Educate, Elevate, and Explore


APRIL 14TH, 2018



Prince Rupert is a place of astounding natural beauty.  It is the gateway to British Columbia’s vast wildnerness and the home of humpback whales, harbour porpoises, killer whales, and more.  For many years, a group of Northern resident killer whales known as the A42s have thrilled residents and visitors alike by swimming through Prince Rupert Harbour every April.  Join experts from Ocean Wise’s Coastal Ocean Research Institutes and the University of British Columbia to learn more about these amazing animals.   In addition, there will be tons of activities for all ages, inlcuding information booths, activities, games, displays, and prizes!

In the evening, festivities will continue at the Wheelhouse.  Seafood from sustainable sources will be highlighted, and all donations will go towards the establishment of the Prince Rupert North Coast Ecology Centre.  Learn more on Facebook.


Symbollically adopt a killer whale through the Wild Killer Whale Adoption Program

Whale bones and displays

Listen to whale acoustics

Learn how whales, dolphins, porpoises, and pinnipeds are rescued

Initiatives in the North to protect marine mammmals

Species identification techniques

Participate in cetacean research-the BC Cetacean Sightings Network

Take the Plastic Wise pledge

Games, giveaways, scavenger hunts, prizes, and more

Speaker Series



Dr. Lance Barrett-Lennard is the director of the Marine Mammal Research Program at Ocean Wise’s Coastal Ocean Research Institute.  He first become fascinated by killer whales and other marine mammals while working at a lighthouse keeper on B.C.’s remote coast.  Lance has been an active collaborator in the ongoing studies of the behavioural and population biology of killer whales in British Columbia since 1984.  A molecular geneticist, he uses DNA analysis to better understand the population diversions, dispersal patterns, and mating systems of killer whales.  His research findings have served as the basis for listing of Southern resident killer whales as an endangered population, and he co-chaired an expert panel which produced a comprehensive recovery strategy for resident killer whales.  He spends much of the spring and summer months conducting field research in the coastal waters of British Columbia.  His more recent utilizes hexacopter drones to photograph killer whales from above and measure their body condition-a technique known as photogrammetry-to monitor the health of killer whales.  


Dr. Teresa (Sm’hayetsk) Ryan is a professor at the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Forestry.  She has pursued her academic and professional careers while maintaining the practices, principles and values of her Tsimshian heritage. She is a strong advocate for sustainable resource management, and rebuilding resilience in natural resources and Aboriginal people. The focus of her research is aligned with Ancestral Knowledge systems and sustainable management of natural resources, and she seeks to conduct research that shows how things are connected at the aquatic-terrestrial interface and species inter-dependencies in complex adaptive systems.  Dr. Ryan has contributed Aboriginal perspectives at several domestic and international levels. She is currently appointed as Scientist – Pacific Salmon Commission Joint Chinook Technical Committee (Canada), Member of the Circle of Experts for the Assembly of First Nations Advisory Committee on Climate Action and the Environment (ACCAE); and Member of the (Vancouver Fraser Port Authority) Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observations (ECHO) Technical Working Group.  Her current research investigates Aboriginal salmon fishing technology and strategies that were used to increase abundance and maintain salmon biological diversity while contributing marine-derived nitrogen to coastal forests.



Kathy Heise is a research associate and marine mammal acoustic expert at Ocean Wise’s Coastal Ocean Research Institute. She began her involvement in cetacean research over 25 years ago as a lightkeeper, listening for the sounds of killer whales using a permanently-mounted hydrophone. She returned to UBC to study the ecology of Pacific white-sided dolphins and continues to be fascinated by them. As a Research Associate at the Vancouver Aquarium, she worked with colleagues to study how dolphins use echolocation to find and pursue prey and to detect and avoid underwater hazards such as nets. Kathy’s current work focuses on the effects of underwater noise on marine mammals, and she recently co-authored a report summarizing a framework for standardized metrics for the management of underwater noise for Southern resident killer whales.

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