In 1972 a consortium of five western Canadian universities, the Western Canadian Universities Marine Sciences Society (WCUMSS), established the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre (BMSC) with support from the National Research Council, becoming the only facility of its kind on the outer coast between Oregon and Alaska. WCUMSS members are: the University of Alberta, UBC, University of Calgary, University of Victoria, and Simon Fraser University.
Located on the west coast of Vancouver Island (Barkley Sound), BMSC provides year-round research facilities and technical assistance to both WCUMSS member and non-member scientists, and offers undergraduate and graduate courses in all aspects of coastal sciences. BMSC offers a public education program as well.
Facilities include general laboratories, high speed internet, flow-through seawater system, research vessels (including a remotely-operated vehicle), SCUBA facilities, science stores, maintenance shop, fish/invertebrate museum, herbarium, lecture space, library, computer lab, fluid-dynamics lab (including a 12m x 1m x 2m flume and swim tunnel), confocal microscope, TOC analyzer, tree-canopy platform, and on-site food and housing services.
BMSC offers financial assistance in the form of scholarships, bursaries, teaching assistantships, and limited research funding.