If you are not driving a personal vehicle, you can book bus seats (or charters) through West Coast Trail Express(from Nanaimo or Victoria), or contact Lady Rose Marine Servicesfor details on passenger ferry service between Port Alberni and Bamfield.
Housing facilities are equipped with emergency response devices including smoke detectors, emergency lighting, telephones, and fire fighting equipment.
As part of a room and board package, groups will stay in one of our housing facilities:
Rooms – Each room has two bunk beds that can accommodate up to 4 people, with a total of 98 beds. Rooms are cleaned and maintained by housekeeping. Linens can be provided on request. Each room has two desks with high speed Internet connection. Shared bathroom and laundry – There are several showers and washrooms on each floor (all individual rooms), a coin-operated laundry is located on the ground floor. There is also another coin operated laundry facility in the cafeteria. Support for people with reduced mobility – the second (main) floor of Buchanan Lodge has rooms and bathrooms suitable for people who use mobility aids, however, the exterior terrain near the building is challenging. Speak to a BMSC staff member for more information.
Rooms – Each room has two bunk beds that can accommodate up to 4 people, with a total of 32 beds. Rooms are cleaned and maintained by housekeeping. Linens can be provided on request. Shared bathroom and laundry – There is a shared washroom/shower between every two rooms (all showers and toilets are in individual rooms, sink space is shared). There is coin operated laundry facility in the cafeteria. Common area – Kitchen and lounge are available for all seaside residents (separate entrance from bedroom wings)
Fully equipped cabins:
Rooms – Cabin size varies from two to five rooms. Many rooms have a bunk bed that can accommodate up to 2 people. Cabins are normally reserved for longer-term stays, throughout which housekeeping cleans the rooms periodically. Linens are provided. Shared bathroom – There are showers or bathtubs in each cabin. There is also a coin operated laundry facility in the cafeteria. Common area for socializing and activities – Each cabin has a fully equipped living room and a kitchen with cooking supplies (stoves, refrigerators, cookware, dishes, etc.).
To operate small vessels (the Copes) at BMSC, Transport Canada requires the operator to have at a minimum a valid Pleasure Craft Operators Card (PCOC) and a valid, Marine Basic First Aid certificate or a provincially recognized first aid course with a minimum of 16 hrs /2 days of training is required to operate BMSC Cope vessels. ‘In-person’ or ‘blended’ courses that meet the above criteria are acceptable.
Boat checkouts and safety training by BMSC foreshore staff are also required prior to use.
The marine environment near BMSC can sometimes be cold and wet and is always unpredictable. Consider bringing good quality, waterproof, rubber boots, heavy-duty rain gear (pants and jacket), backpack, flashlight/headlamp, and warm clothing. Close-toed footwear is required in labs and on boats. You can purchase limited rain gear and boots locally at Bamfield Builders Supply, Breakers Marine, or Bamfield Mercantile & Marine. There are also boots available for borrow, but it is still recommended to bring your own (so that you are certain they won’t leak).
Pillows with cases are supplied, but you will need to bring a sleeping bag or sheets and a blanket (mattresses are twin-long size). Alternatively, you can rent a sheet/quilt set from BMSC (let the Head of Guest services know when you are making your accommodation booking). There are coin-operated laundry facilities on site (loonies).
First and foremost, it is recommended to get in touch with the Head of Research Services (250-728-3301 x 255) or the Research Coordinator (x 259) to have a conversation about your research needs and get your questions answered well in advance of your stay. Please give us a call anytime between Mon-Fri 8:30 to 4:30 to chat or email email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a phone call.
Preparing for your research visit to the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre (BMSC) involves careful planning and consideration of various aspects of your stay. Here’s a glance of what you need to know to ensure a successful and productive research experience at BMSC:
Research Proposal and Permits: Ensure your research proposal is well-defined and approved. Familiarize yourself with sampling regulations and best practices. Contact BMSC in advance to discuss your research goals and get advice on obtaining any necessary permits for collecting samples or conducting research in the area (including Animal Use Protocol approvals) for your study. Details are found HERE. **This is the most urgent preparatory requirement since many permits or Animal Use Protocol approvals involve external bodies that require 30 to 90 days for application approvals. If you have questions, give us a call!**
Accommodations: Reserve your accommodations well in advance. BMSC provides on-site accommodations for researchers, but availability may be limited during peak seasons. Instructions on booking accommodation will be provided to you with your successful research application acceptance packet.
