Marine Invertebrate Zoology (6 weeks; April 29 - June 7) FULL
Instructors: Dr. Marjorie Wonham (Quest U) Dr. Tara Macdonald (Institute of Ocean Sciences) ...previous course profile
Marine invertebrates represent almost every phylum on earth, and Barkley Sound contains a fantastic diversity of them. In this course, students investigate the zoology – the functional morphology, behaviour, ecology, and phylogenetic relationships – of living marine invertebrates. We take field trips to explore a variety of habitats and organisms, including exposed rocky shores, mudflats, eelgrass beds, and beaches. Field work is complemented by lab work, lectures, primary literature readings, and discussion.
This course focuses on honing rigorous research skills including: observing organisms, formulating questions and hypotheses, performing surveys and designing experiments.
Prerequisite: Third or fourth year standing in biological sciences. Invertebrate zoology recommended but not required. Required Text: Any upper-level invertebrate zoology textbook. Recommended: The most recent editions of Invertebrate Zoology: A Functional Evolutionary Approach (Ruppert, Fox & Barnes, 7th ed., 2003) or Invertebrates (Brusca & Brusca, 2nd ed, 2003).
Physical Requirements: This course does not include any physical exertion or challenge beyond that expected in any of BMSC’s field courses. This course includes an overnight hiking trip (~3 hours round trip) and lots of trips to slippery, seaweed-laden field sites.
Marine Behavioural Ecology (3 weeks; May 21 - June 7) FULL
Instructor: Dr. Isabelle Cote (SFU)
A hands-on introduction to the principles of behavioural ecology. Students will carry out a multi-component group-oriented research project with a focus on marine invertebrates. Students will participate in all aspects of the research including, project planning, experimental design, data collection (in the field and laboratory), analysis, and writing. Prerequisites: Introductory ecology, vertebrates, and invertebrate zoology. Textbook: There is no required textbook, readings will be provided by instructor.
Course Description: Ethnobotany is the study of the relationship between plants and human culture. In this class we will learn about the relationships between people and plants with a focus on the traditional plant knowledge of Indigenous Peoples and how this knowledge is shaped by cultural perceptions. We will cover basic plant taxonomy and classification and the Western scientific approach vc. Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Additional topics include (but are not limited to): biodiversity and ethnoecology; kincentric ecology; traditional land and plant resource management; plants as fibres, pigments and in technology; 'keeping it living' sustainable plant management practices; plants as food; diet and diabetes.
Learning will be accomplished through academic readings, class discussions, a class project, and a broad range of practical/experiential excercises such as making a traditional pit cook and cordage from native plant materials. A special effort will be made teach students about traditional uses for important BC native plants. Powerpoint presentations, plant samples, forest walks and a project will be used to facilitate this learning. This is a fascinating, fun and delicious class!
Research Skills: Students will develop strong critical analysis and writing skills through a class workshop, a project and a term paper report. Practical, hands-on experience with traditional fibre materials such as stinging nettle, cedar and willow will be an important focus of this class. Students will learn to identify important native plants through field outings and will each investigate one of these plants in greater detail.
They can tear through flesh, enter and eviscerate the bodies of dead animals, consume eyeballs, drink blood, play dead, tie knots, and produce slime. The can range from 6mm to 13m long and they live in almost every habitat imaginable! Some can produce alcohol and some live without any red blood in their bodies! They can live in tide pools starved of oxygen, live in water temperatures below freezing, and live more than a kilometer below the water’s surface. Fishes are unbelievably diverse and make up more than half of all vertebrate species. Find out more about these incredible animals while we explore their diversity, physiology, ecology, anatomy, and biomechanics in one of the most breathtaking places on earth! Your life will be changed forever!
Research Skills: Students will gain experience identifying and collecting fishes (dip net, beach seine, trawling, hook and line), conducting field research, and conducting laboratory experiments (high-speed video and kinematics, in vivo muscle recordings, hydrodynamics, swimming in a flume). Students will pursue their own independent research project. Prerequisites: Introduction to vertebrate biology or consent of the instructor. Required Textbook: The Diversity of Fishes, 2nd edition, by Helfman, Collette, Facey & Bowen.
