Located on Vancouver Island’s West Coast, Bamfield is a remote village of fewer than 200 occupants, famous for its salmon fishing and renowned marine science centre.
The town itself is accessible only by boat or car via an old, gravel logging road, making the town one of the more remote locations on the island. Although remote, the townsite is home to a market, cafe, restaurants, and unique stores.
Earlier this month, our Grade 11 class headed up the Alberni Inlet towards Barkley Sound via The Lady Rose, a passenger and freight boat, to conduct experiments and research at the Bamfield Marine Science Centre.
The Bamfield Marine Science Centre
Established in 1972 by the Western Canadian Universities Marine Sciences Society (WCUMSS), The Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre was created in order to provide a permanent base for marine and coastal-oriented field operations on the west coast of Canada.
Situated on the pristine outer west coast of Vancouver Island with approximately 3,000 square metres of laboratory space, the Marine Centre offers a remarkable diversity of marine, terrestrial, freshwater, and cultural sites of the North East Pacific basin while supporting research in almost any field of study for all users.
The Centre strives to provide world-class research infrastructure and support for Canadian and international researchers on the west coast of Canada.
- Offer undergraduate and graduate courses and programs;
- Offer training opportunities and in-residence programs to schools, colleges, First Nations, and other public groups.
The Group 4 DP Project
The program is an intense, curriculum-based experience, with students required to work a full 10 hours a day to fulfill their Group 4 Diploma Programme (DP) project. The Group 4 DP project is a collaborative activity where students from different group 4 subjects work together on a scientific or technological topic, allowing for concepts and perceptions from across the disciplines to be shared. The goal of the project ultimately comes back to ‘encouraging an understanding of the relationships between scientific disciplines and the overarching nature of the scientific method.’
This year, our students conducted research on various topics such as ’To What Extent Do Different Frequencies of Sound Influence the Expansion Rate of a Sea Anemone’, How Does the Salinity Affect the Activity of Vermillion Starfish and Leather Starfish’, ‘To What Extent Does the Species of a Crab Tell Us About Their Rate of Feeding?’, and ‘What is the Photosynthetic Rate of Plankton’.
Along with conducting research relative to their Hypothesis Questions, students also spent their three days on the Bamfield Marine Science Centre’s campus learning about different ocean species, conducting labs, researching zooplankton and phytoplankton under microscopes, and visiting the beautiful beaches and surrounding rainforests.