Current Research

The BPRI funds research projects in topic areas consistent with its mission. Each autumn, a "Call for Projects" is circulated at WWU, with submissions typically due in late November. Funding decisions are announced at year's end. Additionally, the BPRI entertains proposals involving collaboration between WWU faculty and co-investigators at other institutions.

Environmental Governance of the Salish Sea: A Policy Inventory and Case Study

The health of the Salish Sea is of vital concern to communities on both sides of the Canada - U.S. border. Maintaining safe places to live, work, and play and a healthy ecosystem relies upon our ability to communicate, coordinate, and collaborate across our shared border. This research project, supported in part by the Borders in Globalization project (BIG) is a detailed inventory of the laws, agreements, and policy actors related to environmental governance in the Salish Sea region. The findings of this study are organized into the three following products:

Transboundary energy policy: Documenting the influence of the BC's carbon tax experiment on Washington State's climate policy dialogue

Thomas Webler, a professor in Huxley College, is working with two students to explore how knowlege and experience about carbon policy crosses the border. This research will reveal the policy actors in BC and WA who are engaged in cross-border collaboration and communication, as well as the channels by which that information and experience flow. With a focus on carbon mitigation policies, this project will contribute to an understanding of how policy actors in our region approach climate mitigation.

2015/2016 Cross-Border Freight Study

In association with the International Mobility and Trade Corridor Program, BPRI is working with the Whatcom Council of Governments to conduct a commercial vehicle study at all of our regional commercial crossings. This project has commenced and will continue throughout the summer of 2016. Completion of this study will continue a regionally important time series of cross-border freight data adding a 2015 sample to similar studies conducted in 2009 and 2000. Findings will inform evaluation of investements and policy making; especially regarding east-west links between alternate cross-border routes, impacts of changes in trusted trader program parameters, and scenarios under future legal and regulatory shifts such as adoption of a pre-clearance agreement under the U.S. - Canada Beyond the Border Action Plan.

Borders in Globalization

The Borders in Globalization project (BIG) supports a network of academic partners from Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, to engage with non-academic organizations that are involved in the management of borders and borderlands in Canada and worldwide. Funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada provides funding support for BIG, which is directed by Dr. Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly from the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Salish Seaweeds- A Cross-Border Study of Potential Contaminants on First Nation Traditional/Contemporary Harvesting Beaches

Jennifer Hahn, a Master's student at WWU, is undertaking the largest study ever done on Salish seaweeds. Her results will identify different levels of contaminants in seaweeds frequently harvested and consumed by indigenous populations on both sides of the U.S. - Canada border. Her research will establish the first ever baseline for contaminant levels in Salish seaweeds, contributing to protocols that may help improve the overall health of the ecosystem.