Category: People

    Richard Long – Maintaining and Servicing Microscopes for 40 Years

    Richard Long has been servicing microscopes and delicate scientific instruments for more than 40 years. If you need your microscope cleaned or serviced he is your contact in British Columbia. After many years use or storage most instruments need a professional cleaning and lubrication. Perhaps your microscope needs a repair? Richard may be able to help – or he can give advice if it is not worth repairing.

    I met Richard Long early in my renaissance experience with microscopes about five years ago. He helped me obtain my first new instrument. I learned a lot from him as he helped me set it up and I have kept in touch with him ever since. He went into semi-retirement a couple of years ago and I presumed that others would take his place. I was wrong. There are very few qualified microscope technicians in western Canada and they are difficult to identify. I recently had my instrument serviced and was impressed with the service I received.

    Richard is a very good teacher – he knows all the ‘ins and outs’ of using a compound microscope or stereoscope. I am hoping that we can organize a course in the future so he can instruct us all in the techniques of properly operating a microscope. I would also like to get tips on using darkfield or phase contrast equipment as many new scope come equipped for these functions.

    Contact Labserv

    His company is called Labserv, it is located in the lower mainland of BC (he will give you the address when you contact him) and he now works out of his home. You can reach Richard Long by telephone (604) 218-3429 or by email at

    Categories: People

    Rick Howie is a Micro-Naturalist

    Kamloops-Based Naturalist

    Rick Howie is a professional biologist with fifty years experience. His career has taken him across Canada while working in National Parks. For the last forty years he’s been based in central British Columbia.

    Rick Howie

    Rick Howie worked for Parks Canada as well as BC Provincial Parks and the BC Wildlife Branch for a total of 33 years. After retirement he launched his own consulting company which he has operated for 15 years. His work consists of wildlife inventory for conservation organizations as well as wildlife impact assessments from urban and suburban developments. He also conducts riparian area reports to ensure that stream-side developments are in compliance with provincial legislation.

    His interest in microscopy is a new initiative. It aids him in identifying smaller wildlife and plants as part of an ongoing biodiversity inventory he has initiated for the Kamloops area. He hopes to develop some capacity for identifying freshwater organisms that require a microscope to reveal their secrets. He currently owns a Meiji binocular stereo scope as well as a Meiji compound scope, both with camera attachments. The transition from years studying wildlife with a telescope to observing with a microscope has been an exciting new experience.

    Curiously the focus that unites us is sand. From his many provincial and international travels he has generously brought me sand samples to study. His microscope interests are global and he is always interested to experience the specialties of others. Most significantly he is interested in involving more naturalists in the use of a microscope to study and appreciate the natural environment.


    Categories: People

    Amateur Microscope Users Network on Vancouver Island

    Building a Network of Amateur Micr-Naturalists

    Linking up other like-minded amateur users of microscopes is a major goal of this website. Scattered the length of Vancouver Island are amateur microscopists working alone on their hobby. Imagine an informal network linking us all up together – and even hosting periodic coffee meet ups where we can all get to know each other. Maybe some day we will host a technical meeting – with speakers – its possible!

    What Is a Micro-Naturalist?

    A micronaturalist is simply a naturalist who is interested in using a microscope to access the small world that forms the basis of all life. “Take a field trip without leaving the room with a microscope” is our tagline.

    The idea is to learn from each other, trade information, and even build friendships that generate projects. We could, as a group, create useful tools for others based on the knowledge we are accumulating. I’d like to think that we are going to inspire others to join us in this activity.

    Meet Up with Us

    If you are interested in linking up with us – please send a message to microscope (at) expressing an interest. We are a friendly, respectful, supportive and positive group who would like to include anyone interested in microscopy.

    Categories: Other, People