All applicants for summer courses are automatically considered for BMSC scholarships awarded by the Western Canadian Universities Marine Sciences Society (WCMSS). You do not need to apply for BMSC scholarships, all summer and fall applicants are automatically considered for scholarships. We will let you know if you received one with your acceptance notice.
Courses at BMSC are considered the same as courses taken from your university so you may be eligible for financial assistance from your university. Contact the Financial Aid Officer at your institution for more information.
We apologize if you have been wait-listed for a course(s). BMSC has small class sizes (usually max. 22) which sometimes require a waitlist. We would like to note that many students are accepted for courses from the waitlist each spring. It can happen any time before the course begins but the most likely time to be accepted is in early April (after the deposit deadline). Unfortunately, we are unable to release information on your position (#) in the waitlist. If you are accepted for your alternate choice course and wait-listed for your first choice course, your course deposit can later be transferred between those courses (if you are later moved from the waitlist to accepted for your first choice course).
You must confirm your intention to attend BMSC by making a deposit, toward your BMSC fee. If we do not receive your deposit(s) by the deadline date (to be communicated to you with your acceptance notice), your place may be given to student on the waitlist. If you plan not to accept one or more courses, please let us know as early as possible so another waitlisted student can be given the opportunity.
Course deposits are not refundable. However, a course deposit may be applied to a new course selection if you change your mind about which course(s) you wish to take in the same semester (e.g., if you are moved from waitlist to accepted for a course and want to switch into that one). You may not apply a deposit to a course for which a deposit has already been paid (i.e. deposits paid to two courses may not be applied to a single course fee).
Phone the University Programs office at 250-728-3301 ext 221 to pay your deposit by credit card. Please leave a voicemail if we are not here (i.e. if it is not during business hours). If the voicemail box is full, please try again during or after the next business day. We will send a receipt confirmation by email for the charge once it is processed (2-5 business days).
The deposit counts towards the full course fee. The remainder of the course fee is paid on day one of the course at the main office.
To operate small vessels (the Copes) at BMSC, Transport Canada requires the operator to have at a minimum a valid Pleasure Craft Operators Card (PCOC) and a valid, Marine Basic First Aid certificate or a provincially recognized first aid course with a minimum of 16 hrs /2 days of training is required to operate BMSC Cope vessels. ‘In-person’ or ‘blended’ courses that meet the above criteria are acceptable.
Boat checkouts and safety training by BMSC foreshore staff are also required prior to the start of your course.
Students are not required to operate power boats if they do not wish to. Further, some courses do not involve the use of power boats. However, for many courses boat operation is encouraged, though not required. Students must obtain a PCOC certification, and a 16-hour, in-person First Aid course with CPR-C recognized in a Province or Territory (e.g. Red Cross, St. John’s) to be qualified to operate boats (about 40% of students do). Upon arrival at BMSC, students in possession of the required certifications are trained to use our power boats, and given the opportunity to practice boating skills prior to being given permission to take the boats outside the inlet.
There are also rowboats in the summer which may be used for recreation. You do not need a PCOC or first aid certification to operate rowboats.
There is no moorage space available for personal boats.
Fall Program 2021 students:
We at the BMSC are excited to potentially offer full use of our Cope fleet for the 2021 Fall Program. This is based on B.C.’s Restart Plan and on B.C. Health Guidelines and restrictions being lifted prior to or during Fall Program. Once BC Health Guidelines permit, boat training and use will be provided to students who hold a valid PCOC certification and 2-day First Aid + CPR-C course (see above). It is necessary to obtain these certifications before arriving at BMSC for the start of the Fall Program, as it is not feasible once the program has begun. Operating boats at BMSC is entirely optional.
No, unless your instructor asks you to bring something. Course equipment will be provided. Teaching labs are stocked with microscopes, glassware and other basic supplies. Chemicals are stored in the chemical room. Other equipment must be signed out. If you can’t find what you need, please ask your Instructor or TA or the UP staff (e.g., If you need any additional equipment for independent projects). Please notify them as soon as possible because getting specialized supplies in Bamfield can take a long time.
Access to equipment in research areas must be requested through University Programs.
