Laurie Trautman, Ph.D., Director
Dr. Laurie Trautman engages in a range of research activities focused on the U.S. – Canada border, particularly in the Washington – British Columbia region. Topics include trade, transportation, security, and human mobility. In addition to working with faculty and students, she collaborates with the private sector and government agencies to advance policy solutions that balance cross-border flows with the need for efficiency and security. Laurie participates in working groups that are actively engaged in the U.S. – Canada relationship, including the International Mobility and Trade Corridor Program and the Canada – U.S. Transportation Border Working Group. She co-chairs the Border Issues working group of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region and was recently appointed to the steering committee for the Cascadia Innovation Corridor. Laurie is currently a Global Fellow with the Woodrow Wilson Center and a Fellow with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.
She holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Oregon, a MSc. from Montana State University, and a BA from Western Washington University in Environmental Economics.
Natalie JK Baloy, Ph.D., Associate Director of Transboundary Initiatives
Natalie is the Associate Director of Transboundary Initiatives, which includes the Border Policy Research Institute, the Center for Canadian-American Studies, and the Salish Sea Institute. She is committed to facilitating place-based learning and connecting across disciplines, borders, and boundaries. Originally from Ohio, Natalie has lived on the Pacific Coast for over ten years. She completed her Masters and PhD in cultural anthropology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, living on Orcas Island while writing her dissertation. From 2014-2016, Dr. Baloy was a postdoctoral fellow with the UC Center for Collaborative Research for an Equitable California. At WWU since 2016, she continues to engage in work related to ethics, colonialism and its ongoing impacts, and regional history and politics.
Don is a Professor Emeritus who retired after 43 years of teaching in the Political Science department at WWU. Don established the BPRI in 2005 and served as the longtime director of both BPRI and the Center for Canadian – American Studies. A native of California, he holds a Ph.D. in political science from The University of British Columbia. Don’s research interests focus on Canadian politics and British Columbia-U.S. transboundary issues. He continues to be involved with the BPRI.
Ruth Musonda, Program Assistant
Having grown up in a coastal California town, Ruth has always felt most at home near the Pacific Ocean and its connected waterways. She studied, worked and played in Vancouver, BC for eight years, and during part of that time she earned a Master’s degree at Regent College. She now enjoys joining her administrative and organizational skills with her deep love for the Salish Sea region. When she isn’t busy helping organize the programs at Canada House, she enjoys swimming, biking and running the lakes, roads and trails in Bellingham and BC’s Lower Mainland.
Erin Dahlman-Oeth, Research Assistant