Race Rocks Ecological Reserve and the web activity

Race Rocks Ecological Reserve and the web activity: racerocks.com

Students learning to use the web camera broadcast take images for archives, but also broadcast live. For a calendar of events broadcast live this fall from Pearson College, check the Race Rocks website:

On this bright, sunny afternoon — one of our last for the last while — students take the 10 minute boat trip to Race Rocks Marine protected area and learn to use the equipment.

Biology teacher Garry Fletcher is the creator of the live (and often interactive) webcasting from Race Rocks Marine Protected Area. In mid-October, for example, the group did a live webcast to the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa.

Come along with us to Race Rocks on this sunny afternoon.

Live Webcasting— a First Experience

Originally published in the College newspaper, THE LINK Oct 24, 2003, number 53

It was a warm sunny day, the day I had race rocks .com activity. As soon as I got to the float house Garry tells me,” We are going to Race Rocks.” I’d heard of this place for a really long time but had never been there, so got all excited.

We took the boat and as soon as I got to Race Rocks, the feeling was magical. There was the whole bunch of sea lions — northern, Californian and some other types — and this huge sea lion there on the dock. I never got to see one so close before in my life. All of us in the boat were admiring them while Eileen got busy clicking her cam and some worried that the sea lion would jump into the boat.

It was a wonderful experience, something hard for me to express in words. You had to be there to feel it. But there was something more to that beauty … they smelled reallly bad. I had to literally stop myself from breathing. That was tough.

Then we got to learn a lot about setting a live web cast and I got to be on one. I was so nervous! I could feel the blood rush to my cheeks and I was speaking so fast I didn’t even know what I was saying. This was so embarrassing knowing that people all over the world would have seen me making a fool out of myself. Better luck next time!…

It is one of my most memorable days at Pearson.  Sonam Yangden (year 3

Webcasting Crew at Race Rocks for the Johan Ashvud RR’02 Project



Michael Kiprop Kenya (PC-2003)



Joe Downham UK (PC-2003)


Ben Dougall Australia (PC-2003)


Ryan Murphy Newfoundland & Labrador (PC-2001)

“We had a great time webcasting live from Race Rocks on Camera 4 during the first two weeks of June for the Johan Ashuvud Race Rocks02 Project”
Three current first year students from Pearson College and Ryan Murphy, who graduated last year stayed at the Marine Science Centre. Ryan is returning to Race Rocks this month to do research for Mt.Allison Univ. on the macroalgal community.

See one video on Pterygophora which was one part of his project here: They conducted daily live and prerecorded webcasts with Garry Fletcher from the intertidal and from underwater using camera 4.


Garry Fletcher Biology/Diving faculty

For one of the webcasts we were joined by Sean LeRoy, Graduate Researcher, Georgia Basin Futures Project Sustainable Development Research Institute, University of British Columbia and Dr.James Tansey also of UBC. They came to participate in the webcast with Garry and Ryan on Marine Protected Areas in new Zealand and Canada with Tim Langlois, Leigh Marine Laboratory University of Auckland, and Anne Saloman, University of Washington, Zoology Department.

On three days we hosted small groups of students from local elementary schools who served as proxies in webcasts done for their classmates.

Support for the Race Rocks 02 Project came from the Johan Ashuvud Race Rocks Memorial Fund
Below are some of the Videos produced by the crew during the week.

benframes kids octopuss
Ben’s movie put together during the week. June 2002 field trip: for a live webcast with the crew, of the grade six students from West-Mont school . One morning we found the body of an octopus washed up in the intertidal zone. An impromptu dissection led to this video.

Webcasting for QuickTime Live

On February 14 , 2002, we did a live webcast for Keith Mitchell of ALI ( Apple learning Interchange) in his presentation at QuickTime Live in Hollywood California. This was the first time we tried out the new webcasting software “LiveChannel” from our new partners Channel Storm.


Webcast crew

(L to R back) Garry,Damien, Nigel (L to R front) Kiprop, Ian(visitor), Monica, Olend, Chris . Thanks to Angus Matthews for the photos– Monica claims full responsibility for the commentary on this page!! Also see this write-up which appeared in the Pearson College Newsletter

The Race Rocks group setting up before the big day! Monica and Nigel peer intently into the eye of one of the cameras and Garry tests out the underwater cam before the dive, looking a bit like Roger Rabbit in the process.

Students out from College for a webcast

Thursday, February 14, 2002
Good Evening
TEMPERATURE: Max. 7.9C  Min. 3.9C  Reset 6.0C
MARINE LIFE: 13 mature, 2 immature Bald Eagles. The Geese spent the day in the Northeast quadrant of Gr. Race, then just after dark we heard them move around to the grass area by the tower, maybe to spend the night out of the wind.
HUMAN INTERACTION: College boats out with Angus, Garry, Chris and students about 9:30 to do a live webcast,not the best weather wind wise – a cold 13 knts. from the north but at least it was sunny! Everyone was rewarded on the trip back to campus with an unexpected ‘ interlude’ with an Orca – most likely transient- just outside the entrance to Pedder Bay. The lone bull was moving westward not too far off shore and although we had to watch him through the telescope it is always exciting to get even a glimpse.Garry and students returned for a dive at 3p.m. Left for the campus about 4:45 p.m. 2 Pleasure craft through the reserve today.
posted by Carol or Mike S at 6:06 PM

Webcasting from Under the Race Rocks Waves Direct to an Educational Conference in Hollywood



February 21, 2002. number 13.