Description:This course will teach key ideas and concepts about how ecological and evolutionary forces shape natural communities in both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. The course will focus on many local examples, ranging from how birds indirectly shape terrestrial shrub communities by eating berries, to how predators influence the slow-motion battle for a piece of rocky real-estate in the intertidal. Using a hands-on approach, students will explore key topics in community ecology including island biogeography, community succession, dispersal, marine terrestrial interactions, niche theory, climate change, and techniques to measure species diversity.
Research Skills: Group projects in marine and terrestrial ecosystems will allow students to apply their newly acquired knowledge in a hands-on field-based research project and to present their findings in a poster session for other BMSC users. Identification quizzes for terrestrial plants and marine intertidal organisms will hone students’ skills as naturalists. Daily paper discussions will reinforce critical and efficient reading of the peer-reviewed scientific literature while writing workshops and a mock paper peer-review will enable students to hone their scientific communication skills. Students will also learn to use simple but powerful statistical null models and gain some hands-on training in R, a powerful, open-source (i.e. free) statistical programming language used by many practicing scientists but unknown to many undergraduate students Prerequisites: Introductory ecology, introductory statistics. Textbook: There is no required textbook, readings will be provided by instructor. Physical Requirements: This course does not include any physical exertion or challenge beyond that expected in any of BMSC’s field courses. This course may include an overnight hiking trip (~3 hours round trip), a snorkeling trip involving swimming short distances in a wetsuit, and lots of trips to slippery intertidal field sites.
Paleo-Ecology of Marine Environments (6 weeks; July 22 – Aug 30)
Instructors: Dr. Lindsey R. Leighton (U Alberta) Dr. Michal Kowalewski (Florida Museum of Natural History)
Applied Paleoecology is a research-driven course that will examine the relationship between paleoecology and modern ecology. Research will focus on modern settings in the Barkley Sound region with the intent of exploring how modern data can be used to establish baselines and test paradigms for paleoecological research, and in turn, how paleoecological data can be used to help answer questions critical to modern conservation and ecology. Students will be divided into teams to work on group research projects with the goal of producing publishable results. Project topics will include taphonomy, predation, competition, and community ecology. Research will be aided by lectures on both theoretical and practical topics including ecology relevant to paleontology, research design, sampling protocols, statistical analysis, and scientific writing.
Research Skills: The principle goal of the class is for students to be involved in a real research project from start to finish, including project development, data collection, analysis and interpretation, and the writing of a potentially publishable manuscript. Previous graduate classes offered by the instructors have had an excellent record of producing publications in major journals. Prerequisites: The class is aimed at graduate students in the first two years of their graduate programmes but advanced undergraduate students interested in scientific careers are also encouraged to apply. A class in either Invertebrate Paleontology or Invertebrate Zoology is strongly recommended. A basic undergraduate Ecology class might prove helpful but is not required.
Textbook: None required; readings will be assigned in class. Physical Requirements: This course has a major field component and will require physical exertion expected of a typical BMSC field course. The course will require the ability to access small boats and to handle field work in rocky intertidal zones, which often are slippery, wet, and have very uneven surfaces.
In partnership with the Huu-ay-aht First Nation, this course will introduce students to coastal field archaeology. Over six weeks, students will participate in field trips to a variety of archaeological sites; attend lectures on indigenous history, archaeological theory, paleoenvironments, and the historical ecology of the west coast of Vancouver Island; and participate in 3 weeks of fieldwork. The remaining class time will be spent in the lab analyzing archaeological samples and completing individual final projects. Students will also be responsible for writing up aspects of the archaeological work in a detailed site report, which will be shared with the Huu-ay-aht First Nation and the provincial Archaeology Branch.
