Low Tide Exploration

Clover Point features a unique rocky beach plentiful in interesting species best seen during a low tide. On July 24, we visited the area to learn about the intertidal zone. We examined and photographed creatures such as urchins, clingfish, and chitons,

We were even lucky enough to witness whales passing by in the Salish Sea.

Learning about intertidal marine biodiversity with UVic Living Lab and Songhees youth on traditional Lekwungen territory
Sometimes, intertidal biodiversity and smartphones can go (literally) hand-in-hand. Here we see one of our Living Lab coordinators and a Songhees Academic Youth Leadership (SAYL) student snapping pictures of tide pool marine life at Clover Point
Marine biodiversity and ecocultural learning with Songhees youth on traditional Lekwungen territory
John Taylor, one of our Living Lab coordinators, points out some of the interesting inhabitants of the Salish Sea’s shoreline.
Marine biodiversity (chiton) and ecocultural learning with Songhees youth on traditional Lekwungen territory Clover point
Clover point is home to a wide variety of marine biodiversity. The animal in this photo is the yellow-orange underside of a chiton – a mollusc that uses a powerful ‘foot’ and hard shell to protect itself and thrive in the intertidal zone
Marine biodiversity, water quality and ecocultural learning with Songhees youth at Clover Point, a traditional Lekwungen territory
On the algae-covered intertidal zone of Clover Point, we had a chance to explore some of the diverse biology that makes the Salish Sea so unique

Tl’Ches (Little Chatham Is) 2017

Songhees Academic Youth Leadership

On July 6, we took a trip to THLCHESS (Chatham) Island, part of the ancestral territory of the Songhees, and learned about some of the histories of life there. We collected water samples for the lab, learned about map coordinates and scientific data collection, and examined some marine animals. For many of us, including Songhees youth, it was our first opportunity to visit this culturally significant place.

Exploring Chatham Island traditional Lekwungen territory with Songhees Academic Youth Leadership high school students, part of the eco-cultural curriculum and place-based learning of LivingLab - made possible by PromoScience and the Horner Foundation
After reaching the island, we took to exploring the beautiful shoreline of THLCHESS
Species identification and ecocultural learning on THLCHESS island in the CRD area, with Songhees Academic Youth Leadership, part of the eco-cultural curriculum and place-based learning of LivingLab - made possible by PromoScience and the Horner Foundation
During our trip, SAYL students identified some of the unique marine species in the CRD area
Taking pictures of Chatham island with high school youth for ecocultural learning on traditional Lekwungen Territory, including marine biodiversity and species identification with Songhees academic youth leadership, part of the eco-cultural curriculum and place-based learning of LivingLab - made possible by PromoScience and the Horner Foundation. Other cultural learning included the history of the CRD area such as traditional foods.
When we could, we snapped pictures of the area while we explored the island and its eco-cultural significance. Place-based learning is important in culturally-significant places such as THLCHESS, as it allows us to learn about the history of the area in a diverse inter-disciplinary manner.
Identifying intertidal marine biodiversity with local Songhees academic youth leadership on THLCHESS (Chatham) island, part of the CRD area, to foster ecocultural learning. This is part of the eco-cultural curriculum and place-based learning of LivingLab - made possible by PromoScience and the Horner Foundation. Other cultural learning included the history of the CRD area such as traditional foods.
Here’s another example of the interesting local intertidal species we got to learn about, as part of the inter-disciplinary focus of our trip!
Learning about geography of Chatham island and local Songhees First Nation territory. The island has cultural and ecological significance, which were able to explore through ecocultural learning - part of the eco-cultural curriculum and place-based learning of LivingLab. This trip was made possible by PromoScience and the Horner Foundation. Other cultural learning included the history of the CRD area such as traditional foods.
We were also able to see the geography of the surrounding islands, and learn GPS and mapping skills in the process
Learning about history of ancestral THLCHESS Island from the Songhees Nation. We experienced ecocultural learning and of the cultural significance of the area through land-based education on traditional Lekwungen territory. This trip was with Songhees Academic Youth Leadership Students, part of the eco-cultural curriculum and place-based learning of LivingLab - made possible by PromoScience and the Horner Foundation. Other cultural learning included the history of the CRD area such as traditional foods.
We were fortunate enough to learn about the history of THLCHESS island from representatives of the Songhees Nation: Cheryl Bryce and Lyle Henry.
Heading back from eco-cultural learning at THLCHESS Island with the Songhees Nation, exploring life histories and intertidal biodiversity in the CRD. This trip was with Songhees Academic Youth Leadership, part of the eco-cultural curriculum and place-based learning of LivingLab - made possible by PromoScience and the Horner Foundation. Other cultural learning included the history of the CRD area such as traditional foods.
After a long and beautiful summer’s day, we made our way back from THLCHESS. Thank you to everyone involved in this trip that made the experience a success!

