Seaweeds of the West Coast - May 2019

Come and learn about the world of West Coast Seaweeds with seaweed enthusiasts Dr. Bridgette Clarkston and Dr. Katy Hind! This three-day field course (Friday evening - Sunday afternoon) is based at the Tofino Botanical Gardens.


May 17 - 19, 2019


Raincoast Education Society


Dr. Bridgette Clarkston


Dr. Katy Hind


1084 Pacific Rim Hwy
Tofino, BC


This course will introduce participants to the world of west coast seaweeds. Topics to be covered include an introduction to seaweeds (What are they? What is their role in coastal ecology?), biodiversity of west coast seaweeds, essentials of collecting and identifying seaweeds, seaweed foraging, the relationship between seaweeds and people, pressing and preserving seaweeds, and more!

Bridgette Clarkston is a seaweed enthusiast and co-author of the field guide, Pacific Seaweeds: A Guide to Common Seaweeds of the West Coast. She is a science educator and avid photographer with over 11 years of teaching and outreach experience. She has worked with initiatives such as the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre and the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative at the University of British Columbia. She specialized in seaweed taxonomy during her PhD at the University of New Brunswick where she discovered several new species of red seaweed, including one she named Euthora timburtonii. Currently, she is a faculty member in the Botany department at the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Katy Hind is a seaweed biologist and Hakai Scholar. She is currently working as the Senior Laboratory Coordinator at UVic. In her research, she has described new species of seaweed using an integrative approach that combines molecular techniques, historical DNA, morphology, biogeography, and ecology. To find out more about Katy’s research visit


Course Schedule:

Friday (7:00 pm - 8:30 pm)
Evening Classroom
• Introductory presentation: An overview of west coast seaweeds, different seaweed groups, role of seaweeds in coastal marine ecosystems.

Saturday (8:00 am - 5:00 pm; 7:00 - 8:30 pm)
Field and Classroom
• Field trip to explore seaweeds on Tofino’s rocky coast and practice naturalist skills, including fundamentals of seaweed identification.
• Collection of seaweeds at field site - bring journals and cameras to record habitat info.

Low tide is at 7:11 am (1.7 feet / 0.52 m)

7:11 AM PDT 1.7 feet

• Seaweed identification and pressing workshop.
• Practice using dichotomous keys, field guides and online databases to identify unknown specimens.
• Create your own scientific and artistic seaweed presses.
• Seaweeds and people: from traditional uses to modern foraging, and everything in between

Sunday (8:00 am - 1:00 pm)
• Putting it all together: field trip to identify seaweeds and their communities in nature, including opportunities to share what you’ve learned with the group. Group lunch and course wrap-up.

Low tide is at 7:53 am (1.4 feet / 0.43 m)




Course fee:

$240 per person and includes lunch on Saturday & Sunday

How to register:

Register with the Raincoast Institute through the link below.