Category Archives: Citizen Science

Citizen Scientists Sampling for Fukushima Contamination in Port Renfrew BC (August 2016)

by Jay T. Cullen

Last evening I spoke at the monthly meeting of Surfrider Vancouver Island, one of InFORM’s non-governmental organization partners, to provide them with an update on our most recent results and progress.  Surfrider VI helps to coordinate our citizen science volunteers who sample coastal seawater every month to monitor for Fukushima derived contamination along our beaches from Victoria in the south to Lax Kw’alaams in the north of BC.  Surfrider VI is primarily responsible for sampling in Port Renfrew BC which is on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island.

I was pleasantly surprised by Lynn Wharram (Volunteer Coordinator and Combing the Coast BCU team lead) who had produced a short video chronicling her family collecting InFORM’s August 2016 seawater sample from the dock near the Port Renfrew Hotel.  You can watch the video below.

You can read more about our citizen science program methods here, our NGO partners here , and our citizen science volunteers here. Thanks again to our volunteers and to Surfrider VI for all the work they do. Go and check them out if you are interested in ocean health (and surfing).



Meet Our Newest Citizen Scientist, Cameron Letnes

By Jay T. Cullen

Our newest citizen scientist is 11-year-old Cameron Letnes who has been working alongside Cheryl Paavola of Northwest Community College in Prince Rupert British Columbia.

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Cameron has been working on a number of science projects this summer. Not, only has she been working to collect seawater samples for Fukushima InFORM but she was also surveying for the invasive European Green Crab which is playing havoc with our native crab species along the BC coast. She says her favourite part of all of this work is learning how to use the various pieces of scientific equipment, especially the salinity refractometer.

The InFORM project can’t thank our citizen science volunteers enough for their hard work and dedication.  Without their efforts our coastal seawater monitoring program would not be possible.



December 2015 Monitoring Sample Collected in Bamfield BC

By Jay T. Cullen

We are partnered with the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre (BMSC) who coordinate our citizen science coastal seawater sampling in the coastal community of Bamfield on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

I received an email today from BMSC foreshore operations Janice Pierce that the sample was sent out with todays mail from Bamfield and headed to UVic for processing.

Bamfield Dec 2015 -water sample
InFORM coastal seawater sample being collected off of Bamfield from one of BMSC’s research vessels. Great winter sky.

The location of Bamfield is indicated on the map below.

Nov 13th water sample from Bella Bella Community School

Continue reading Nov 13th water sample from Bella Bella Community School