Finally Field Exam.

It blew west 15 – 20 knots all day as the barometer slowly climbed to 1016 hPa and leveled off. The early, overcast sky gave way to sunshine by late morning and it continued brilliantly until sunset. The forecast is for more of the same with the strong wind warning continuing.

Two whale watching boats were observed working in the Ecological Reserve and both followed guidelines and regulations, treating the Reserve and its wildlife with respect. Several sports fishing boats passed through the Ecological Reserve at low speed and only one halibut sports fishing boat was slow to slow, in the go-slow zone, doing at least 15 knots but eventually remembering and slowing.

All of the ecological happenings reported on, in the last week or so continued today. Great Race was busy with Northern Elephant seals coming and going from their bathing routines, moulting, sleeping and jousting. The gulls, guillemots and oystercatchers continued to prepare for the next generation and Canada Geese were out and about, promenading their goslings. A raven was seen taking one small gosling that had been noted dead earlier, near a nest in front of the science house. Both species of sealion seem more vocal this week, with the Steller’s mostly on West Rocks and the Californians more spread out but definitely back at South Islands.

Today was busy with visitors as Laura and 36 first year marine science students arrived early to do their marine science field exam. Chris and Courtney, shuttled the class out in Second Nature and Hyaku. An extra trip in Hyaku brought out author Peter Johnson who is researching lighthouses for an up-coming book, along witha guest photographer. Hanne, a second year marine science student from Pearson College also arrived on that trip and she photographed the first years hard at work and enjoyed observing elephant seals with Courtney.


Connor continuing to learn from nature even as he writes exam.

Ha biodivers

Ha finishes off answers on biodiversity and species richness, surrounded by diverse intertidal species.

more biodivers

Determining a relationship between tidal height and intertidal diversity.

marsci exam west

‘Delightful dichotomies and wondrous waves’ is the intriguing title of this exam station.

My family continued their visit and helped out in lots of different ways, from assisting boats and people on the jetty, to encouraging me in becoming more proficient and comfortable running the derrick. I assisted Laura and students with the field exam, which is very unique. This is one exam the students will  never forget.