Photo: Bridgette Clarkston

Seaweeds of the West Coast
with instructors Dr. Bridgette Clarkston and Dr. Katy Hind
May 17 - 19, 2019 (Victoria Day long weekend)
Tofino, BC

This three-day field course (Friday evening - Sunday afternoon), based out of the Tofino Botanical Gardens, will introduce participants to the world of west coast seaweeds. This year we are running the course on the Victoria Day long weekend to give everyone (and the insturctors) a little bit more time to enjoy the beautiful west coast. Come spend your holiday with us in Tofino!

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!

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. To find out more about Bridgette visit

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

Course fee is $240 and includes lunch on Saturday and Sunday.

Friday (7:00 pm - 8:30 pm)
Evening Classroom
• Introductory presentation: An overview of west coast seaweeds, different seaweed groups, role of seaweeds in coastal marine ecosystems.

Saturday (8:00 am - 5:00 pm; 7:00 - 8:30 pm)
Field and Classroom
• 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 - bring journals and cameras to record habitat info.

Low tide is at 7:11 am (1.7 feet / 0.52 m)

7:11 AM PDT 1.7 feet

• Seaweed identification and pressing workshop.
• Practice using dichotomous keys, field guides and online databases to identify unknown specimens.
• Create your own scientific and artistic seaweed presses.
• Seaweeds and people: from traditional uses to modern foraging, and everything in between

Sunday (8:00 am - 1:00 pm)
• 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. Group lunch and course wrap-up.

Low tide is at 7:53 am (1.4 feet / 0.43 m)

Course Registration is $240 per person and includes lunch on Saturday & Sunday

Our Seaweeds of the West Coast course has been featured on Ocean Outfitters' blog!

Here are some photos from past sessions:

Want more photos? A student in our 2018 course shared is Flickr album with us! Thank you Stephen Ban (@blackfishphoto)