Virtual Visits


BMSC currently offers Live Labs via video conferencing. These programs are developed for Grades 6 – 12 and 1st and 2nd year university students.

*Live Dive program currently on hold while we upgrade our technology

Join SCUBA diving biologist-instructors for an engaging undersea Live Dive experience in which students interact directly with divers to explore diverse subtidal environments without leaving the classroom.

Our technology allows for two-way dialogue between students and divers. Students will assist divers by helping with data collection or by guiding divers to organisms of interest. This multidisciplinary approach to learning includes information about our diverse sub-tidal habitats and organisms, diving physiology, and physical oceanography.

We can help you meet your learning outcomes from under the sea!

Live Dives activities include:

Coastal Critter Communities:

Learn to identify biotic and abiotic components of marine ecosystems and the role those components may play in an organism’s niche. Explore the interaction and interdependency in ecosystems using simplified food webs, as well as identify interactions between producers, consumers and decomposers within a food web.

The Physics of Diving:

Explore the physical concepts involved when humans dive in the ocean. See how physical factors change as divers move deeper underwater. Learn how SCUBA allows us to discover an underwater world. Students will witness the changes in light underwater and the relationship between pressure, force and volume.

Species At Risk – Abalone:

Go along on an underwater scavenger hunt in search of wild abalone and help scientists at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre learn about their dwindling population. You’ll get a chance to learn more about the biology of these unique mollusks, plus, you’ll put the scientific method to use by performing behavioural experiments on living specimens.

Acid Waves:

Learn about the chemistry and biology behind our world’s changing oceans, how humans are affecting our oceans, and what we can do to change it. See how increased carbon dioxide levels are changing ocean chemistry, and link chemistry to biology by examining the impacts of ocean acidification on marine organisms.

Sub-tidal Safari:

Join our diving scientists for and underwater scavenger hunt! Students assist underwater naturalists to find subtidal organisms of all shapes and sizes! You may not find any zebras or lions but you’ll be amazed at the subtidal diversity present in Barkley Sound. This program pairs nicely with the marine invertebrates Live Lab.

Rock on Rockfish:

See endangered BC rockfish in their natural habitat. Learn about monitoring their abundance and what is being done to protect them. Learn about kelp forests and why they are so important for the protection and safety of rockfish.

Currents, Plankton, and Tides:

Teaching oceanography from the ocean! During this live dive students will learn about currents and subtidal planktonic organisms from instructors in the water. Divers will take students on a trip to the ocean floor to examine the effects of light attenuation and look at adaptations to a wet and wondrous world.

Live Labs take place in the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre laboratory studio. Experience a BMSC lab via video conferencing from the comfort of your classroom.

Our program includes pre- and post- conference materials for you and your students. Each 60 minute Live Lab session includes interactions with live marine organisms, videos of organisms and marine habitats, video-microscopy, behavioural demonstrations, and direct interaction with our knowledgable and dynamic Education Team.  Live Labs is available in both English et en Français.

Live Labs activities include:

Back to Base-ics - Climate Change and Ocean Acidification:

Learn about the chemistry and biology behind our world’s changing oceans, how humans are affecting our oceans, and what we can do to change it. Students will be involved in a shell dissolution experiment to directly learn about ocean acidification and will learn about current ocean acidification research happening at BMSC.

Whale of a Tail:

Understand processes of evolution and adaptation using marine mammals as an example. A naturalist- educator will guide students through using our diverse skeleton collection to understand how marine mammals are adapted to the marine environment and how natural selection has led to changes in bone structure. Students will learn to identify homologous and vestigial structures and interpret the unique adaptations that allow marine mammals to live in the ocean.

Marine Invertebrate Diversity:

The spineless wonders of our oceans. Explore the amazing diversity of marine invertebrates found in Barkley Sound. Students will learn about the marine invertebrates, their morphology and evolution through virtual hands-on exploration of live animals.

Marine Science Careers:

Have you ever wondered what marine biologists actually do? During this videoconference, students will get a glimpse into the life of a marine biologist. With the help of our biologist instructors, students will develop questions, hypotheses, and experimental designs. They will then carry out the experiments over the Internet.

Advanced Invertebrates:

An introduction to taxonomy and nomenclature, with a focus on marine invertebrates. Learn why scientists classify marine invertebrates the way they do, and compare how the members of different phyla carry out their life functions. Phyla of interest include: Porifera, Cnidaria, Mollusca, Arthropoda, and Echinodermata.

Kelp Forest Ecology:

Students will be introduced to the world of kelp forests. By comparing food webs in terrestrial and marine ecosystems, students will explore the structure and function of kelp, explore trophic links from kelp right through to species at risk. In an interactive look at kelp forest productivity and global distribution in connection with human impacts, students will learn about personal and societal connections to oceans and how students can help protect kelp forests.


Populations and Communities:

Students will get an introduction to intertidal ecology. They will examine the biotic factors that structure communities and determine where organisms are found. Students will examine different types of competition, see demonstrations of predation, gain an understanding of keystone species, and discuss examples of mutualism, commensalism and parasitism.



Physical Oceanography:

Students will learn how physical properties of the ocean, such as temperature, salinity and density, lead to oceanic phenomena such as stratification and currents, and the impact of these phenomena on world climate.



Invasive Species:

What are invasive species? How do they move around the planet? What are their impacts on native ecosystems? How do these impacts occur? How can we stop the spread of invasive species? Students will answer these questions by examining the introduction of European green crabs to native eelgrass habitats.



Additionally, our Education Team will work with you to develop any of our field trip or lab activities listed on our Bring your Students page. These activities can be tailored for any age group.

For more information and pricing: