BMSC Live!

Engage your students with BMSC Live – online marine science programming!

We can broadcast content live from all of our favourite lab and field locations! For example, did you know you can still “visit” Brady’s Beach, or “dive” underwater in our new high definition ROV? Our Educators can take you there, sharing all the usual sights, sounds, and science. Choose from one of our popular topics below, or check out the sample clips on our YouTube channel to see some of our past offerings.

Virtual sessions are typically 45-60 minutes in length, and are designed to be interactive and informative, allowing students to ask questions in real time as the mysteries of the ocean are revealed and explained by our educators.

Our BMSC Live booking calendar is now full for November, December, and January

Please contact us in 2022 if you are interested in booking private virtual sessions with BMSC Live in the new year. 

Marine Invertebrate Diversity – Lab

Students will explore the diversity of live marine invertebrates found in Barkley Sound. This activity can be tailored to any age or interest level. Sessions start by examining characteristics of invertebrates vs. vertebrates and an introduction to classification systems of living things. Then the focus is all about the unique characteristics and adaptations that help our most common west coast species thrive.

Watch a previous Invertebrate Diversity lab on BMSC Live!

Life Under the Docks! – Field Trip

The Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre is located on the doorstep of the Pacific Ocean, and an amazing array of creatures can be found right underneath our docks. Our educators will first show off these organisms by safely and carefully lifting some species right up onto the dock. After taking a look, we then investigate a sample of microscopic planktonic larvae, and finally take you underwater with our new ROV. Armed with a 4K live camera, the ROV allows you to discover the incredible diversity of species who make Bamfield Inlet their home!

View a previous episode of “What’s living under the docks”!

Live from Brady’s Beach, featuring tidepools! – Field Trip

Brady’s Beach, with its picturesque sea stacks, sandy beaches, and rocky shores, is a wonderful place to explore the intertidal zone. Exploring this beach with us provides an opportunity to observe many organisms in their natural environment, like diving into a tidepool to see hermit crabs, sea anemones, and tidepool sculpins, or lifting up seaweed to uncover mussels, snails, and sea stars.

*Availability of LIVE programming is tide-dependent.

Join our exploration of Brady’s Beach tidepools!

The Big World of Plankton – Lab

This lab is an eye-opening experience demonstrating the diversity of tiny lifeforms suspended in ocean water.  A brief lecture focuses on types of plankton, the biology of major groups, and how plankton plays a role in our lives (Red Tide, bioluminescence, oxygen production). Then, equipped with microscopes able to broadcast their field of view to a digital audience, we explore the often underappreciated world of plankton. Each new drop of seawater holds something different!

Check out Plankton Part 1 & Part 2 episodes!

Sensational Seaweeds – Lab / Field trip

Did you know there are over 600 species of macroalgae on the West Coast? This lab focuses on the identification, ecology, and human uses of a selection of those species. With live specimens in the lab, students can practice identification, discover the role of algae in the marine food web, and find out why kelp (big brown algae) can be vital to human survival! This lab is a valuable addition for anyone who wants to learn more about species diversity. Reproduction and life cycles of algae can be included.

Depending on tides, this activity may be available as a field excursion

Oceanography 101 – Field Trip

Take a boat ride with us and experience being an oceanographer! Bamfield Inlet provides the backdrop for an examination of the biotic and abiotic characteristics of the ocean. Get familiar with an oceanographer’s tools for measuring temperature, salinity, turbidity, pH, and collecting plankton. Contribute to citizen science by adding your ocean data to our ongoing multi-year study.

Watch a previous episode of Oceanography 101!

Temperate Rainforest Ecology – Field Trip

Join our educators on a guided walk through the coastal temperate rainforest! The biology and identification of many local (and a few invasive) plants, fungi, mosses, ferns, shrubs, and trees is discussed using real examples as each species is found in the forest. Our educators place a particular emphasis on traditional cultural uses (ethnobotany), drawing important connections between forest ecology and coastal First Nations knowledge.

Alta Adventure! – Field Trip

This boat ride to the Deer Group Islands on the MV Alta gives you a chance to see the subtidal life around Bamfield. Using a small dredge net, we sample from the sea floor in search of a wide diversity of organisms, including sea stars, urchins, crabs, sea cucumbers, and many others you wont see at the beach.

