Interviews with COASSTers

In January 2024 we announced a new project at COASST – developing a user friendly beached marine mammal guide to match our beached bird guides. (You can read more about the project here!)

In Phase One of the project, Dr. Jaime Snyder traveled all over Washington to document COASSTers in their native habitats – from the ocean to the neighborhood pea patch. Interview participants walked with Jaime through outdoor places that have meaning for them, and Jaime documented their conversation and the local geography to learn about how COASSTers see the natural world.

Dr. Jaime Snyder photographing Hood Canal during her interview with Julia.

Because the goal of Phase One is to learn about all potential users of the marine mammal guide, the staff in the COASST offices in Seattle have also recently been interviewed by Jaime. Here are some photos that show what you could expect in an interview:

Executive Director, Dr. Julia Parrish was interviewed near her property in Hood Canal. Here you can see her taking part in the ‘drawing’ portion of walk, where each participant is asked to notate the boundaries of ‘their place’, and interesting locations within that area.

“My favorite part! (drawing)”

Julia Parrish

Jackie (COASST Science Coordinator) and Allie (COASST Participant Coordinator) were also each interviewed in parks near their home neighborhoods in Seattle. Even close to home, there is a lot to see – we couldn’t stop pointing things out!

Jaime will have time for just a few more Phase One interviews this summer, and she will be meeting with COASSTers in communities from Washington to California. Let us know if you are interested in getting involved!

In our next post we hope to share more about the major themes that came out of these conversations. These findings will guide our steps as we begin to plan Phase Two of the guide development project – guide design workshops. We hope to see you there!

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