Travel Arrangements: Plan your travel to Bamfield, which can be reached by road or by boat. Consider transportation logistics, including ferry schedules if you’re traveling from the mainland. See our transportation FAQ for options outside of driving.
Supplies and Equipment: Prepare a list of the equipment, materials, and supplies you’ll need for your research and then coordinate with us if you require any specialized equipment. BMSC generally has equipment to loan, but recommends you bring your own supplies (e.g. gloves, disposable tips, tape) or any gear that is absolutely essential to your research.
Safety Protocols: BMSC prioritizes safety. Attend any safety orientations or meetings conducted by BMSC staff and adhere to safety guidelines and protocols throughout your stay.
Communication and Data Management: As we are a remote field station, internet access may be limited, so plan for data management and communication accordingly. Consider bringing a mobile hotspot or other communication tools if needed.
Access to Facilities: Familiarize yourself with the research facilitiesavailable at BMSC, including laboratories, equipment, and boats. Coordinate access and scheduling with BMSC staff.
Community Engagement: Engage with the local community and respect their environment. Participate in community events or educational outreach opportunities if they align with your research and interests. BMSC often hosts public events, and collaborations with local organizations can enhance your research.
Research Ethics and Regulations: Ensure that your research complies with ethical guidelines and regulations. Familiarize yourself with BMSC’s policies and any applicable ethical review processes.
Local Knowledge: BMSC staff and local residents are valuable resources for information about the area, including field sites, wildlife, and research opportunities. Don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Departure and Checkout: When your research is complete, follow BMSC’s checkout procedures for accommodations, equipment, and resources. Leave your workspace clean and organized.
Downtime and Exploration: Take advantage of your time in Bamfield by exploring the local trails, beaches, and marine environments during your downtime.
Communication and Collaboration: Connect with other researchers and students at BMSC. Collaborative efforts often lead to valuable insights and shared experiences.
By preparing thoroughly and maintaining open communication with BMSC staff and the local community, you can ensure a productive and enriching research experience in Bamfield. Enjoy your time at BMSC, and make the most of the unique opportunities for marine and environmental research in this beautiful coastal setting.
***get in touch with the Head of Research Services (250-728-3301 x 255) or the Research Coordinator (x 259)***
Kitchens in cabins and Seaside dorms are fully equipped, with fridge, stove, microwave, and coffee makers. Additionally, utensils, pots, pans, glassware etc are all provided. You may also choose to eat in the cafeteriaat staff rates.
You will need to complete a rowboat orientation before you can operate BMSC rowboats. Therowboat orientation and policy documentprovides further information and can be downloaded for reference in your orientation.
BMSC has implemented a scent-free workplace environment. Exposure to scented products can adversely affect a person’s health. In high concentrations, scented products may trigger a negative response for those with allergies or chemical sensitivities. Students and visitors are asked to be considerate in their use of products such as perfume, makeup, shampoo, deodorant, etc. or from other products such as air fresheners, cleaners, etc.
The Bamfield Health Centre is located at 353 Bamfield Road.
Regular business hours: Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm. Phone: 250-728-3312 (Nurse also on-call 24-hrs)
The nurse sometimes leaves the Centre to make house calls or deliveries, therefore it is recommended that you call ahead from BMSC before going to the Health Centre, even during Business Hours. Also, note that there is no cell phone service directly outside of the Health Clinic. The closest cell phone service spot is just South of the Centre at the top of the hill on Bamfield Rd (above the hotel/pub).
The village of Bamfield is also on the 911 system. 911 dispatch can task the appropriate assistance in any emergency.
There are two grocery stores: The Market (east Bamfield) and the Bamfield Mercantile and Marine, (west Bamfield) – both stores sell liquor. There is a café, a restaurant, a pub and hotel, a building supply and home hardware store (some rain gear), a marine supply store (some rain/camping gear – they also patch flat tires!), 1 automobile gas bar, 2 marine gas stations, 2 campgrounds, 2 community parks, and several B&B’s.
There are no banks in Bamfield. There is an ATM at The Market and some businesses offer cash back.
