Bellevue College made a determination to delve deeper into topics surrounding salmon – sourcing, sustainability, and production – with its RISE Learning Institute retreat, which offered faculty the chance to better understand salmon.

The retreat took place last weekend, June 15 and 16, and included trips to the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, Zackuse Creek to learn from the Snoqualmie Tribe, the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center, Pike Place Fish Market, and Etta’s Restaurant. Curated programming was offered by legal experts, Washington Fish and Wildlife Police, Two If By SeaFoods, the UW Superfund Research Program, and concluded with a reflection facilitated by UW EarthLab.

“Salmon are so local and emblematic of the Pacific Northwest, and yet they’re something people know so little about,” said Sapan Parekh, associate director of the RISE Learning Institute. “Salmon as a topic is applicable to numerous areas of study and interest, and we wanted to make the immersion interesting to as many people as possible.”

The faculty learned about the various relationships between salmon and the people of Washington, from Native tribes to government and business owners.

“It made an impact on me personally,” said Krista Capodanno, English Learning Institute teaching faculty member. “I was able to learn directly from people in the community who make it their life’s work to support the salmon, a symbol of the area in which we live and work. I’m excited to pass this information on to my students and encourage them to think differently about something often taken for granted in our community.”