Raincoast Field School

“The goal of the Raincoast Field School is to increase outdoor learning opportunities for students in our local public schools.”

Raincoast Field School is an outdoor education program designed to meet BC curricular outcomes while providing hands-on learning opportunities for students in our local public schools. It is a collaborative program developed by the Raincoast Education Society (RES) and the teachers at the Tofino and Ucluelet elementary schools.

Field trips and activities are led by a qualified full-time instructor with extensive experience as a science educator, and encompass multiple aspects of curricular outcomes including science, numeracy and literacy. Many outings also feature traditional Aboriginal knowledge provided by a First Nations Cultural Educator. The program is constantly evolving, with lessons being built or recycled to best fit with the unique themes of each class as determined by the teacher.

Get Outside!

Most students in Canada learn about nature and the environment in a classroom. Here on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, we are lucky to live in one of the most pristine and beautiful ecosystems in the world; a place where nature is right outside and rubber boots are often a better teaching tool than a textbook.

Raincoast Field School takes science out of the classroom and into the forest, the ocean, the beach or the bog….places where students can touch and feel and listen and learn, right in their own backyards.

Making Connections

Raincoast Field School is designed to complement classroom lessons taught by each class’s teacher. The program provides education about the environment in a natural setting and incorporates physical education while reviewing mathematics, English language, arts and social studies concepts that students have learned in class.

Ultimately, the material covered in each class is based on specific requests from the teacher which the Field School instructor then incorporates into a unique activity or lesson plan.


Full programming is provided to the Wickaninnish Community School in Tofino (since 2014) and the Ucluelet Elementary School (since 2018) through Raincoast Field School. Each and every student from K to grade 7 gets to participate in at least one field trip per month during the school year – that’s over 200 Raincoast Field School trips delivered per year!

Follow along

Raincoast Field School programs are currently being run in Tofino and Ucluelet elementary schools (K-7). Follow along with our programs below.


Introducing Taylor! Our new Tofino Field School Coordinator ☀️🌻🌱⚡ Taylor comes to us from the Prairies, born and raised just outside Winnipeg, MB. She spent her early years getting down and dirty in the great Canadian Shield habitats; boating, fishing, and backcountry camping.

After her high school graduation, she took off for the West Coast and has since never looked back. She began her studies in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia. There she completed her undergraduate degree in Natural Resource Conservation. During the past 6 years, she has lived all across BC; Vancouver, Salmon Arm, Cumberland and Williams Lake—but has always had a special love for the west coast. Taylor has worked as an environmental consultant focusing on Northern Goshawk monitoring. She also has worked in the forest industry as a Junior Biologist. Taylor has her Electro-fishing Certificate and monitored important fish bearing streams for impacts from forest development.

Along the way, Taylor rediscovered her passion for teaching and began volunteering as a teacher assistant in elementary schools. She was ecstatic to see classrooms becoming more involved with outdoor learning. Taylor feels her new role with the RES will allow her to have a perfect balance between teaching and her background in environmental biology.

Taylor is oh so happy to be back on the coast and doing what she loves. She’s even more excited to put together some amazing lesson plans and get the students outside. Give her a wave if you see her around town!

#tofinofieldschool #tofino #getoutside #yourtofino #pnw #outdoored #outdoorclassroom #backtoschool #britishcolumbia #welcome

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May 16.
We often hear about common human uses of plants; some can be used medicinally, for food, clothing or even for art. Another important perspective is to focus on the care of plants, rather than their use. How can we take care of these living beings that surround us? And ensure long-term health of the ecosystem? These questions are a big part of the foundation of Nuu-chah-nulth culture, and Nuu-chah-nulth language is actually rooted in the philosophy of caring for living things around us. In fact, each of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations' territory is referred to as the Nation’s ‘Ha-houlthee’, meaning the ‘land which is cared for’. What do you do to care for living things around you?
#getoutside #yourtofino #tofinofieldschool #forest #culturaleducation #protecttheearth #pnw #rainforest

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Meet Carrie, our Ucluelet Field School Coordinator! 🌲

Carrie was born in Calgary, Alberta and grew up in the Rocky Mountains exploring and camping with her family, which spurred her lifelong love of nature. Carrie completed her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Calgary in Environmental Science. She has since worked in a variety of environmental and education positions across Canada.

Little did she know that her passion would lead her to the North after volunteering to work on a project in the Northwest Territories as an environmental assessment coordinator. This ultimately led her to spending over ten years in the Arctic. ❄️ Feeling like she wanted to make a bigger difference, she returned to school to complete her Bachelor of Education degree. After completing her B.Ed., Carrie moved back to Nunavut as a classroom teacher and as the Environmental Education Specialist with the Government of Nunavut.

Carrie now calls Ucluelet home, spending most days outdoors exploring the coast with her husband and two kids, and getting used to the idea that the ocean isn’t frozen six months of the year.

Follow her field school adventures 👉 @raincoastfieldschool and @raincoasted

#ukeefieldschool #ucluelet #education #raincoasteducationsociety #outdooreducation #getoutside #backtoschool #welcome #outdoorclassroom

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June 26.
Little buddies and big buddies teamed up today to hunt for local plant species. Little buddies were able to share some games and different plants they learned this year with their big buddies. After lunch, big buddies taught their little buddies about species found in the intertidal area on the beach. What a great way to share what we learned together! Thanks Kindergarten/Grade 1 and 3 for a wonderful year!
#getoutside #ukeefieldschool #ukee #buddies #plants

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June 19.
What do tide pools, rainforests, bogs, mudflats, and kelp forests have in common?  Besides the fact that the Grade 4 class visited all of them, the class also found many connections between all of the ecosystems they studied over the past year. Students wrapped up their learning creating poster boards for each of these amazing ecosystems. .
#getoutside #ukeefieldschool #everythingisconnected #ecosystem

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June 17.
Living in Ucluelet means living and sharing our wonderful space with wildlife. Wild Safe BC representative, Bob Hansen, spoke to the class about ways that we can share this beautiful place with our furry friends. Students then went to check our wildlife cameras to see what has been strolling in the forests. Though we found some wolf scat with a mouse skull, the cameras revealed only neighbourhood domestic cats.
#getoutside #ukeefieldschool #ukee #wildlife #wildsafebc @wildsafebc

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Raincoast Field School is made possible with the support of the administration and teaching staff at local schools, and the generosity of organizations, businesses, and individuals within the community. The curriculum is designed to build upon itself each year, representing a  long-term commitment to the students. Our instructors are highly skilled educators in a full-time position with the RES, committed to the program, and the community they teach in.

Need help?

If you have any questions about our courses, our events, or just us in general – we’re here to help!