Marco Hatch is an Associate Professor of Environmental Science at Western Washington University and is a member of the Samish Indian Nation. As a marine ecologist, he helps Native American students gain greater access to STEM opportunities while respecting coast Salish tribal people, landscapes, and seascapes. Dr. Hatch’s work includes helping Native American students make the transition to graduate school in the geosciences, specifically connecting Northwest Indian College students to Western’s Huxley College of the Environment. His work focuses on a partnership between NWIC and Western called Partnerships in Geoscience Education, funded by a five-year $1.65 million National Science Foundation grant. This partnership also provides funding for NWIC graduates to pursue a master’s degree in Environmental Science.
At WWU he has created a wonderfully diverse lab charged with preparing the next generation of environmental scientists and leaders through fostering respect for Indigenous knowledge and providing students with a solid background in scientific methods. His research focuses on the nexus of people and marine ecology, centered on Indigenous marine management.
Dr. Hatch is also involved in a developmental model called the Coastal Almanac that will put in place a structure for Pacific Northwest coastal communities and tribal nations to collect, analyze, and archive data to help answer scientific questions important to them. Dr. Hatch is also a mentor for the SACNAS club at Western as well as a mentor for NASU (Native American Student Union). Prior to his work at Western Washington University, Dr. Hatch served as the Director of the Salish Sea Research Center at Northwest Indian College.