Upcoming Events

    • 1 Oct 2020
    • 10:00 AM (PDT)
    • 30 Nov 2020
    • 4:30 PM (PST)
    • Maritime Heritage Centre (621 Island Highway), Campbell River
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    In light of the need for continued caution, social solidarity, and doing our part to limit the spread of COVID-19, we have postponed the Marine Naturalist Courses we had scheduled for March, May and June of this year. The registrants for these course have been contacted with next steps which includes the options of being signed on for a potential October or November 2020 Course in Campbell River; and/or to be among the first to have access to spots for Spring 2021 Courses. If you wish to be added to the waiting list for this potential Fall Course in Campbell River, please click “Join Waitlist” on this page (no payment needed).  The course dates will be confirmed at a later date.

    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.

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

    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

    • 3 Oct 2020
    • 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM (PDT)
    • Port McNeill, BC
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    Whales. Researchers. You?

    Bill and Donna Mackay, of Mackay Whale Watching are again making this trip possible, providing us with this very important fundraising opportunity and the chance to share our research in person with you. For an idea of the wildlife seen in October around NE Vancouver Island, please see the slideshow below. 

    At this time, registration is only available to those who have previously attended MERS Fundraising trips (please use the registration code provided in the email of March 5th). Check back after May for updates on registration. We will collect names for a waiting list in case there is still space for additional participants.  Please email us if you would like your name put on the waiting list. 

    The trip will be from 9:00 am to ~4:30 pm.  Cost per person is $225 and includes lunch, also sponsored by Mackay Whale Watching.

    Check in will be at the Mackay Whale Watching office between 8:30 and 8:45 am (1514 Broughton Boulevard) and then we will proceed to the Naiad Explorer which is moored near the gas dock. See www.whaletime.com for photos of the Naiad and further details about Mackay Whale Watching. 

    Maximum group size will be 38 supporters + crew + MERS researchers  = 42 total.

    Trip tips:
    Please bring your own water bottle. 
    Dress in layers. 
    Bring binoculars. 


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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