“The trip to Bamfield was one of the highlights of my Quest experience.” Tanner Field ’14.
At Quest, students taking Marine Zoology spend five days at the world-renowned Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre and experience first-hand the richness of the animal kingdom in the sea. What makes a sponge an animal? Why don’t diving whales get the bends? Why is there only one known marine amphibian? These are only a few of the questions students explore.
The program varies day to day. The class might set out early in the morning to collect anemones and crabs during low tide, then bring them back to the lab and house them in seawater tables. The afternoon may include mini research projects that students present on the beach. Nightfall brings a chance to view bioluminescent plankton in the dark waters off a dock.
“When you study marine life you end up learning about a whole range of scientific topics, from biology to biochemistry,” says Dr. Marjorie Wonham, who leads the course. “By its very nature, marine life is also global: marine organisms do not recognize international borders.”
The class lives together on Vancouver Island, cooking group meals and enjoying the beauty of one of BC’s most spectacular environments. Students pay a fee to help cover housing, food, and other items.