The Logistics of Research with Kids – The Set Up

Have you ever watched one of those PBS specials were you see some biologist or researcher going into the deep rainforest to do research with kids in tow? Like Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin. Okay he was really more of a TV personality rather than a biological researcher, but he did a lot to raise the profile of biology in mainstream media, all while working with his wife and partner, Terri, and with his children in tow. Frankly when I think of famous field biologists, I think of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey or David Lack. But they didn’t have their kids in tow when they were doing their research (if they had kids at all).

So far, hubs and I haven’t included our kids in our research though we’ve really wanted to. So we thought it would be great to finally do that while hubs was teaching a course at Bamfield Marine Science Centre this summer. Hubs went to start teaching the course before I could get away, so I brought the kids up one week after he started the course. We all just arrived a few hours ago. The kids spent the 3 hour sailing on the Lady Rose running in circles with a friend, popping balloons, fighting over lego, trying to fire their bows and arrows (oh God!), running headlong into adults, and asking “are we there yet” over and over again.

Along Uchucklesit Inlet
Along Uchucklesit Inlet

Bamfield townsite is split by Bamfield inlet, so that means you need to get on a water taxi to go from one side to the other. Or you own a boat.

The Lady Rose pulled up at the government dock on the west side of Bamfield. But BMSC is on the other side, north of the East-side government dock. Thankfully we have a friend, Dane Stabel, who runs tours and a charter in Bamfield, so he swung by to pick us up and bring us across the inlet to the BMSC dock.

At which point some lady swoops in out of nowhere to say kids must always wear PFD’s if they use the BMSC dock. Clearly she actually cares about our safety. What a novelty. And seeing how haggard I was, she offered to drive up our bags to the cabin. People are so nice here. And I thought I lived in paradise down in Victoria…


We finally get into the cabin where hubs was been staying and so far it’s been a mission of trying to get us organized. After a quick trip to find the local market, liquor store, and find the laundromat, I finally have a wifi connection, fruit and veggies in the fridge, and a mountain of hubs’ laundry drying on the line. I’m ready for the research to begin!

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