Missing Bamfield? Try a virtual field trip with BMSC Live!

Although the BMSC campus is currently closed to students and visitors, you can still experience a virtual field trip; it’s the next best thing to being here!

Sure, we know it's not the same as holding that sea cucumber in your own hands, but over the summer we've been hard at work finding ways to go digital. Our enthusiastic educators can guide you through your choice of our most popular labs or field trips, delivered right to your home or classroom. Even boat trips are possible! Read on to learn how it's done and how you can still experience your own Bamfield "trip" this Fall.

BMSC Live: Programming options

With recent upgrades to cell and wifi capabilities on and around the BMSC campus, we can now broadcast content from nearly all of our favourite lab and field locations. For example, did you know you can still "visit" Brady's Beach? Our Educators can take you there, sharing all the usual sights, sounds, and science. Choose from one of the topics below (with more topics being developed regularly), or request your own custom programming!

Marine Invertebrate Diversity


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!

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!

The Big World of Plankton


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!

Temperate Rainforest Ecology

Field Trip

Experience a guided walk in the coastal temperate rainforest. Our forest path meanders through old growth before entering into second growth, allowing students to compare the two. The biology of many plants, fungi, mosses, ferns, shrubs, and trees is discussed with an emphasis on traditional cultural uses (ethnobotany). Culturally modified trees along the path illustrate how First Nations people harvest from trees. For AP classes, quantitative studies using biodiversity indices can be done here. 

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!

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 use an underwater camera to show you the diversity of intertidal and subtidal 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 and rocky shores, is a wonderful place to explore the intertidal zone. Exploring this beach gives an opportunity to see the organisms in their natural environment. Brady’s Beach is an ideal site to conduct quantitative and qualitative studies, for example, tide pool studies involve mapping, estimating volume, and observing organismal interactions.

*Availability of LIVE programming is tide-dependent.

Join our exploration of Brady's Beach tidepools!

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! 

Register now for our virtual field trips and lab experiences!

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Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre

100 Pachena Road,
Bamfield, B.C. VOR 1B0

+1 (250) 728-3301

BMSC is a registered Canadian charity.

Support life-changing exploration & discovery by donating to the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre.