Caroline Gibson Scholarship in Marine Studies

Website: Northwest Straits Foundation


The Caroline Gibson Scholarship in Marine Studies supports the next generation of marine conservation leaders through their applied studies in sustaining a vibrant and healthy Salish Sea.

This scholarship continues Caroline’s passion for community and the Salish Sea. It supports undergraduate marine conservationists with a twinkle in their eye and a drive to make a difference in marine conservation. The Caroline Gibson Scholarship in Marine Studies will help them along the way. Just as she’s done for all of us and our work.


Undergraduate or graduate students in the Puget Sound region.

Student Type
  • freshman
  • sophomore
  • junior
  • senior
  • graduate
Citizen Type
  • US Citizen
  • Permanent Resident
  • International or Other Visa Status
  • Undocumented

Please submit a completed application comprised of the essay questions and supporting details listed below:

  1. Your name, mailing address, phone and email.
  2. Education information: university attending; degree program and major; anticipated graduation; and, why you chose this school or program.
  3. Tell us what makes you a good candidate for this scholarship.
    1. Essay 1: What is the most important environmental issue facing the Salish Sea today? (500 – 1000 words)
    2. Essay 2: How do you hope to be involved in marine conservation as a result of your studies? (500 – 1000 words)
    3. Essay 3: Please describe a marine or terrestrial conservation project you’ve been involved in and how it was successful. (250 - 500 words)
  4. Please provide three references with at least one being academic. Include name, title, address, email and phone.

Email your completed application to titled “Caroline Gibson Scholarship Application.”


Caroline Gibson devoted the bulk of her career to the protection and restoration of Puget Sound and the Salish Sea. While she worked on numerous projects of importance, one of her greatest contributions was raising attention to kelp (particularly bull kelp) and creating a monitoring network to greatly expand availability of data for its coverage.

Her amazing ability to bring people together, enthusiastically share a vision and increase collaboration among scientists and volunteers was critical to the protection and restoration of the Salish Sea. Caroline created the International Salish Sea Kelp Alliance to encourage the sharing of monitoring techniques and data across borders.

Caroline used her knowledge of the fishing industry and strong personal relationships to assist NOAA in leading an effort to engage commercial fishers on methods to prevent the loss of derelict fishing gear. The candid conversations she fostered and insights she gathered have led to improved fishing practices and reduced net loss.

Caroline held extensive experience in the Northwest Straits Initiative and was a leader in community-based conservation efforts. She served as Northwest Straits Foundation Executive Director, Northwest Straits Commission Marine Program Manager and Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee member.

Prior to joining the Northwest Straits Initiative, Caroline spent more than a decade providing management and administrative leadership on U.S. regional and national marine conservation, policy, research, and development projects.

Working with Caroline was uplifting and inspiring. She brought a spirit of innovation, hopefulness and problem solving to all challenges. Caroline saw and implemented solutions by believing in the power of partnerships and people. The Salish Sea is a better place because of Caroline Gibson. The Caroline Gibson Scholarship Fund supports the next generation of marine conservation leaders and continues her passion for the Salish Sea.

Contact Information

You may email with questions about the scholarship application.
Please allow one-to-two days for a response.