Garry Fletcher and the webcasting activity group

On Thursday, Feb 14, several members of our racerocks.com activity group escaped mid-morning to Race Rocks to participate in a live webcast to the QuickTime Live conference in Hollywood, California. You could say they were “on stage Live in Hollywood!” Well , , , almost !

Chris, Damien and Nigel braved an ebb current off the dock to perform for the webcast from underwater . They developed a new technique of hooking themselves to a guide line to ensure we could get out live some good examples of underwater life at Race Rocks, even though the conditions were less than ideal. Garry, Monica, Olend and Kiprop manipulated images and video streams on the webcasting computer top side while they did a test drive of the new webcasting software called “Live Channel.”

“The exciting thing for us” said the students “was that we were able to make smooth transitions between the underwater camera and the camera on the docks while also inserting selected pre-recorded clips and still images.”

“The purpose of this exercise,” added Garry Fletcher, “was to demonstrate to our audience at the conference in California how we can use the technology of racerocks.com in a wide variety of educational applications.”

It was only a week earlier that the decision had been made by the group to go with the amazing, yet so far unproven webcasting software “LiveChannel”. A new partner, “Channel Storm”, a software company from Israel, has been impressed with our work with the live cameras and the Race Rocks web site and has offered to partner with us by providing their software. They came through with last minute advice by long distance and many reassuring e-mails from their software engineers. Further links with our co- presenter from the Apple Learning Interchange, the generous provider of the services of the Akamai network for our video distribution on the internet made all this possible.

“I think our students are beginning to realize what an incredibly unique opportunity they have to pioneer in this area. It just has such a great potential for many educational applications.” continued Garry. “We even use the International Affairs presentations each week with the two cameras to practise some aspects of webcasting and on- the fly editing. Those students who really wish to take advantage of it are able to gain experience with some real cutting edge technology.” The racerocks.com activity is adding a webpage this week to provide images of the venture.

A recent addition to the campus side of racerocks.com is a wireless aerial atop the academic building, just like that used at Race Rocks. This gives an added opportunity to cover wirelessly events from around the college campus, outdoors or in. As spring approaches, watch for notices on the webcast schedule page on the Pearson homepage for short-notice of events.

Ocean’s Alive: A Marine Life Weekend

“OCEAN’S ALIVE: A MARINE LIFE WEEKEND” Webcast Event from Race Rocks 

Originally published in The LINK, the college newspaper on January 10, 2002. number 7.

At the end of November, students gained the experience of live webcasting to contribute to a major marine educational project run by the Royal BC Museum. They were able to apply their own recently acquired technological skills to show in real time the Race Rocks Marine Protected Area.


On the weekend of November 24-25, 8 students and Garry Fletcher participated in ” Ocean’s Alive – A Marine Life Weekend ” at the Royal BC Museum. Pearson College had been invited along with a dozen other marine interest groups to provide on-going displays over the two days of the weekend of projects designed to promote education and research in the local marine environment.

For half of Saturday and all of Sunday, Michael Kiprop and Olend Kondakciu operated the mobile camera 4 at Race Rocks while Garry and the students ran four computers and two projectors with the four live video streams coming from Race Rocks. Thanks to the loan of two Apple computer G4 Powerbook, one from from Soho Computers and from Westworld Computers in Victoria, they were able to present some of the on-line resources of the colleges racerocks.com website to some of the 2300 members of the public who went through the turnstyles of the museum over the weekend. Initial problems of receiving webcasts inside on the museum’s network were solved by bringing in and installing in the rafters our own Apple Airport Base station which allowed wireless transmissions of four video streams to the museum hallways.

Julia Clark and Virginie Lavallee , both second year Environmental Systems helped set up the equipment for the display and answer the public’s questions on Saturday morning while Damien Guihen of the racerocks activity helped Garry on the Saturday afternoon. For the Sunday presentations, Michael Cameron, Jaffar Saleh and Molly McKay, all members of the racerocks.com group each put in half a day for the presentations. It was a great opportunity to get out with the public to help promote the work we do at Race Rocks.

We at the college now almost take for granted the 24 hour live webcasts from Race Rocks and the weekly live webcast of various college presentations such as International Affairs. There was surprise and amazement from many visitors, however, who never realized before that they could get such interesting live images of the sea lions and seabirds right in their own nearby Strait of Juan de Fuca. Two couples touring Victoria from Great Britain were excited to know that from home they could now see the wildlife of the local area live on the internet. For times of webcasts from the campus, see the link to the webcast schedule from the college home page.

Webcast to Conference in New York from underwater Race Rocks

During a presentation to the ETC conference at the United Nations School in New York in the spring of 2001, we tried out the underwater audio link from DIVELINK . An audio signal is relayed by SONAR for Ryan to a receiver near the docks. This receiver was connected to the audio input on the G3 laptop computer and to the shore tender as well. Both voices could be carried by the Sorenson Broadcaster first by wireless AirPort and then onto the internet. In this way we were able to communicate from underwater in the Pacific Ocean live by internet to the Altlantic coast. In this video, Ryan Murphy, a student at Pearson College, operates the device and the camera was operated by Jean-Olivier Dalphond, also a student at the college.

Live Transmission to the Internet from Underwater-2000

n June 2000, Lester B. Pearson College divers stayed at Race Rocks for two weeks, for the Johan Ashuvud Week doing live underwater transmissions to the internet. This video is a sample of scenes from the live webcast. It shows some of the colourful invertebrate life at 8 meters depth, on the north side of Great Race.

See http://www.racerocks.ca/the-johan-ashuvud-project-2000/