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Raincoast Host Program

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The front-line staff of the hospitality industry is the primary point of interaction between visitors to the Clayoquot region and our communities. Resort staff and the staff of tourism-related businesses respond to countless questions from visitors. The Raincoast Host Program will help ensure that you, the front-line staff, can answer commonly-asked questions about the environment and communities of the Clayoquot Biosphere region, and deliver key messages about how to explore the region safely and respectfully. It will also familiarize you with resources at the Raincoast Interpretive Centre where you can find more information for questions that arise over the tourist season.

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Raincoast Host is an initiative of the Raincoast Education Society, an independent non-profit society and registered charity, that manages the Raincoast Interpretive Centre in Tofino and delivers programs to local schools, communities and visitors. The Clayoquot Alliance for Research Education and Training has assisted in developing and delivering the course materials.

Raincoast Host is an important step towards improving visitor education and information-sharing. At present, the RES, Pacific Rim National Park and many for-profit eco-tourism businesses in the region deliver a range of educational and interpretive programs. However, these programs tend to attract visitors who are already aware of and interested in natural history, cultural history and conservation. The real challenge is to get information out to the hundreds of thousands of visitors each year who do not visit interpretive centres, and do not participate in formal educational programs. The Raincoast Host program, through you, will reach many of those people.

Course Instructors and the RIC Program Coordinator

Barb Beasley is a coastal ecologist involved in forest and marine conservation and part-time teaching at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre. Barb works for the Clayoquot Alliance for Research, Education, and Training as a community liason between local organizations and universities. She was the research coordinator for the Long Beach Model Forest for five years and worked on projects that conserve the biological diversity of forests in Clayoquot Sound. As an avid SCUBA diver, snorkeller, and beach walker, she participates in volunteer programs that monitor threatened amphibians, fish, marine invertebrates and birds. Barb has a PhD in Behavioral Ecology and is very enthusiastic about engaging people in the Raincoast Education Society's natural history programs.

Adrienne Mason is a biologist who writes books, articles and educational materials on various science and nature topics. Adrienne was the Public Education Coordinator for the Bamfield Marine Station in the early 1990s and has worked on various interpretation/education projects in the Tofino area. She developed the storyline document and coordinated fabrication and installation of the Rainforest Interpretive Centre when it was established by the Long Beach Model Forest Society in 1995. Adrienne has also worked as a biologist under contract for the British Columbia and Canadian governments on various wildlife/habitat-related projects on the west coast.

Jen Pukonen is the Program Coordinator for the Raincoast Interpretive Centre. An avid naturalist, Jen has researched and developed a variety of educational materials including school programs and interpretive brochures. Her BSc in Geography has led to international work in community mapping and sustainability projects, natural resource management and nature interpretation. A unifying goal amongst her various projects has been to build within communities, a conservation ethic that will recognize nature as part of their identity.

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Last modified: November 19, 2004 | Contact: web@clayoquotalliance.uvic.ca