Research Skills: Students will learn about the fundamentals of archaeological survey, recording, excavation, sampling, data analysis, and how to prepare written reports on their findings. We will work in groups to develop and address archaeological research questions and regularly share our observations with community members. Prerequisites: : An introductory course in Anthropology and an introductory course in Archaeology, or permission of the Instructor. Required Textbook: Alan McMillan and Denis St.Claire
2012. Huu7ii: Household Archaeology at a Nuu-chah-nulth Village Site in Barkley Sound. Archaeology Press, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC. Please purchase prior to the start of class through Archaeology Press at SFU (click here...)
Additional readings will be provided by instructors during class.
We recommend the following for anyone interested in some archaeological background to the region:
Since the Time of the Transformers: The Ancient Heritage of the Nuu-chah-nulth, Ditidaht, and Makah by Alan McMillan, 1999, UBC Press, Vancouver, BC.
Physical Requirements: Students must be comfortable in boats and with traversing rough, slippery, and forested terrain in all weather. They must also be able to lift, carry, and/or operate equipment weighing up to 20 lbs.
Coastal Biodiversity & Conservation (6 weeks; July 22 - Aug 30) FULL
Instructors: Dr. Barb Beasley, Dr. Caroline Fox (UVic, Raincoast Conservation Foundation ... previous course Profile
In an area renowned for its spectacular biodiversity, this course offers students the opportunity to examine the patterns of biodiversity at local, regional and global scales and learn about the processes that generate them. Concepts and issues such as ecosystem services, biodiversity change and human impacts will be explored as will the approaches used to evaluate, monitor and conserve biodiversity. Group projects will focus on local marine, intertidal, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems and will allow students to develop practical biodiversity surveying and monitoring skills.
Prerequisites: Third year standing in biology or permission of the instructor(s). Physical Requirements: This course involves activities that require moderate physical exertion, including at least one hike (~4 hours round trip) on wet, muddy and uneven trails. Field trips to remote locations will involve shorter hikes, boat landings, lifting of bulky field equipment (generally less than 20 lbs), and lots of time spent in the slippery and uneven intertidal.
Science and the Sea (for non-majors) Understanding Coastal Environments of the Pacific Northwest (6 weeks; July 22 - Aug 30)
Instructors: Dr. Hana Kucera & Dr. Dave Riddell (BMSC)
The unique marine and terrestrial environments of the Pacific Northwest will set the context for this non-majors science course. Students will gain a broad understanding of what science is and how it works, explore the philosophy of science, and learn to think critically about science in their lives. The coastal ecosystem will provide opportunities for making observations, developing and testing scientific hypotheses and placing scientific findings in a social context. Course themes will include coastal biodiversity, ecology, and environmental science.
The class will participate in: field trips by boat and on foot to sample intertidal and forest habitats; case studies and discussions; labs and written assignments.
Research skills: Students will be guided through learning to: read, understand, critique, and create scientific graphs; interpret statistics; evaluate scientific claims made in the media; understand scientific terminology and common misconceptions. Students will conduct independent and group projects, practice written and oral communication skills. Students will also learn to identify common and keystone organisms that define the Pacific Northwest ecosystems. Prerequisites: Completed second year university. Students will be considered in advance of completing second year if they have an excellent academic records or practical experience in a marine or wilderness environment. This course is designed for non-science majors. Physical Requirements: Students should be able to negotiate rough, slippery terrain, be comfortable in boats, and be able to hike up to 5 km/day in all weather conditions. A multi-day camping trip may also be part of the course – details TBA. Optional recreational activities as a class will include hikes up to 20km on rough and muddy west coast trails. If you have a physical limitation, but would still like to participate in the course, please contact the instructors.
Directed Studies in Marine Science (3 or 6 weeks; dates student's choice)
and Graduate Directed Studies may be undertaken at any time during the
summer term. Study will involve a research project approved by a
supervisor in the student's field of interest. Projects will be
designed to take advantage of laboratory and/or field opportunities.
Applications should be accompanied by a project outline and a letter
from a faculty member willing to supervise. Normal room and board,
tuition, and supplemental fees will apply. Students interested in SCUBA related projects should contact
, at least one month before expected start date
for more information about doing a directed study at BMSC.