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History instructor and students present working waterfront research at Bellingham SeaFeast

Post Date:09/27/2016 8:33 a.m.

WCC history instructor Anna Booker and student interns Lucas Robinson (Western Washington University) and Sarah Yates (WCC honors graduate) will present initial research findings regarding Bellingham’s historic working waterfront during the inaugural Bellingham SeaFeast, Sept. 30-Oct. 1 at Squalicum Harbor. 

From 2:30-3:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Squalicum Boathouse, the students and Booker will present a digitized interactive story map titled “Bellingham’s Working Waterfront.” The project utilizes ArcGIS tools to visualize the waterfront’s century of change from a natural shoreline to an engineered landscape. Maps showing the Bellingham tide flats as they existed for most of human history are overlaid with historical plat maps, railroad maps, and geological surveys conveying how the shoreline was reshaped and filled.  Community members will be able to click on the map to view the layers and read the map narrative. Booker, Robinson and Yates will also share their work at a festival education booth from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. the same day. 

The work is partially funded by a BNSF Foundation grant. The ultimate goal is to establish an ongoing research project that students update quarterly with historical photos, oral histories and spatial analysis to tell the story of the Bellingham waterfront’s historic buildings, railway, and shorelines; reveal connections between the built environment and the ecological and demographic trends of the last 160 years; and provide a space for the community to provide input as the City and Port of Bellingham move forward with waterfront redevelopment. 

Bellingham SeaFeast celebrates the community’s maritime heritage, working waterfront, and fishing and seafood industries. For a full list of events, visit bellinghamseafeast.com.

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