As an islands-based scientific organization run by islanders—professional scientists, students, and volunteers—Kwiáht is uniquely situated to help islanders find a healthy balance between people, plants and wildlife.

Kwiáht inventories and maps our living treasures from seabirds to salamanders, and from butterflies to bats. Our growing knowledge base depends on reports and specimens from islanders, young and old, as well as our own scientific studies. The monitoring network takes the pulse of rare and sensitive species such as salmon, seahorses and native wildflowers. Kwiáht also uses the tools of geology and archaeology to explore the islands’ ecological past. Kwiáht’s databases, collections and plant diversity bank comprise the islands’ memory of ecosystem richness and change.

Kwiáht scientists also spend hundreds of hours each year in local schools stimulating the curiosity of young islanders by providing hands-on adventures in science, and, at the high school and college level, paid internships. We provide employment for young islanders
returning with science degrees. A majority of our interns and young scientists are women.

With a large volunteer base and commitment to local conservation, Kwiáht can carry out research for a fraction of the cost of university-based programs, and spends less than five percent on administration. Competitive research grants are short-term, however. Without secure long-term financial support, it will be increasingly difficult for Kwiáht to maintain its living collections, its ecosystem monitoring stations, and its school programs. Help us preserve the living legacy of island wildlife and plants for future generations of
islanders! Consider a legacy gift to help us endow and sustain the Friday Harbor Marine Health Observatory, the Islands Plant Diversity Bank, Amphibian Watch, Bats & Barns, or internships in biochemistry, toxicology, and genetics for Orcas youth.

Kwiáht is a 501 (C) (3) nonprofit Washington State corporation. Donations are tax-deductible.

To learn more, please visit or email us at

*Kwiáht means “a clean place” in the Native American language of the Central Sound, and is pronounced “kwee-AHT”.


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