[MARMAM] ORES - Field training courses 2011

ORES - Ursula Tscherter utscherter at ores.org
Thu Jan 6 05:48:42 PST 2011

Thank you very much for posting the message below.

Dear Fellow-Marmamers!

The Swiss-Canadian non-profit organisation ORES (Ocean Research and Education Society) would like to announce its summer field courses 2011. The two weeks training courses are open to anybody interested in taking an active role in observing whales, collecting data, applying scientific research methods and in learning about the knowledge gained during the past 20 years of research.

Courses are offered from July to September 2011.

The flyer 2011 can be downloaded at www.ores.org or requested at utscherter at ores.org.


Under the permit of Fisheries & Oceans and the Marine Park authorities ORES conducts long-term studies on the distribution, population dynamics, habitat use, breathing and feeding ecology of minke whales not only on a population but also individual level as single animals are easily identifiable. The study area lies within the boundaries of the first Canadian Marine Park, the St. Lawrence – Saguenay Marine Park, just 220km east-northeast of Quebec City.

ORES is dedicated to the study of free-living whales and seals of the St. Lawrence Estuary (Quebec) in Eastern Canada. Each summer up to 150 individual minke whales share these highly dynamic and nutrient rich waters with blue, finback, and humpback whales, and harbour porpoises. The most southerly population of beluga whales also lives here year-round. Research results provide highly important knowledge crucial for any conservation and management efforts. Locally and internationally.

The agile and highly active minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), which frequent these waters in high numbers daily, profit from unique environmental parameters such as tidal currents and areas of upwellings often concentrating the prey at the surface. This allows the whales to breath and feed at the same time applying a variety of aerial manoeuvres visible to observers to entrap and engulf the prey. 

Under the supervision of experienced scientists and during daily boat-based surveys in protected waters (no seasickness) course participants receive on-site training in whale observation and data sampling. On land they will learn to process the data collected and learn about a variety of whale and research related topics through comprehensive lectures. A special focus is given to the photo-identification teaching participants to identify individual whales even in the field.

 ‘Every day when we got back to the harbour, I would think "Wow! What a great day! It can't get any better than this."  Then the next day would come and 
it would be more amazing then the day before.  Watching the minkes as they surface feed or when they are moving up the St. Lawrence was great.  But 
when I started learning the history of the individual whales like Loca and Double Scoop, and then when I was able to identify Owl Eyes, I knew I was 
making a difference.’ (Testimonial Wendy Beltz, USA)

Course dates 2011:

Group 1: July 3 - 15

Group 2: July 17 - 29

Group 3: July 31 - August 12

Group 4: August 14 - 26

Group 5: August 28 – September 9

The course fee of Swiss francs 1600 (~ € 1300, US$ 1700) includes accommodation, all transportation, trips to local events, safety equipment, certificate of participation, ORES membership, scientific supervision and lectures.

For more information and visuals visit www.ores.org or contact utscherter at ores.org for any questions you might have.

Ursula Tscherter, project director

ORES (Ocean Research and Education Society), Switzerland / Canada


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