The BC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences (BC CAHS), who runs the non-profit, state of the art aquatic science lab here in Campbell River, has begun holding a series of public engagements to discuss the science behind understanding salmon biology.
“Many of people who tour our lab state that they never knew important work on wild salmon was being done locally,” says BC CAHS CEO Dr. Jim Powell. “One of our clients challenged us to take our candle out from under the bushel. We took that to heart and we want to share our work – and that of other salmon people – with the public.”
This effort – called a Pint of Salmon after the popular Pint of Science – is to raise awareness of salmon biology and recovery efforts, Powell says.
Each Pint of Salmon session will begin with a brief presentation from a salmon biologist to introduce an aspect of salmon biology. The 15 minute introduction sets the stage for further discussion and discovery where the public can engage with BC CAHS biologists who will be on hand to help answer questions and support discussion.
The level of ‘geekiness,’ that is, the amount of scientific babbled speak, will be minimal, Powell says, and discussion will be in plain English. The idea is to give and receive input on the biology of salmon, not confuse people or make the presenter look smarter than you.
“Roy Grant has opened his doors at the Riptide pub on Tuesday nights and offered the use of the mezzanine area for the get together,” Powell says. After the presentation and throughout the two-hours following, full pub service is available.
As Brett Johnson, Hakai Juvenile Salmon Program Biologist says, “Any chance to drink a beer and talk about salmon sounds great to me.”
The target audience, Powell says, is simply anyone with an interest in salmon biology who wants to share and learn more about salmon.
“There few opportunities to discuss the good things about salmon recovery,” Powell says. “Pint of Salmon is intended to educate and share positive information and actions with others who hope for a better future for salmon. If someone is looking for a platform for protest – this is not it.”
The first Pint of Salmon was this Tuesday, where Elan Downey of BC CAHS presented a snap-shot of zooplankton abundance in the near-shore environment and how critical this is to early marine survival of salmon.
On Nov. 6, the next presenter, Brett Johnson of the Hakai Institute, will talk about their work in the Hakai Juvenile Salmon Program.
Other speakers will be announced as time goes on and include other local biologists working on all aspects of salmon biology: salmon enhancement programs, stream restoration, freshwater surveys and so on.
The presentations begins at 7 p.m. and discussion continues until 9 p.m.
Stay tuned for upcoming Pint of Salmon events by heading to the BC CAHS Facebook page facebook.com/BCCAHS