and to connect with indigenous communities and policymakers in both Canada and the U.S.”
The competitive grant awarded to WCC is one of 188 awards totaling $30.9 million dollars dispersed throughout the country intended to support research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. The College’s Salish Sea project was also highlighted in a recent New York Times article. That article can be viewed here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/14/arts/national-endowment-humanities-grants.html?utm_source=News+Links&utm_campaign=3d9bee0781-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_01_14_10_45&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_00ca13d707-3d9bee0781-435281957