Out & About: Pacific Biological Research Station Tour

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October Tour Pacific Biological Research Station – Nanaimo – October 25                 

If you let the scientific terminology overwhelm you, you could end up being lost.  But for expert scientists who love what they’re doing and want to share their life’s work, they made our October tour to the Pacific Biological Station, understandable and fun.

Twelve club members recently ventured inside the historic grey building just off Hammond Bay Road that houses one of the leading oceanic research centers in the world.  Originally built in 1908, the initial wooden structure is now part of a series of buildings that houses more than 250 people who provide world-class scientific advice, information and technologies and services that directly impact the quality of our oceans and everything living in them.

For over two and a half hours, our members were taken behind scenes and given not only a detailed history of the research station but a look into the evolving roles of both the station and the Department of Fisheries.  Five different scientists took time out of their day to talk about changes in our oceans and some of the work being done on stock identification, stock status, conservation biology, the role of genetics, histology, species at risk, aqua culture, ecosystem research and oceanographic monitoring.

The group also heard details about the Orca population and three distinct groups that are found around Vancouver Island (Residents, Transients and Biggs), the decline in our starfish population and the impact of a drier summer.  They also learned how to distinguish between the Stellar and California sea-lion vocalization.

The tour gave everyone a unique and positive look into the quality and significance of research being done on-site and the talent of the scientists working there.

A second tour for our Probus group is planned for early 2018.  Details on dates will be forthcoming.


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