Bamfield is a picturesque and remote coastal community on Vancouver Island, known for its natural beauty and outdoor activities. While some of its attractions are well-known, there are still some hidden gems and local secret spots to find. Keep in mind that these may not remain secret for long, so always be respectful of the environment and local communities. Here are a few local spots in Bamfield (you’ll have to find the secret ones yourself):
Bamfield Boardwalk: The Bamfield Boardwalk offers a quiet and tranquil way to explore the town’s waterfront. It’s a peaceful stroll with beautiful views, especially during sunrise and sunset.
Pachena Bay: Located a short drive from Bamfield, Pachena Beach is a sight to behold! Pachena Bay Campgroundoffers campsites right by the beach. It’s a quieter alternative to some of the more popular campgrounds in the region.
Hidden Coves: Explore the coastline around Bamfield to discover hidden coves and inlets that offer seclusion and stunning views. Some of these may only be accessible by boat or kayak.
Boomer Trail: Start at the gravel lot across the street from Grappler boat launch and enjoy a peaceful walk and perhaps spot local wildlife like birds and deer.
Local Cafes: Seek out some of the smaller, lesser-known cafes in Bamfield for a taste of local cuisine and baked goods. Check the Bamfield Chamber of Commerce link here to explore further.
Artisan Workshops: Look for local artisans and crafters who may have hidden workshops and gallerieswhere you can view and purchase their creations.
Tide Pools: While tide pooling is a common activity, ask locals for advice on lesser-known tide pool locations where you can discover unique marine life.
Star Gazing: Bamfield’s remote location makes it an excellent spot for stargazing. Find a quiet spot away from town lights and enjoy the night sky.
Remember that part of the charm of these hidden spots is their pristine and untouched nature, so always practice Leave No Trace principles to help preserve these areas for future generations. Additionally, local residents and businesses can often provide insider tips on less-known attractions, so don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation and ask for recommendations when you visit Bamfield.
Step One: set up an invoicing account with the Lady Rose Marine Services (ferry delivery for your groceries) via phone. Check here: https://ladyrosemarine.com/contactsand phone them to set up a method of payment for the delivery in advance (this only needs to be done once). You should also check their schedule or if there are any announcements on their webpage before making orders. They typically comes out Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays and delivers packages to the Bamfield west government dock at around noon and the East Government dock (near the Hacas Inn) at around 12:30.
Step Two: order the groceries from Port Alberni Save-on Foods location and when checking out choose delivery. Choose a delivery time on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday afternoon from 2:00-4:00 pm from their options (so that it’s prior to the ferry delivery day). They will deliver the groceries to Lady Rose Marine services in the specified time and the boxes will be put in appropriate places (freezer, fridge or room temp storage) until the next morning when they leave early to come to Bamfield with the delivery.
For delivery information put down:
Your Name c/o Lady Rose Marine Services Ship to Bamfield, East Dock
Lady Rose Marine Services 5425 Argyle Street Port Alberni, B.C.
Port Alberni, BC V9Y 7M7
Step Three: Be at the east government dock at 12:30 to wait for the boat and receive your boxes. sometimes the boat is a little later than that. In worst case scenarios, if you aren’t there – they put your boxes in the shed on the dock and you can just check in there afterwards for boxes with your name on it.
Call Save-on Foods or Lady Rose Marine services with any questions or to confirm anything if you are unsure what to do. They are excellent and very used to answering questions about Bamfield deliveries.
You bet! Every summer, we are also lucky enough to have bio-luminescence in the crashing waves some nights. When visiting local beaches, please use low-impact and responsible practices. Pack your garbage out with you and if you have a beach fire, please keep it small and below the high tide line and only when there is no fire ban in effect. Burn small pieces of wood and do not set large logs on fire.
Yes, The BMSC library catalogue is online at bamfieldmsc.com/resource/library. The library has an extensive collection of marine and coastal science books, as well as past student reports, journals, and over 18,000 reprints. Students and researchers also have online access to journals via their home university.
There are often weekly soccer, indoor hockey, basketball and volleyball games organized in the evenings, so bring cleats and kneepads if you have them. Ask locals and BMSC staff for details on these events. There are many roads, trails and beaches for hiking running and biking. There are also rowboats to sign out at BMSC for recreation.
BMSC is also putting the finishing touches on a indoor fitness centre! Standby for announcements (expected to open in 2024).
Check the BCSA website for community fitness activities here.
Bike, Canoe, Kayak and other recreational gear rentals can be found here.