This weekend field course, based out of the Tofino Botanical Gardens, will introduce participants to the world of west coast seaweeds. Topics to be covered in this year’s course include an introduction to seaweeds (What are they? What is their role in coastal ecology?), biodiversity of west coast seaweeds, essentials of collecting and identifying seaweeds, seaweed foraging, the relationship between seaweeds and people, pressing and preserving seaweeds, and more!
We are excited to welcome back course instructors Dr. Bridgette Clarkston and Dr. Katy Hind who will come to Tofino to share their seaweed knowledge and expertise with us.
Course registration is $250 per person, and includes lunch on Saturday and Sunday.
Friday, May 8th (7:00 pm – 8:30 pm)
- Presentation – overview of west coast seaweeds, different seaweed groups, role of seaweeds in coastal marine ecosystems.
Saturday, May 9th (8:00 am – 8:30 pm, with breaks) Low tide is at 9:03 am (0.3 feet / 0.1 m)
- Field trip to explore seaweeds on Tofino’s rocky coast and practice naturalist skills, including fundamentals of seaweed identification.
- Collection of seaweeds at field site.
- Workshop to practice using dichotomous keys, field guides and online databases to identify unknown specimens
- Create your own scientific and artistic seaweed presses.
- Presentation – seaweeds and people: from traditional uses to modern foraging, and everything in between.
Sunday, May 10th (8:30 am – 12:00 pm) Low tide is at 9:50 am (0.7 feet / 0.2 m)
- Putting it all together – field trip to identify seaweeds and their communities in nature, including opportunities to share what you’ve learned with the group.
- Course wrap-up.
About the instructors:
Dr. Bridgette Clarkston is a seaweed enthusiast and co-author of the field guide, Pacific Seaweeds: A Guide to Common Seaweeds of the West Coast. She is a science educator and avid photographer with over 11 years of teaching and outreach experience. She has worked with initiatives such as the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre and the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative at the University of British Columbia. She specialized in seaweed taxonomy during her PhD at the University of New Brunswick where she discovered several new species of red seaweed, including one she named Euthora timburtonii. Currently, she is a faculty member in the Botany department at the University of British Columbia. Find out more about Bridgette here.
Dr. Katy Hind is a seaweed biologist and Hakai Scholar. She is currently working as the Senior Laboratory Coordinator at UVic. In her research, she has described new species of seaweed using an integrative approach that combines molecular techniques, historical DNA, morphology, biogeography, and ecology. To find out more about Katy’s research visit www.katyhind.com.
Check out photos of last year’s course below: