Upcoming Events

    • 1 May 2019
    • Sidney, BC - Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea

    More info to come...

    • 3 May 2019
    • 10:00 AM
    • 5 May 2019
    • 4:30 PM
    • Campbell River, Marine Heritage Centre
    Join waitlist

    Marine Education and Research Society workshop on BC's whale species and seals, sea lions, dolphins, porpoises and otters too! Intensive 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. Bring sharp pencils and lots of notepaper! A certificate of participation* will be provided to those who attend the full 3-day workshop. Aim of the workshop is to enable more people to inform and inspire marine mammal conservation.

    Cost is $300 per person and, a spot was secured with at $200 deposit (non-refundable).  Final payment of $100 was due March 1st. 

    [Update March 2019Registration for the 2019 MERS Workshops is now closed.  Both workshops are full. It is possible to sign onto the waiting list but please know that there are over 15 people already on the list.]

    Location: Marine Heritage Centre, Campbell River,  
    621 Island Highway - Thulin Room. 

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

    *Regarding certificates: North Island College students and some participating kayak guides will also undergo a written test. 

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

    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

    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 May 2019
      • 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
      • The Riptide Marine Pub, Campbell River
      • 26
      Register

      **For Campbell River Naturalist Workshop participants only.**

      Come join the MERS team and other workshop participants for an evening of food and mingling at the Riptide Pub, 1340 Island Highway (in the mall with Super Store). 

      The event starts at 6:30pm on Friday, May 3rd, after the first workshop day. The cost includes tax and gratuity for one entrée and one side. Drinks and dessert are not included.

      Reserve your spot now, as space is limited. Registration ends Monday, April 22.

      Meal Choices (includes choice of Artisan Green Salad w/ roasted shallot dressing or Cup of Seafood Chowder):

      Vegetarian: Brie & Roasted Garlic Stuffed Mushroom Cap w/ Balsamic Reduction, Chef’s Potato & Seasonal Vegetables

      Meat: Chicken Cordon Bleu w/ Mushroom Alfredo, Chef’s Potato & Seasonal Vegetables

      Seafood: Pistachio Crusted Lingcod w/ Mango Chutney, Wild Rice Pilaf & Seasonal Vegetables




      • 8 May 2019
      • Vancouver, BC - Vancouver Aquarium

      More info to come...

      • 10 May 2019
      • 8:00 PM
      • NADA., 675 E Broadway, Vancouver, BC


      NADA. Presents: The Return of Giants - presentation on Humpback Whales

      Join us May 10th for a presentation on Humpback Whales by Marine Education and Research Society (MERS) researcher Jackie Hildering. MERS is based on NE Vancouver Island with education efforts being coast-wide. 

      In addition to sharing MERS’ research on Humpback feeding strategies and rate of entanglement, Jackie will discuss how the fortunate return of these giants from the brink of extinction necessitates increased boater awareness about avoiding collision, what to do if entanglement is witnessed, and the value of reporting incidents of disturbance. Marine Education and Research Society research includes having documented a novel feeding behaviour of Humpbacks dubbed “trap-feeding” and determining that 50% of Humpbacks feeding off the coast of BC have entanglement scarring. 

      As an educator, cold water diver and underwater photographer, she is known as “The Marine Detective” with on-camera experience including being featured on Animal Planet’s “Wild Obsession” series and in the BBC productions “New threat to Canada's Pacific Humpback Whales?” and “Ingenious Animals”. She has been awarded the Vancouver Aquarium’s MAN Award for Excellence in Aquatic Education (2010) and has been referenced as the standup comic of marine conservation.

      • 31 May 2019
      • 10:00 AM
      • 2 Jun 2019
      • 4:30 PM
      • Port McNeill
      Join waitlist

      Marine Education and Research Society workshop on BC's whale species and seals, sea lions, dolphins, porpoises and otters too! Intensive 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. Bring sharp pencils and lots of notepaper! A certificate of participation* will be provided to those who attend the full 3-day workshop. Aim of the workshop is to enable more people to inform and inspire marine mammal conservation.

      [Update March 2019Registration for the 2019 MERS Workshops is now closed.  Both Workshops are full. It is possible to sign onto the waiting list but please know that there are over 15 people already on the list.]

      Cost: $300 per person. A spot was secured with at $200 deposit (non-refundable).  Final payment of $100 was due March 1st.  

      Location:  Location: Gatehouse Theatre, 1705 Campbell Way.  

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

        *Regarding certificates:
        North Island College students and some participating kayak guides will also undergo a written test. 

        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


          • 1 Jun 2019
          • 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
          • Sportsman Restaurant, Port McNeill
          • 61
          Register

          **For Port McNeill Naturalist Workshop participants only.**

          Come join the MERS team and other workshop participants for an evening of food and mingling at the Sportsman Restaurant,  1547 Beach Dr, Port McNeill.

          The event starts at 6:30pm on Saturday June 1st, after the second workshop day. The cost of $30.50 per person includes tax and gratuity for a buffet dinner. Drinks are not included.

          Reserve your spot now, as space is limited. 

          The buffet will include salad, dessert and chicken or beef (for non-vegetarians) and spinach lasagna (for vegetarians).




        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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