Please note there is an additional cost for this field trip.

A high seas adventure – check it out!

Live from Eagle Bay! – Field Trip

Eagle Bay is a semi-exposed rocky shore where students can observe a diversity of intertidal animals and seaweeds in their natural habitat. Some organisms inhabiting only areas of high wave exposure, such as gooseneck barnacles, can be found here. Our educators will guide you to explore under rocks, show you how to gently handle the animals, and we hope you’ll ask lots of questions as we search for fun finds on the beach.

*Availability of LIVE programming is tide-dependent.

Intertidal life at Eagle Bay! 

Kelp Forest Ecology – Lab

Do you think kelp is little more than an annoyance? That slimy, smelly stuff that wraps around your ankles as you wade into the ocean? Think again! This lab is geared to change your mind as we introduce you to some of the many species of invertebrates, fish, and mammals that make kelp forests home. You’ll even find out why these big brown seaweeds are important for human survival (yes, even if you live far from the ocean)! Find out how in this lab-based session, featuring live invertebrates, a bit of chemistry, and stunning video of the underwater environment captured by BMSC’s very own dive team.

That was fantastic – I could see how excited my students were – I think we were getting more than 3 – 5 questions per minute, for almost the entire program! They were engaged, interested, curious, and I saw a lot of “wow” and “whoa” for so many features – so valued right now during our COVID remote instruction module! A highlight for this Marine Biology course, for sure! Thank you!

“I hadn’t expected that these videos would turn out so well or that students would get so involved whilst viewing. It really is the next best thing to taking students out to BMSC. I really appreciate all the work that went into making these videos!”

“Just AWESOME! You worked so well as a team and I just loved when we asked a question that poof! An answer, a video, a picture, a zoom in….whole package deal. Just awesome and I would definitely recommend this! It attached the curriculum so well!”


Field Trip to Brady’s Beach

Join us for an intertidal exploration of Brady’s Beach!

YouTube link

Mud monsters from the deeps!

Join us on an Alta Adventure as we dredge from the deepest part of Barkley Sound searching for curious organisms that live in the muddy depths!

Invertebrates expert, Dr. Marjorie Wonham, will be joining us remotely to help identify these unique and rarely seen organisms!

YouTube link

Life between the tides

This week, #BMSCLive goes to Eagle Bay in search of new creatures! Join us to discover which sneaky animals are hiding under the rocks, beneath the seagrass, or in plain sight, as they wait for the tide to turn.

An early show time of 11:00 am PDT, is because, as many of our past students know, “The Tide Waits For No One”!

Stuck on you! What’s living under the docks?

Join us for a look at subtidal communities. This week, we explore what has settled onto the anchors and lines under our docks. We will take a fish’s eye view by sending a camera under water to observe marine life in its natural habitat.

YouTube link


Join us as we travel up Grappler Inlet and experience being an oceanographer! Help us collect data for our multi-year study.

Take a look at the Plankton show on our Youtube Channel if you want to discover plankton up close and personal, and find out what happens next!

YouTube link

Alta adventure on the high seas, Part II!

The BMSC dive team wishes they could take all of you underwater with them but we have the next best thing… Presenting Alta Adventure: Part 2!!!! Using a dredge, we’ll be able to bring all of the neat subtidal species up to the surface so we can show them off through a livestream. Join us to discover lots of unique marine species alongside our marine science educators! Last dredge we focused on the more common organisms; this show will highlight and explore rare species and biodiversity.


Peculiar Plankton!

If you enjoyed our #BMSClive:Plankton show, you’re going to love Plankton Part II – Peculiar Plankton!

While the first show covered the basics of plankton and our more common suspects, this show will uncover the more unusual and rare species!


Alta adventure on the high seas!

Today, we’ll be heading out on the MV Alta to collect some cool creatures from the bottom of the ocean!


Fishy Fun!

Our Marine Science Educators describe the life stories and feeding the fish that live in our display tanks at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre.


Interesting Invertebrates!

There’s a whole world of wonder under the water! Join us while we explore the wonderful and wacky world of marine invertebrates


While BMSC remains operational with essential staff, we are exploring opportunities to provide new spring/summer course additions and BMSC Live experiences, offered via online teaching and learning, to provide more students with the opportunity to continue progressing through their programs during these times.

We acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).