Anything marked “Research” is not for student use. If you need something, please talk to the University Program Coordinator, your Instructor or TA.
The marine environment near BMSC can sometimes be cold and wet and is always unpredictable. STUDENTS MUST BRING: good quality, waterproof, rubber boots, heavy-duty rain gear (pants and jacket), backpack, flashlight/headlamp, and warm clothing. Close-toed footwear is required in labs and on boats. You can purchase limited rain gear and boots locally at Bamfield Builders Supply, Breakers Marine, or Bamfield Mercantile & Marine. There are also boots available for borrow, but it is still recommended to bring your own (so that you are certain they won’t leak) For more information on what to bring, see our Summer packing list and Fall packing list.
Pillows with cases are supplied, but you will need to bring a sleeping bag or sheets and a blanket (mattresses are twin-long size). Alternatively, you can rent a sheet set from BMSC for $25. There are coin-operated laundry facilities on site (loonies). Please bring your own towels (1 for beach, 1 for showers).
You must notify the main office with your request to rent sheets PRIOR to your arrival so they can be left out for you on the day you arrive. Please contact email@example.com or 250-728-3301 x 221 to request sheet rentals (well in advance of your course).
Students attending courses must live in on-site accommodations but camping excursions may be part of your specified courses. There are also many beautiful beaches to camp on for personal excursions (i.e. on weekends).
Consider bringing camping gear (sleeping bag, pad, tent, and stove) if you have it. Your instructors will let you know if they plan an overnight trip during their course. If so, they will let you know what to bring (BMSC will provide cooking materials like stoves and food for course camping trips) In addition, students often organize recreational camping trips on weekends or between courses.
Please arrive before dinner (6:00 pm) on the Sunday before your course begins (Unless the course begins after a holiday Monday, in which case, arrive on Monday). You will depart BMSC after breakfast on the day following the last day of your course.
If it is necessary for you to arrive early, please contact the University Program Coordinator and we will do our best to accommodate you.
Textbooks are listed on the BMSC website under course descriptions (if applicable). Students must order their own books. You may request books be mailed to BMSC (by Canada Post only, no courier service) where they will be held for your arrival. Have books sent to: c/o Your Name, Name of your course Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre 100 Pachena Rd. Bamfield, BC V0R 1B0
In general: Students should bring binders, notebooks, paper, pencils and any other items you deem necessary for a typical lab and field based course, and any items specifically requested by your course instructor.
If you wish to drop a course, please notify the University Programs office as soon as possible or at least 3 weeks prior to the start of your course so another student has the opportunity to attend. It is your responsibility to complete the withdrawal process at the university at which you registered.
The kitchen is equipped to accommodate many dietary needs and allergies. We asked you to indicate dietary requirements on your application form. The BMSC dining hall is a peanut-free facility and we are able to accommodate vegetarian, vegan, and dairy-free meal options.
Accommodation is in dormitories or cabins with shared bathroom facilities. The bathrooms and showers are all in their own lockable private rooms (i.e. they are not shared bathrooms with stalls).
In Fall 2021 each student will have their own private room. Each room has desks, a sink, a large mirror and large closets.
Pillows with cases are supplied, but you will need to bring a sleeping bag or sheets and a blanket (mattresses are twin-long size). Alternatively, you can rent a sheet set from BMSC for $25. There are coin-operated laundry facilities on site (loonies). Please bring your own towels (1 for beach, 1 for showers). The last night of accommodation is the last Friday of your course. Students must check out of rooms by 10am Saturday.
Students staying on for a subsequent course may stay over the Saturday night between courses.
We will create a Facebook group to connect with your classmates before, during, and after the course. Feel free to post anything relevant including ride shares, links, photos, etc. To access/join the group, search:
BMSC Summer of [current year]
BMSC Fall Program [current year]
For example, BMSC Summer of 2020
After you’ve taken a course, you can join the BMSC Alumni page to stay connected with alumni and get relevant job postings and other notices.
You will use Moodle to access course materials, assignments, lab handouts, etc during your time at BMSC. We will set you up with an account. You may receive an email before the course asking to create your account/change your password. If you do not, you can access your Moodle account by following these steps:
The Bamfield Health Centre is located at 353 Bamfield Road.
