MERS Marine Mammal Naturalist Course 2022 - Tofino/Ucluelet

  • 7 May 2022
  • 9:00 AM
  • 9 May 2022
  • 5:30 PM
  • TBA
  • 18



Important notice re. COVID:
In compliance with the Provincial Health Officer's orders relevant to our event, all participants (attendees and presenters) must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Participants will need to provide proof of vaccination (e.g. BC Vaccine Card) before entering the venue. For added precaution, participants will be required to wear masks, there will be assigned seating and we are choosing for reduced numbers of participants (i.e. not maximizing the number of people allowed for the venue). 

If a registrant is not able to provide proof of vaccination, registration fees will not be reimbursed.

Registration now open!
If registration is full, please sign up for the waitlist as more spots may become available once a venue is confirmed.

Marine Education and Research Society course on BC's whale species and seals, sea lions, dolphins, porpoises and otters too. 

The aim of this course is to enable more people to inform and inspire marine mammal conservation.  This is intensive, in-classroom only, crash training for those working (or hoping to work) as whale watch naturalists, kayak guides, park staff, or others interested in gaining a deeper knowledge of the natural history and conservation of BC's marine mammals. Please note that attendance for all sessions is mandatory as is completion of an online test. Successfully meeting these criteria will lead to a Certificate of Completion.

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

Cost: $395 per person
($250 non-refundable; remainder refundable up to 2 weeks prior to Course start)

Saturday, May 7: 9 am to 5:30 pm (1 hour lunch break)
Sunday, May 8: 9 am to 5:30 pm (1 hour lunch break)
Monday, May 9: 9 am to 5:30 pm (1 hour lunch break)

Location:  TBA - Tofino or Ucluelet

Instructors: Jackie Hildering, Christie McMillan, Caitlin Birdsall, Leah Thorpe, Wendy Szaniszlo.
See biographies at this link

Assessment: There will be an online test to be completed within 2 weeks of the last day of the Course. Achieving a minimum of 70% and being present for the full Course will lead to a Certificate of Completion.


  • Introductions
  • Marine Biodiversity of BC 
  • Classification of Marine Mammals 
  • BC Killer Whale Populations - natural history and conservation concerns
  • The Value of Being a Marine Mammal Naturalist #1 (includes tips on effective interpretive delivery)
  • Seals and Sea Lions - natural history and conservation concerns
  • Dolphins and Porpoises - natural history and conservation concerns
  • Minke and Fin Whales - natural history and conservation concerns
  • The Return of Giants - MERS research into Humpback Whales
  • Grey Whales - natural history and conservation concerns
  • Sea Otters - natural history and conservation concerns
  • Identifying Marine Mammals in the Field
  • Man vs. Marine Mammal - summary of conservation concerns and solutions

If you have any questions, please contact

All photos on this site provided by and © Jared Towers, Christie McMillan, Jackie Hildering, and Heidi Krajewsky, unless otherwise indicated.
Photos are not to be used without permission.

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