Event Description

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 course, provided in-person.

Please note that attendance for all sessions is mandatory. Successfully meeting these criteria will lead to a Certificate of Participation.  

**Must be at least 18 years old to attend the course**

Schedule – 4 days:

  • Friday, May 24 to Monday, May 27: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST (1 hour lunch break)

Topics Covered:

  • Marine Biodiversity of BC – from plankton to giants
  • Classification of Marine Mammals
  • The Value of Being a Marine Mammal Naturalist  (includes tips on effective interpretive delivery)
  • Seals and Sea Lions – natural history and conservation concerns
  • BC Killer Whale Populations – natural history and conservation concerns
  • Grey Whales – natural history and conservation concerns
  • Minke and Fin Whales – MERS research, natural history and conservation concerns
  • Dolphins and Porpoises – natural history and conservation concerns
  • The Return of Giants – MERS research into Humpback Whales
  • Sea Otters – natural history and conservation concerns
  • Identifying Marine Mammals in the Field
  • Summary of conservation concerns and solutions

Apprentice Interpreter Course with the Interpretive Guides Association of Canada (IGA)

Take what you have learned in the MERS course and turn it into interpretive materials and programs that engage your audience!  

The Interpretive Guides Association of Canada (IGA) will be holding two 1-day Apprentice Interpreter course (April – Nanaimo, and May – Campbell River) for those interested in obtaining interpretation training. Participants that take BOTH the MERS and IGA course will receive an Apprentice Interpreter Certification w/ Marine Mammal Naturalist Specialty from the IGA. The IGA and MERS courses are hosted separately.


Times (PST):

  • Day 1 – 8:30 am – 5:00 pm (Classroom session)
  • Test – at end of day 1 from 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Course Cost: $185 plus GST. $25 off discount code will be provided to those registered in a MERS marine mammal course.

Register for the IGA Apprentice Interpreter Course at this link.

Course Bursary:

We are offering two bursaries for those who reside in B.C. and have a financial barrier to being able to attend but whose participation will strongly benefit local marine conservation / education. 

    • The bursary covers the cost of the course and a Marine Mammals of British Columbia book (best resource to complement the content of the course) – $658 value.

    • Application deadline: February 15, 2024.

    • Successful applicants will be notified by March 1, 2024. 

Cancellation Policy:

$300 of the course fee is non-refundable. Remaining amount is refundable up to April 26, 2024.
No refunds will be provided for cancellations after April 26, 2024.



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