We believe that education leads to stewardship.

The mission of the Salish Sea Association of Marine Naturalists (SSAMN) is: “To promote education and stewardship of the Salish Sea ecosystem through a network of professional naturalists”. Our success is measured by our progress toward accomplishing our vision: “Visitors and residents of the Salish Sea have quality educational experiences that motivate them to active stewardship”. SSAMN was an idea started by a group of dedicated naturalists in Friday Harbor, WA in 2007. The group officially launched on November 7, 2008.

SSAMN is a professional association of marine naturalists within the Salish Sea. Our members are both naturalists and aspiring naturalists from the United States, Canada and all over the world. Join now!

Who are SSAMN Naturalists?

We’re everyday people who are interested in protecting the Salish Sea marine ecosystem.

Members of the Salish Sea Association of Marine Naturalists come from many walks of life. Some are professional naturalists working on boats, or from shore. Some members are just people who enjoy nature or are interested in the preservation of our environment. Members may also be scientists, researchers, doctors, or environmentalists. Marine naturalists are on the water, along with the shores, observing our environment and the creatures that inhabit it. Many times, naturalists are the first to observe additions or changes to our wildlife populations. With a strong knowledge of the Salish Sea and its inhabitants, SSAMN naturalists believe that only by educating visitors to our area are we able to save it for future generations.

SSAMN Stream Podcast

In the fall of 2021, TWM’s Education Department launched an exciting monthly podcast series featuring experts talking about topics and facts related to the marine animals that call the Salish Sea home. Topics range from the small (plankton) to the large (whales) and everything in-between, including our iconic salmon and orcas! You can check out several of these episodes at For access to the most recent episodes, along with additional benefits, become a SSAMN member.

SSAMN recommendations for ongoing membership:

  1. Members complete at least 10 hours per year of continuing education per year. This can be accomplished by attending naturalist workshops, The Whale Museum’s Summer Lecture Series, Orca Network’s Ways of Whales workshops, American Cetacean Society’s Speaker Series, equivalent events in Canada, or other lectures/events pertaining to the marine naturalist field.
  2. Members give back to their community by completing at least 10 hours per year of volunteer work. This can be accomplished by volunteering as a docent for The Whale Museum, volunteering for Wolf Hollow or another wildlife rehabilitation center, volunteering as a naturalist for Orca Network or The Whale Museum on board the Washington State Ferries, volunteering at presentations or events offered by a conservation group, or other volunteer work pertaining to the marine naturalist field.

SSAMN volunteer outreach projects and continuing education have included

  • Sound watch volunteers
  • Beach Watchers
  • Whale Museum naturalist workshops
  • Ways Of Whales workshops
  • Free Lolita campaign
  • Volunteer Docents at Lime Kiln and West Side Preserve
  • Parks Canada Interpreters
  • Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre
  • Washington State Ferries Naturalist
  • Killer Whale Tales
  • Marine Mammal Stranding Networks
  • SeaDoc Society Online Training Course


You’ll receive:

  • Membership Notebook (downloadable PDF) filled with species information on Salish Sea wildlife.
  • Access to exclusive Orca Action Guides.
  • Members Only content on our website which includes new and updated pages for your notebook and a research library.
  • Discount code for 10% off all merchandise during your membership, including our wide selection of books! 

Members have completed The Whale Museum’s Marine Naturalist Training Program or equivalent (WSU Beachwatchers, WSU Kitsap Beach Naturalists, WSU Kitsap Salmon Docents, WSU Kitsap Stream Stewards, U Victoria Naturalist Course), Vashon Nature Center Beach Naturalistsor have been working as paid or volunteer naturalists within the Salish Sea for at least one year.

Associate Members have not completed the member requirements, but have the desire to work as naturalists and are interested in continuing education and sharing information. Associate members are can upgrade to full members once they have worked for one year.

Please select Renewal to renew your SSAMN membership.

Sign In

Already an SSAMN Member? Sign in below to access your account.

For more information on SSAMN membership please contact our Education Curator at 360-378-4710 ext. 23 or email us at

Want to get involved, stay informed and be engaged?