About This Project

For the first-ever book on the Fishes of the Salish Sea, to be published by the University of Washington Press, I am asking for support to complete the artwork required to make publication possible. My artist is Joseph R. Tomelleri, arguably one of the most skillful and dedicated artists of natural history of the 20th and 21st centuries, committed to technically accurate portrayal of fishes in their living colors.

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What is the context of this research?

As part of a current effort to restore the Salish Sea, a 16,925 km2 inland waterway shared by Washington State and British Columbia, which includes Puget Sound and the straits of Georgia and Juan de Fuca, a definitive, well-illustrated synopsis of the fishes that inhabit this marine ecosystem is badly needed. Nothing now exists. The last compilation—nothing more than a list of species, without illustrations—was published more than three decades ago. Since that time, the ichthyofauna has increased by nearly 15%. My goal is to produce an overview of the biology of all 253 recognized species found in Salish Sea waters that will not only be scientifically accurate and complete, but also beautiful.

What is the significance of this project?

Your contributions will help to fill a void in the popular, semi-popular, educational, and scientific literature of the Pacific Northwest that can be used by numerous, diverse constituents, from students and teachers at all educational levels to ichthyologists, fishery biologists, environmental consultants, conservationists, fishers, aquarists, and amateur naturalists. It will serve as a foundation for determining the occurrence of new forms and perhaps the disappearance of others, enabling the selection of species as indicators of ecosystem health, and also providing a basis for identifying the mechanisms responsible for marine animal declines. Directly or indirect, publication of this book cannot help but benefit the Salish community and the Pacific Northwest as a whole.

What are the goals of the project?

Over the past few years, I have raised over $40,000 from various sources, never in large amounts, all to pay Joe Tomelleri, but now I am out of funds. Joe is not only the very best artist anyone could ever find, he is also generous—he does not charge exorbitantly for his work. We are almost there—with 206 drawings completed, there are now 47 left to do, and for this I need only $8,695. All of this money will be given to Joe once he completes the work.


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The funds will be used solely to pay artist Joe Tomelleri

Meet the Team

Theodore W. Pietsch
Theodore W. Pietsch

Team Bio

Ted Pietsch is Dorothy T. Gilbert Professor in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, and Curator of Fishes at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Washington. He has published more than 200 articles, including a dozen books, primarily in marine ichthyology, especially the biosystematics, zoogeography, and behavior of deep-sea fishes, but his interests and experiences go well beyond, to include biotic survey and inventory of whole floras and faunas. He has also published extensively in the history of science. His full CV is available at http://faculty.washington.edu/twp. See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_W._Pietsch

Lab Notes

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Additional Information

Project Backers

  • 29Backers
  • 26%Funded
  • $2,190Total Donations
  • $75.52Average Donation
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