KOHWEECHELLA (Bowker Creek)

Our second Living Lab trip of the summer was June 13. We went to a restored section of Bowker Creek next to Oak Bay High and learned about water testing, stream restoration, and biodiversity sampling. We gathered samples and identified organisms with the help of microscopes.

Testing water quality and restoration with stream biodiversity at Bowker Creek with Oak Bay High School. High School students learned about water quality and traditional land-use practices, part of the eco-cultural curriculum and place-based learning of LivingLab. This trip was made possible the help of University of Victoria Post-Secondary students and staff, as well as NSERC PromoScience and the Horner Foundation.
Water quality is an important indicator of ecosystem health. On our trip, students were able to collect water samples from Bowker Creek, and see the impacts of restoration efforts on the stream. Students also had the opportunity to learn about the rich cultural history of the area, and the importance of maintaining high water quality.
Ecocultural learning of water quality and restored stream biodiversity with Oak Bay High School, Songhees Nation and UVic University of Victoria, on traditional Lekwungen territory. This trip is part of the eco-cultural curriculum and place-based learning of LivingLab. This trip was made possible the help of University of Victoria Post-Secondary students and staff, as well as NSERC PromoScience and the Horner Foundation.
So what’s actually in our water? To learn about the microscopic biodiversity we don’t often think about, Oak Bay High School students looked at water samples from KOHWEECHELLA (Bowker Creek) under a high-powered microscope
Living Lab coordinators teaching water quality to Oak Bay students on traditional Lekwungen territory, Bowker Creek. This trip was part of the eco-cultural curriculum and place-based learning of LivingLab. This trip was made possible the help of University of Victoria Post-Secondary students and staff, as well as NSERC PromoScience and the Horner Foundation.
Morgan Black, one of our Living Lab coordinators, spoke to Oak Bay students about the importance of water quality in the Bowker Creek area
Testing water quality in Bowker Creek traditional Lekwungen territory. UVic Biology and Songhees nation collaborating for ecocultural learning of Oak Bay high school. This trip was part of the eco-cultural curriculum and place-based learning of LivingLab. This trip was made possible the help of University of Victoria Post-Secondary students and staff, as well as NSERC PromoScience and the Horner Foundation.
In order to get a better idea of ecosystem health in Bowker Creek, our Living Lab team showed students a number of techniques that can be used.

Willows Beach

This was our first Living Lab trip of the summer. We visited Willows Beach to learn about water testing, the intertidal zone, and the connection between stream and ocean.  We were also introduced to some of the history and cultural significance of the area by Songhees knowledge holders.

Learning about cultural significance of Willows beach on traditional Lekwungen Songhees territory, part of the eco-cultural curriculum and place-based learning with local high school students in the CRD. This trip was made possible by NSERC PromoScience and the Horner Foundation.
Before we looked at the biology of the beach, we had the opportunity to learn about the history and cultural importance of the surrounding Willows area.
Sampling intertidal biodiversity and identification in Willows Beach Oak Bay traditional Lekwungen territory with high school students, part of the eco-cultural curriculum and place-based learning with local high school students in the CRD. This trip was made possible by NSERC PromoScience and the Horner Foundation.
With identification sheets in our hands and smiles on our faces, we set out to the intertidal shore to see what kind of marine life we could find, and learn about the rich cultural history and land use by the Songhees Nation.
Ecological and biological learning through water quality testing at Willow's beach in Oak Bay, part of Living Labs ecocultural focus. This is also part of the eco-cultural curriculum and place-based learning with local high school students in the CRD. This trip was made possible by NSERC PromoScience and the Horner Foundation.
Two brave high school students tested the chilly water of Willows beach as part of the trip’s eco-cultural learning and water quality segment.
Eco-cultural learning and biological and cultural significance in the intertidal biodiversity of Willows beach in Oak Bay (CRD). This trip is part of the eco-cultural curriculum and place-based learning with local high school students in the CRD. This trip was made possible by NSERC PromoScience and the Horner Foundation.
Despite the rain, we were excited to sea the life beneath the waves at Willows beach! Here’s a few of the fantastic students on our trip sampling intertidal biodiversity at this culturally-significant site.
Land-use and ecocultural significance learning from Songhees knowledge-keepers and UVic biology department, part of the eco-cultural curriculum and place-based learning with local high school students in the CRD. This trip was made possible by NSERC PromoScience and the Horner Foundation.
While exploring the beach, we had a chance to learn from both our Living Lab coordinators and Songhees Nation knowledge-keepers about historical land-use changes, and why ecological protection is vital to preserve its eco-cultural significance
Exploring intertidal biodiversity with Oak Bay high school students on traditional Lekwungen territory. Ecocultural learning at Willows beach with Living Lab, part of the eco-cultural curriculum and place-based learning with local high school students in the CRD. This trip was made possible by University of Victoria science professors and post-secondary students, in addition to NSERC PromoScience and the Horner Foundation.
Tide pools are an integral part of the intertidal ecosystem. Armed with identification cards, students explored these biodiverse pockets along the Willows beach shoreline