Message from the Director, Dr. Sean Rogers
The Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre has been taking steps to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in our community. We have been closely following the advice of the BC Health Authority to protect the health and safety of our staff and community. Of course, this has meant a cancellation of educational visits to the BMSC (currently until the end of May). We are also tackling this unprecedented situation in Bamfield by emphasizing the importance for everyone to follow public health guidelines, work remotely (yes, even in Bamfield!) and ensuring these practices are followed in our daily operations. We continue to offer limited, but critical research and operational services. I would like to thank our team and their incredible support in this endeavour. We remain operational, but cannot accommodate any visitors to the BMSC at this time.
As our students shift to remote learning at our universities and schools, our educational unit is offering alternative methods of instruction where students can embark on life-changing exploration and discovery in Barkley Sound from home, with live and online educational content using real-time interactions with educators. Our “live labs”, “live field trips” and even “live dives” have always been part of our program offerings on topics ranging from plastic pollution, conservation, marine mammal adaptations, biodiversity, invertebrate form and function, temperate rainforest ecology, and place-based learning in traditional Huu-ay-aht First Nations territories, supported by NSERC Promoscience.
Following the tragic bus accident last September, our staff broadcast a “live field trip” to an audience of nearly 100 students at the University of Victoria Library during Science Literacy Week. This show was unscripted and used older equipment. Yet, it exemplifies the passion and knowledge of our staff and marine science educators and gives a sense of the engagement with students as we broadcast live from the stunning landscapes and biodiversity around BMSC. Our staff have developed additional interactive shows that highlight local biodiversity, feature the accomplishments of BMSC researchers, and include creative new ways to continue serving and connecting with our students and communities. If you are an Educator from our member universities or part of our Field Trip program and interested in working with BMSC to create a “virtual field trip” experience this summer, please contact me directly. Alternatively, we are producing videos that will be posted online for instructors to use as course materials, these will be fully accessible from our website.
This community and its beautiful surroundings embody the notion of resilience. Together, we look forward to working with you as we get through this together as a community. I wish you and your loved ones good health and look forward to the time when we can gather again in Bamfield.
Stay healthy and take care of one another,