Upcoming Events

    • 27 Mar 2020
    • 10:00 AM
    • 29 Mar 2020
    • 4:30 PM
    • The Upper Hatch, Tofino Resort & Marina, 634 Campbell St, Tofino
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    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. It is not possible to only attend part of the course. Completion is recognized with a certificate of participation.

    Cost: $300 per person ($200 non-refundable)

    Location:  The Upper Hatch, Tofino Resort & Marina, 634 Campbell St, Tofino

    Social Dinner: Join the MERS Team for dinner on Saturday night. Get a chance to chat with the MERS team and fellow course participants. Details will be emailed at a later time.

    If you have any questions, please contact info@mersociety.org

    Instructors: Wendy Szaniszlo, Christie McMillan, Jackie Hildering 

    Schedule (note that there may be adjustments made in the order that content is delivered): 

    Workshop Day 1 

    10 to 5:30 (2 x 15 minute breaks and a 1 hour lunch break) 

    • Introductions
    • Marine Biodiversity of BC - from plankton to giants
    • 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)

      Day 2

      9:00 to 5:30 (2 x 15 minute breaks and a 1 hour lunch break) 

      • 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
      Optional activity for Tofino:  Dinner - details will be emailed. 

      Day 3

      9:00 to 4:30 (2 x 15 minute breaks and a 1 hour lunch break)

      • Sea Otters - natural history and conservation concerns
      • Identifying Marine Mammals in the Field
      • Man vs. Marine Mammal - summary of the complex human history with marine mammals
      • Interpretation role play 
      • Feedback and presentation of certificates


      • 28 Mar 2020
      • 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
      • The Upper Hatch, Tofino Resort & Marina, Tofino
      • 26
      Register

      **For Tofino Naturalist Course participants only.**

      We will having an evening of food, drinks, mingling and  . . . marine life swag. 

      That’s right, marine life swag. We know you have it - t-shirts, socks, jewelry, hats and even undergarments and pyjamas adorned with whales, octopuses, kelp, fish, ETC! Prizes to be won!

      Starting at 6:30 pm (and hour after the course ends for the day), in the same location as the course - the Upper Hatch at Tofino Resort and Marina. 

      Cost includes tax and gratuity. It is a share-style dinner including salads and pizzas. Drinks are not included but a full service bar will be open.

      Reserve your spot now, as space is limited (Registration ends February 24th). Event is only for those attending the course. 





      • 22 May 2020
      • 10:00 AM
      • 24 May 2020
      • 4:30 PM
      • Maritime Heritage Centre (621 Island Highway), Campbell River
      • 36
      Register

      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. It is not possible to only attend part of the course. Completion is recognized with a certificate of participation.

      Cost: $300 per person ($200 non-refundable)

      Location:  Maritime Heritage Centre (621 Island Highway), Campbell River

      Social Dinner: Join the MERS Team for a themed dinner (theme TBD) on Saturday night. Get a chance to chat with the MERS team and fellow course participants. Details will be emailed at a later time.

      If you have any questions, please contact info@mersociety.org

      Instructors: Christie McMillan, Jackie Hildering and additional MERS team members to be finalized.

      Schedule (note that there may be adjustments made in the order that content is delivered): 

      Workshop Day 1 

      10 to 5:30 (2 x 15 minute breaks and a 1 hour lunch break) 

      • Introductions
      • Marine Biodiversity of BC - from plankton to giants
      • 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)

        Day 2

        9:00 to 5:30 (2 x 15 minute breaks and a 1 hour lunch break) 

        • 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
        Optional activity for Campbell River:  Dinner - details will be emailed. 

        Day 3

        9:00 to 4:30 (2 x 15 minute breaks and a 1 hour lunch break)

        • Sea Otters - natural history and conservation concerns
        • Identifying Marine Mammals in the Field
        • Man vs. Marine Mammal - summary of the complex human history with marine mammals
        • Interpretation role play 
        • Feedback and presentation of certificates


        • 5 Jun 2020
        • 10:00 AM
        • 7 Jun 2020
        • 4:30 PM
        • Gatehouse Theatre (1705 Campbell Way), Port McNeill
        • 49
        Register

        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. It is not possible to only attend part of the course. Completion is recognized with a certificate of participation.

        Cost: $300 per person ($200 non-refundable)

        Location:  Gatehouse Theatre (1705 Campbell Way), Port McNeill

        Social Dinner: Join the MERS Team for a themed dinner (theme TBD) on Saturday night. Get a chance to chat with the MERS team and fellow course participants. Details will be emailed at a later time.

        If you have any questions, please contact info@mersociety.org

        Instructors: Christie McMillan, Jackie Hildering and additional MERS team members to be finalized.

        Schedule (note that there may be adjustments made in the order that content is delivered): 

        Workshop Day 1 

        10 to 5:30 (2 x 15 minute breaks and a 1 hour lunch break) 

        • Introductions
        • Marine Biodiversity of BC - from plankton to giants
        • 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)

        Day 2

        9:00 to 5:30 (2 x 15 minute breaks and a 1 hour lunch break) 

        • 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
        Optional activity for Port McNeill:  Dinner - details will be emailed. 

        Day 3

        9:00 to 4:30 (2 x 15 minute breaks and a 1 hour lunch break)

        • Sea Otters - natural history and conservation concerns
        • Identifying Marine Mammals in the Field
        • Man vs. Marine Mammal - summary of the complex human history with marine mammals
        • Interpretation role play 
        • Feedback and presentation of certificates


      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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