MERS Marine Mammal Naturalist Courses




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)

Registration for the 2020 MERS Courses is now open (click to register):

If you have any questions, please contact .

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:  Social Dinner 

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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