SEA began to offer programming in 2006 as a collaborative effort by partners with a shared vision. The work rapidly evolved, and SEA registered as a Washington State nonprofit corporation in 2008.

Since 2006, SEA has led 60 educational and research voyages, serving 2,000 students and teachers. In 2009, SEA received a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) grant, in partnership with Edmonds Community College, to offer professional development workshops to educators through NOAA’s B-WET Program. In late 2009, SEA delivered six marine-based professional development workshops to 68 staff from across Washington state.

SEA’s roots extend much further back than 2006, building on the experience and networks built by SEA’s Directors over the past two decades. Since 1992, SEA’s Directors have:

  • Served over 15,000 students and teachers (2,000 with SEA)
  • Guided over 69,000 volunteer-hours
  • Coordinated the removal of 100,000 pounds of invasive species and 22,500 pounds of garbage
  • Overseen the improvement of 1,500 miles of trails
  • Traveled over 42,000 miles with students and teachers aboard boats
  • Managed over $4 million of grant-funded education and service programs

SEA’s Founding Co-Directors: Chris Burt, MEd, is a certificated instructor for the State of Washington. Chris brings 10 years of classroom instruction and four years of educational nonprofit administration experience to his work. He holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and a US Coast Guard Master’s License. He currently serves as adjunct faculty for Lesley University and as an academic mentor for Western Governor’s University.

Susie Richards, MEd, is a Washington State Certified Teacher who has worked in the middle school setting for the past 15 years. She has served as a program director for a wide range of educational programs. She is a fellow in the Washington State Consortium for Contextual Teaching and Learning and currently serves as an academic mentor with Western Governor’s University and instructs for Heritage Institute / Antioch University’s extension programs. She holds a master’s degree in education from Antioch University with a focus in community-based education.

Chris and Susie have worked in supporting and creating ongoing community- and school-based collaborative educational partnerships for more than 16 years, designing and implementing more than 100 marine expeditions. They are both experienced in grant writing and assisting in the development of dynamic community partnerships.


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