Do you know how to tell a porpoise from a dolphin?  Or what humpback whales eat?

Join Jess Torode, a the coordinator of the Coastal Ocean Research Institute’s B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network to explore the wonderful world of B.C. cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) and sea turtles.  Find out how to identify common whale species, learn about the threats they face, and discover how you can get involved in their conservation through the B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network.

A joint project of Ocean Wise and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network is a citizen science program which collects sightings of cetaceans and sea turtles from mariners and coastal residents for conservation-based research.  12 of the 23 species of cetacean and 4 species of sea turtle that utilize B.C.’s waters are listed as ‘At Risk’ by the Species at Risk Act, which is why it is so important to gather valuable information about their abundance, distribution, and critical habitat.

Jess Torode was born and raised in West Vancouver and was inspired to pursue a career in marine biology after many summer boating trips in Desolation Sound. She holds a BSc in Biology from the University of Victoria and a MSc in Marine and Fisheries Ecology from the University of Aberdeen.  She worked for aquariums and conservation organizations in Canada, the US, and the United Kingdom before joining the Coastal Ocean Research Institute in 2017.

The presentation is from 7 pm to 9 pm on Thursday July 5th in the lower hall of the Florence Filberg Centre, 411 Anderton Avenue, Courtenay. Doors open at 6:30. This is a free public presentation, but donations of $5/family are suggested.

Comox Valley Nature is a non-profit society affiliated with BC Nature, consisting only of unpaid volunteers. CVN fulfills its educational mandate by hosting monthly lectures, organizing free weekly guided hikes for members, and a free monthly walk open to the public.  Comox Valley Nature also supports specialized groups (Birding, Botany, Garry Oak Restoration, Wetland Restoration, Photography and Young Naturalists Club) which have separate monthly activities. Membership in BC Nature and Comox Valley Nature is $30 per adult and $40 for a family.

Founded in 1966, it is one of the oldest environmental societies on the North Island.  Meetings and lectures of the Comox Valley Naturalists Society are held on the third Sunday of most months at the Florence Filberg Centre, 411 Anderton Ave. , Courtenay.  Meetings and guided walks are open to the public, including children and youth. Lecture is free, though a $5 contribution from non-members is appreciated. New memberships are always welcomed.

Anyone interested in this lecture or participating in CVNS activities can also contact us at the website

David Innes

Vice President, Comox Valley Nature