Renew Your Quest


We believe that new experiences and adventures stimulate, rejuvenate, and inspire at any age. At Renew Your Quest, you’ll experience the intellectual electricity of learning with instructors who will stretch your thinking and perception of the world, while exploring the mountains, forests, lakes, and sea of Squamish and the Sea to Sky corridor.


In addition to your course, daily facilitated group sessions will provide opportunities to reflect on your experiences and purpose as you take this time to breathe, try new things with your fellow adventurers, and find renewed energy and inspiration. You will also have opportunities for daily yoga and meditation, healthy local food, and outdoor activities in our spectacular setting.


  • Housing
  • Meals (excluding one dinner in Whistler at your choice of many restaurants!)
  • Course materials
  • Daily activities and excursions
  • Parking

Option 1: Exploring Coastal Biodiversity

The newly designated Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound UNESCO Biosphere covers over 200,000 hectares, with the Squamish Estuary situated at its center.  We will explore coastal habitats and organisms from the river to the sea, to uncover the diversity and dynamics of estuarine life in this special location. Through this exploration, we will cultivate the critical habits of mind that scientists use to learn from and about the natural world. Louis Agassiz said, “study nature, not books” — we will do both.

Your Instructor

Dr. Marjorie Wonham is a marine biologist and educator. She has worked and taught on the west coast from California to Vancouver Island, and has been a professor at Quest for over 10 years. Her main areas of research have been in marine invertebrate zoology and biological invasions; her current research focuses on question-based pedagogy and the intersection between biology and poetry. She has developed and taught courses on marine zoology, ecology, and conservation; biology and poetry; sex, gender, and sexuality; poo and permaculture; and rhetoric. Her favourite marine invertebrates include sea cucumbers and kinorhynchs.

Option 2: Knowledge and Reality

What is it possible to know, and what is the nature of reality? It turns out that philosophers have been thinking about these questions for thousands of years. But what many people don’t realize is that philosophers actually make *progress* on these questions. This course is a whirlwind tour of some of the most important philosophical questions in the fields of epistemology (the study of knowledge) and metaphysics (the study of reality). Along the way, we shall think about truth, logic, God, time, and free will—and what philosophical progress looks like!

Your Instructor

Dr. K Darcy Otto holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from McMaster University.  His areas of specialization are philosophy, classical civilization, logic, and theory of computation.  He has been a professor at Quest for the past decade, and his current research focuses on quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and trigonometric texts in medieval Latin.

Renew Your Quest Host and Group Facilitator

Melanie Koenderman works with educational institutions and foundations in Canada and abroad. She was the founding Dean of Students for Quest University, and for Schwarzman Scholars at Tsinghua University in Beijing. She is an executive and leadership coach, facilitator, and yoga and meditation instructor, and brings all of these things to her work. With decades of experience in the field of higher education, she still gets excited about creating impactful opportunities for people to grow, and find joy, energy, and purpose at all stages of their lives.


  • All participants are required to have health insurance coverage for in Canada
  • Given the nature of the activities and campus lodging, all guests are required to provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination prior to arrival
  • Covid protocols will be based on provincial regulations at the time of the course.



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Quest University Canada is suspending regular academic programming following
completion of the current academic year in April 2023.

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