Environmental Education

The globally-unique Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Region (CSBR) is a living laboratory that provides an ideal context for cross-disciplinary place-based environmental education. The CBT encourages an applied learning model that links curriculum and data with the lived experiences of students and residents of the region. As a result of our remoteness, marine and terrestrial ecosystem integrity, close-knit rural communities, history of resource exploitation, activism, and conservation, strong nuučaan̓uł (Nuu-chah-nulth) cultures, and recent socioeconomic shifts associated with tourism, the CSBR offers a world-class opportunity to explore the complexity of cross-cutting themes contributing to sustainable development. 

Sustainability and the Biosphere Field Course

Since 2015, the CBT — with support from nuučaan̓uł (Nuu-chah-nulth) elders and knowledge holders, local non-profits, and community leaders — has delivered a summer field course to students of Royal Roads University’s Environmental Education and Communication MA Program. The interdisciplinary course, called Sustainability and the Biosphere focuses on social-ecological system relationships that foster community resilience on the west coast. 

With a strong emphasis on place-based learning, the course is delivered in multiple locations in the Biosphere Region, including Monks house at načiqs, Lone Cone Hostel on Wah-nah-jus Hilth-hoo-is (Meares Island), and Cedar Coast Field Station near Keltsmaht on Vargas Island. Students learn first hand from local people and their experiences of change, recovery, and transformation.

NSERC PromoScience Expedition

Through the West Coast NEST, the CBT is the local host of the PromoScience Expedition, which brings the Canadian Coast Guard research ship the CCGS Vector to students and their communities on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The ship is loaded with a crew of scientists, marine research equipment, and displays of research from the area surrounding our ports of call. 

As the regional host, we coordinate all regional elements of the visit, including organizing an Oceans Fair featuring local organizations such as Raincoast Education Society, Cedar Coast Field Station, Strawberry Isle Marine Research Society, and Ucluelet Aquarium. Stay tuned for the next PromoScience Expedition! 

Education Tourism

As the CSBR became a global tourism destination, our communities realized the importance of education tourism as a pathway to community sustainability. With community partners from across the region, CBT launched the West Coast N.E.S.T. (Nature. Education. Sustainability. Transformation.) to drive learning and collective action in an unsustainable social-ecological system. Read about the initiative on the Community Conservation Research Network (CCRN) community stories page and check out the recent CCRN documentary film that features the CSBR.