Regular business hours: Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm. Phone: 250-728-3312
After hours on-call Nurse available 24 hours: 250-735-1151.
The nurse sometimes leaves the Centre to make house calls or deliveries therefore it is recommended that you call ahead from BMSC before going to the Health Centre. Also, note that there is no cell phone service directly outside of the Health Clinic. The closest cell phone service spot is just South of the Centre at the top of the hill on Bamfield Rd (above the hotel/pub).
The UP coordinators are trained in Mental Health First Aid. Please feel free to drop by our office and chat, anytime.
Meals begin with dinner on the Sunday immediately preceding the start of the course (or Monday dinner if the course starts on Tuesday because of a holiday) and end with a breakfast & bagged lunch on the Saturday after the end of the course.
Meal hours are normally:
Breakfast: 7:30 – 8:00 am
Lunch: 12:30-1:00 pm
Dinner: 6:00-6:30 pm
To reduce waste, please bring a travel mug, water bottle, sandwich container, and re-usable lunch bag for days when bag lunches are necessary. For courses with overnight camping trips, students may wish to bring suitable utensils. For any non-course related camping, students are responsible for their own food.
If you require a bag lunch for field work you must give the kitchen at least 24 hours’ notice. Make requests for bag lunches through your TA.
You bet! Every summer, we are also lucky enough to have bio-luminescence in the crashing waves some nights. When visiting local beaches, please use low-impact and responsible practices. Pack your garbage out with you and if you have a beach fire, please keep it small and below the high tide line. Burn small pieces of wood and do not set large logs on fire.
There are two grocery stores: The Market (east Bamfield) and the Bamfield Mercantile and Marine, (west Bamfield) – both stores sell liquor. There is a café, a pub and hotel, a building supply and home hardware store (some rain gear), a marine supply store (some rain/camping gear), 1 automobile gas station, 2 marine gas stations, 2 campgrounds, 2 community parks, and several B&B’s.
There are no banks in Bamfield. There is an ATM at The Market and both grocery stores offer cash back.
Students may snorkel as part of courses. Please read the BMSC Snorkel/ Skin Diving Policy Guide here. BMSC has full sets of wetsuits and snorkel gear for student use. These are rented for $35 per semester (Summer or Fall). If you have your own wet suit and/or snorkel gear, and know that your course will include snorkelling, please bring it. If you need extra pieces of equipment (e.g. fins), these are rented for $5 per item per semester.
If you wish to SCUBA dive as part of your academic study, you must consult the Diving and Safety Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org) well in advance of your arrival. You must be checked out before conducting any SCUBA research and are required to abide by BMSC diving safety standards. NOTE: There is no recreational diving through the BMSC, however there is a company in town that offers recreational dive charters.
Please read the BMSC dive policy. Skin and SCUBA diving at BMSC can only be undertaken for research or educational purposes, i.e. no recreational diving. Course projects involving SCUBA require prior approval. A qualified surface attendant is mandatory on all dives. Divers must pass a dive checkout with the BMSC Diving and Safety Officer who also assigns locker space in the dive facility. Please label all personal equipment.
Yes, The BMSC library catalogue is online at https://www.librarycat.org/lib/BMSC. The library has an extensive collection of marine and coastal science books, as well as past student reports, journals, and over 18,000 reprints. Students also have online access to journals via their home university. Please refer to the library use handout, or see the librarian, for more information.
You will be shown animal care protocols in your course. A representative from Animal Care will also give a talk on Animal Care in the beginning of the course.
Please ensure that there is adequate water flow to organisms at all times, but avoid excessive flow. Be sure seawater hoses will stay in tanks – use locline, or secure tygon tubes with clamps or weights. Don’t forget to feed your animals and be sure the species that you house together are compatible.
BMSC has implemented a scent-free workplace environment. Exposure to scented products can adversely affect a person’s health. In high concentrations, scented products may trigger a negative response for those with allergies or chemical sensitivities. Students and visitors are asked to be considerate in their use of products such as perfume, makeup, shampoo, deodorant, etc. or from other products such as air fresheners, cleaners, etc.