The Big Picture

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Click this book to return to the introduction page!

This wiki is a tool for organizing sources of information so you can find them again. Each page contains a very brief synthesis, including links and documents. Each page describes some topic, a part of our human system or a particular place in the landscape. The purpose of the wiki is not to compose and edit authoritative web articles (check out the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound for example) but to organize existing scattered information, and to archive bits of knowledge that might otherwise be lost.

Anyone can add information to an old page, or create a new page. How you place and categorize your information determines how easy it is to find again, and how it integrates with the existing piles of information. Our system of page types helps keep the piles of reasonable size and sorted by type of content.

Our Introduction provides more information about how to use the wiki...

How the Wiki Organizes the Human Universe

Click to explore human systems
In our human systems, the basic building blocks are topics and workgroups.

Any group of people working together is a workgroup. When describing a large hierarchical workgroup, identify the largest entity first, and then provide information about subdivisions only as necessary. It is useful to describe institutions based on what they do and how they function in a network of institutions, rather than just describing mission or authority. We reference and evaluate documents as our sources of information whenever possible. As a workgroup does work, they may add efforts or when efforts generate specific re-usable products we identify resources.

Topics aggregate our ideas about what the universe is and how it works. Topics can be a element or structure, like eelgrass or salmon or it can be a process, like beach sediment dynamics, or it can be an abstract component of human systems, like The Endangered Species Act.

How the Wiki Divide the Salish Sea into Places

Click to explore ecosystems
For the purpose of this wiki, the Salish Sea is built of sites, which are distinct landforms based on regional ecosystem assessments. We have seven. Headwaters, Lowland Watersheds, Floodplains, River Deltas, Beaches, Embayments, and Headlands.

Where ecologically defined units are tool large, too small, or not appropriate we describe places. These places can be physical, like watersheds, or oceanographic sub-basins, or they can be legal, like WRIAs, Action Areas or Counties.
Read more about sites and places...