Education & Outreach

Education and Outreach
The Education & Outreach Unit at the CBG aims to promote public understanding of the concepts, methods, and applications of DNA barcoding and engage people of all ages in biodiversity research.

Why biodiversity education? How many species have become extinct in the past decade? How many more are threatened by extinction right now? What can we do to prevent the global biodiversity crisis? Becoming educated about biodiversity and related cutting-edge advances through hands-on research and inquiry-based learning is the first step towards shaping a generation of critical thinkers who are passionate about protecting our environment.

Programs offered through our Education & Outreach Unit range from elementary and high school activities designed to emphasize critical thinking skills across several core curriculum subjects to online continuing education courses for university students and professionals designed to provide knowledge and skills in DNA barcoding and biodiversity science.


Students Exploring the Environment (SEE)

Offering a range of full-day and half-day programs for elementary school classes at all grade levels that are designed in accordance with Ontario curriculum expectations and standards. These innovative and interactive programs teach students about the importance of biodiversity and the environment.

Virtual Classrooms

Live virtual tours of CBG’s core facilities aim to promote students’ appreciation of the importance of studying biodiversity at all levels. Students have the chance to interact with our scientists while exploring collection and sampling techniques as well as the DNA barcoding process.

If you wish to sign your class up to virtually attend one of these sessions, please email in order to request a date and time. Please note that our virtual tours are currently only offered in English. Our virtual tours are hosted through Adobe Connect and simply require the following technology:

  • Computer with an internet connection, web browser, and Adobe Flash Player version 10.1 or greater. (Nearly all operating systems are supported including Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Solaris, as well as the most widely used browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome.)
  • Speakers
  • Projector

School Malaise Trap Program

This program provides students with an opportunity to explore insect diversity in their schoolyards. Using a Malaise trap, elementary and secondary schools across Canada collect hundreds of insect specimens over the course of two weeks and these specimens are then identified at CBG through DNA barcoding.

To find out more, click here.

Online Training Courses

Online courses focusing on DNA barcoding-related topics are offered through the University of Guelph’s OpenEd department. Instruction is provided by Dr. Dirk Steinke, CBG’s Associate Director – Education & Outreach, with topics ranging from an introduction to DNA barcoding through to regulatory applications. Participants gain practical skills and expertise in DNA barcoding through online discussions, data analysis, and written assignments.

To find out more, click here.

DNA Barcoding Blog

A blog written by Dr. Dirk Steinke, a researcher involved in DNA barcoding since 2005. It contains the most newsworthy information for interested readers, with a balance of scientific and non-scientific contributions.

Click here to read the blog.

Contact Us

For more details on educational and outreach offerings, please contact Dr. Dirk Steinke, Associate Director – Education & Outreach: