WSAS member expertise contributes to scientific and technical analyses of major issues facing Washington State. Examples include the Puget Sound and other critical ecosystems; impacts of climate change including ocean acidification; sustainable natural resource management of forests, fisheries, wildlife, soils, minerals, and water; transportation; health and wellness; food security and safety; energy; and STEM education at the K-12 level and in higher education.
Members are state residents who are elected to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and those elected directly to the WSAS by their peers.
Members select an annual slate of candidates for new membership from an open nominations process. Candidates are selected by committees of each of five sections, reviewed by an academy-wide membership committee, and subsequently approved by the Board of Directors.
Members are elected into one of five disciplinary sections. New members designate a primary discipline in their section and a secondary discipline, which may be in another section.
Section 1. Physical and Mathematical Sciences
All fundamental physical and mathematical sciences: astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology; atmospheric and ocean science; chemistry; geoscience; materials science; pure and applied mathematics; physics; and statistics.
Section 2. Engineering and Technology
All branches of engineering and technology: advanced manufacturing; aerospace; biological engineering and technology; chemical; civil and environmental; computer information and science; electrical; energy; industrial and systems engineering; materials; mechanical; nanotechnology; and nuclear.
Section 3. Biological Sciences
Basic and applied biological sciences from molecular to populations to ecosystems perspectives: agriculture; animal; aquatic and marine sciences; biochemistry; ecology; environmental sciences; evolutionary biology; genomics; microbial; plant; and soil.
Section 4. Health Sciences
The full spectrum of health care, including: basic and clinical biomedical research; dentistry; health services and economics; healthcare education; medicine; mental health; nursing; nutritional sciences; pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences; public health; and veterinary medicine.
Section 5. Social and Behavioral Sciences
Basic and applied scientific studies in: anthropology; criminal justice; demography; economics; education; management science; political science; psychological and cognitive science; social work; and sociology.