If you are interested in the natural world, Vancouver Island is rich in learning opportunities. Explore your surroundings and develop a deeper appreciation for the natural environment with our Science and Nature courses. Learn more about our course topics below and visit our Science and Nature Courses page to see what’s currently available.
Victoria is an ideal place to study marine life due to the easy access to different habitats, the tidal regime and the abundance of plants and animals. In our ocean-themed courses, you’ll discover the different forms of life that occur in our region and understand how this diverse group of animals can survive in these harsh conditions. We also offer courses that examine the impacts of human activity on oceans and identify key issues of concern in our oceans as the human population continues to grow.
Our birding courses are an ideal opportunity to discover the pleasures of bird watching and bird identification. Through a combination of lectures and field trips, you will learn how to identify birds using postures and field marks, as well as songs and calls. Classroom sessions will incorporate slide and video presentations to cover the major bird groups seen around Victoria's back yards, forests, ponds and shoreline habitats. We also regularly offer other workshops of interest to birding enthusiasts.
Whether you already have a green thumb or are looking to develop one, your horticultural interests will be further inspired by courses designed to give you an understanding of horticultural science and how it is related to many horticultural practices in the garden, nursery and greenhouse
Space is a topic that has great public appeal, heightened recently by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield following his stay on the International Space Station. Our space exploration workshops will connect you with a topic that seems a world away by discussing space technologies, life without gravity, settling on Mars, and more.
If you want to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy a memorable learning experience, consider one of our regular nature explorations on Vancouver Island.
Join Anne Fraser, Marc Bell and their team of naturalists as they explore the wonders of Pacific Rim National Park with nature walks on Long Beach, the intertidal zone, the rainforest and the Wild Pacific Trail. Learn about the shipwrecks that spawned the West Coast Trail and perhaps see the grey whales migrating. This trip occurs in alternate years. The next trip will be in January 2016.
Spring is the focus of our Yellow Point Lodge nature tour, now in its 30th year. Each year in April, enjoy a week-long exploration of the wonders of spring with biologists and artists. Birding, stargazing and computer/microscope sessions combine for an in-depth experience of spring.
Experience 20-foot waves crashing on rocky shores along the magnificent west coast of Vancouver Island, where the rainforest meets the Pacific. A team of Long Beach and Tofino naturalists will guide your leisurely explorations. This trip occurs in alternate years. The next trip will be in January 2017.
Oceans, Carbon and Climate Change
2/18 Marine Birds
2/23 Flash Gordon vs Hitler: How Death Rays Saved the World
3/1 Our Changing Ocean Part 1 - Series Registration
3/2 Evolution, Biology and Ecology of Marine Mammals
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