People passionate about nature

Classifying underwater pictures of beluga whales for research and monitoring (and how you can help)!


Dr. Stephen Petersen


Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Start Time: 

7:30 pm


Westworth United Church at 1750 Grosvenor Avenue, Winnipeg


$5 for members (non-member rate $10)

Beluga Bits is a long-term community science project that is run by Assiniboine Park Zoo. It takes underwater imagery of beluga whales in the Churchill Estuary and gets people from around the world to help classify those images. The resulting data can and is being used for student research projects, wildlife monitoring, and conservation.

Dr. Petersen will provide a glimpse under the waters of Hudson Bay to the fascinating world of beluga whales and some results to date. He will also tell you how to help classify images until you can visit belugas in Churchill.

Dr. Stephen Petersen is the Director of Conservation and Research at Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg. He is one of the co-chairs of the terrestrial mammal sub-committee of Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and is an adjunct professor at the universities of Manitoba and Winnipeg. Most importantly, he is a cryptic member of Nature Manitoba (since moving outside the city I have not been to any meeting but read all the articles). Stephen’s background was mostly focused using genetics for species conservation and management and he has applied these techniques to a long list of amazing species from tarantulas and flying squirrels to polar bears and narwhal. In his current role, Stephen leads a team of conservation scientists at Assiniboine Park Conservancy. The zoo has a number of field conservation programs including: Monitoring Arctic Seals, Polar Bear Denning Research, Breeding and Release of Endangered Butterflies, and the Beluga Bits Project.

Buy tickets at Eventbrite for the Jan 23rd, 2024 Discovery Evening.

Note: Eventbrite ticket sales close at 7pm on January 22nd, 2024 or until maximum capacity sold.