mers marine education research society participants dfo mers marine mammal response workshop

Participants DFO / MERS Marine Mammal Response Workshop ©MERS

Courses & Events

Learn, engage, create change

Educating for conservation

Through engaging, science-based presentations and courses we build community, and enable others to educate and create positive change. We aim to increase understanding of the importance of BC’s marine environment and biodiversity; how marine mammals are indicators of environmental health and human values; and how to reduce threats to their wellbeing.

See below for upcoming and recorded presentations and webinars.
Our Marine Mammal Naturalist Course instructors have years of experience in marine mammal research and education. Our courses are provided so that others can better inform and inspire marine conservation through an in-depth understanding of marine mammals on BC’s coast. Register for a course or sign up for course alerts below.

See a Blow? Go Slow!

Whale-safe Boater Course

We are currently developing an online Whale-safe Boating Course for recreational boaters who paddle, sail or motor off the coast of British Columbia. This course is supported by Transport Canada's Boater Safety Contribution Program. Please sign up now for course alerts to help increase safe and legal vessel operation around marine mammals.

Sign Up Here
see a blow go slow

Upcoming Events

  • Celebrate MERS and Planet Earth III – Online Event

    April 21, 2024

    7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

    Online

    Cost: by donation

    Learn more

    Join us online on April 21st at 7:30pm to get a behind-the-scenes look at our work with the BBC for Planet Earth III and dive deeper into the concepts explored in the MERS segment including trap-feeding, the “Whale Pump”, and the Humpback Comeback. 

    Along with our main Humpback Researchers, Jackie Hildering and Christie McMillan, we will be joined this evening by special guests, including three of the incredible...

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  • Celebrate MERS and Planet Earth III in Port McNeill

    April 28, 2024

    2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

    Gate House Theatre, 1705 Campbell Way, Port McNeill, BC

    Cost: by donation

    Learn more

    Join us MERS team members Jackie and Christie on April 28th at 2pm at the Gate House Theatre to get a behind-the-scenes look at our work with the BBC for Planet Earth III and dive deeper into the concepts explored in the MERS segment including trap-feeding, the “Whale Pump”, and the Humpback Comeback. 

    We want to share this moment with our home community and contribute...

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  • Marine Mammal Naturalist Course

    April 13, 2024 - April 16, 2024

    9:00 am - 5:00 pm

    Nanaimo - Vancouver Island University

    Cost: $625

    Learn more

    MARINE MAMMAL NATURALIST COURSE REGISTRATION FULL - Join Waitlist
    IGA 1-day Apprentice Interpreter Course - Spaces still available

    The aim of the course is to enable others to inform and inspire marine mammal conservation. This is intensive, crash training for those working as whale watch naturalists, kayak guides, park staff, or others interested in helping with marine conservation through gaining a deeper knowledge of BC's marine mammals. This...

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  • Marine Mammal Naturalist Course

    May 24, 2024 - May 27, 2024

    9:00 am - 5:00 pm

    Campbell River - Maritime Heritage Centre

    Cost: $625

    Learn more

    MARINE MAMMAL NATURALIST COURSE REGISTRATION FULL - Join Waitlist
    IGA 1-day Apprentice Interpreter Course - Spaces still available

    The aim of the course is to enable others to inform and inspire marine mammal conservation. This is intensive, crash training for those working as whale watch naturalists, kayak guides, park staff, or others interested in helping with marine conservation through gaining a deeper knowledge of BC's marine mammals. This is a 4-day...

    --> Learn more
  • MERS Annual Auction

    May 2, 2024 - May 5, 2024

    12:00 pm - 7:00 pm

    Online

    Learn more

    The 2024 MERS Annual Auction will run from May 2 at 12pm-May 5 at 7pm!

    We are so grateful for the donors of these incredible items and all the bidders! We strive to fill our auction with sustainable, locally-made, and marine / conservation-themed items that align with our conservation and sustainability principles.

    Each year this auction provides...

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Ways to attend our presentations

  • Join a scheduled presentation or webinar. Stay alerted by following us on social media, signing up for our newsletter or joining our presentation alert list.
  • Access one of our recorded webinars. See presentation descriptions and links below for available recorded webinars.
  • Request a presentation or webinar. Please do so by filling in the request form.
mers marine education research society workshop with people from Pauquachin Nation

Workshop with the Pauquachin Nation

Recorded Webinars

  • Ocean Voices

    Webinar for the Blue Marine Foundation about our education campaign. Science and art speaking for the importance of reducing ocean noise.

  • Humpback Whale Diet Composition

    Learn about the research on Humpback Whale diet composition in the northern Strait of Georgia by our Research Associate, Joan Moreaux, at the 2023 UBC Marine Mammal Symposium.

  • Assessing Boater Knowledge

    Learn about our work on assessing boater knowledge of marine mammals to improve education and outreach - presented by Caitlin Birdsall, MERS Director of Development, at the 2023 UBC Marine Mammal Symposium.

  • Are we too close for comfort?

    Learn about the research on motorized vessel behaviour and compliance to Marine Mammal Regulations on NE Vancouver Island by our Research Associate, Ali Gladwell, at the 2023 UBC Marine Mammal Symposium.

  • Canadian Pacific Humpback Collaboration

    Learn more about the Canadian Pacific Humpback Collaboration (CPHC) - presented by Nicole Doe, MERS Director of Operations and CPHC Coordinator, at the 2023 UBC Marine Mammal Symposium.

  • Basking Shark

    All about endangered Basking Sharks and how they belong off the coast of BC, featuring shark scientist and friend, Romney McPhie.

  • Nudibranches & Other Sensational Sea Slugs

    The Marine Detective, Jackie Hildering, shares her photos and conservation messaging about British Columbian sea slug species. Aimed for all ages.

  • Boaters and Marine Mammals – Safety and Stewardship

    Increase your knowledge as a watercraft user on Marine Mammal Regulations and best practices of vessel operation around marine mammals.

  • The Return of Giants

    Learn about our Humpback research, boater and whale safety, and the importance of citizen science to whale research and conservation.

  • Ethical Advertising & Social Sharing

    A workshop on ethical advertising and social sharing practices, in partnership with the NIMMSA and Tourism Vancouver Island.

  • Ocean Voices: Important of Sound of Cetaceans

    Learn from experts about the importance of sound to marine mammals and how to reduce human-made noise pollution.

  • All Together Now – MERS Collaborations

    Who are the whales? What do they eat? How to reduce noise, entanglement and collision? Learn more from MERS Research Associates and Collaborators.

Support MERS

We expand our reach through building community. Join us! There are many ways you can get involved. Participate in events. Help educate. Become a donor. Contribute data. Use the Whale Warning Flag and model best boating practices around marine mammals. Sponsor a Humpback Whale. Purchase sustainable goods from the Ocean Store. 

Join us to help the whales, and the ocean they depend on.

mers marine education research society whale guardian bcz0408 lunge feeding seagulls above

Guardian (BCZ0408) lunge-feeding ©MERS, MML-42