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Project Details

West Cracroft Island, Mount Waddington A, BC, Canada

CETUS protects marine mammals through research, education and direct intervention.

Placement Details

Cetus Research & Conservation Society is a non-profit marine conservation organization working to address the increasing endangerment of BC’s killer whales due to human activities. Their focus is on vessel traffic disturbance – as this is one of the key contributors to killer whale endangerment- and involves work in the field to protect whales and other marine mammals from harassment and harm.

The Robson Bight Warden Program operates in the waters surrounding the Robson Bight (Michael Bigg) Ecological Reserve (RBMBER) on northeastern Vancouver Island in Johnstone Strait.

Participants at Robson Bight primarily collect and enter data on marine mammals and vessel activity. Additionally, they make public presentations to kayak groups and other visitors from a land-based observation station. This is a very rugged placement in which participants tent camp for the full 3-month placement on remote West Cracroft Island, with shared use of cooking and storage facilities.

Placement Category: Field Research and Monitoring; Wildlife Advocacy or Rehab

Placement Season: Summer

Placement Type: Very Rugged Field

2023 Participant Highlights

Participants Jessica Lee, Pia McNab, Suely Pacheco, and Samantha Li-Chee-Ming

Samantha shares the following testimonial about her experience in this placement:

“The placement itself allowed us to live extensively and intimately in such beautiful coastal mountain geology and marine landscapes, witnessing all of the diverse wildlife, was humbling and simply astounding, and it feels surreal to have been there.

I am sincerely grateful and happy that I was able to directly help the north island wildlife this summer. This placement allowed me to finally experience biodiversity research and conservation field work, and to live and breathe the wildness of Vancouver Island, a dream of mine since a young child.

I will never forget waking up to eagles calling at dawn, hearing humpbacks trumpeting and orca blows outside my tent in the Johnstone Strait at night, seeing the Northern Resident Killer Whales playing in the Bight, or seeing bears foraging on the shores at camp during dinner. I encourage anyone interested in the Robson Bight program with Cetus to go for it”.

2021-2022 Participant Highlights

2022 Participants Stefani, Nicole, Ella, and Astrid

During their placements as Ocean Pathways Ambassadors, Stefani, Nicole, Ella, and Astrid worked with CETUS as Robson Bight Wardens. Living on West Cracroft Island, BC, they educated boaters, kayakers and park visitors about the boundaries of the Robson Bight Michael Bigg Ecological Reserve and the ‘Be Whale Wise’ marine mammal viewing guidelines and regulations. They collected and entered data on marine mammals and vessel activity and presented to kayak groups and other visitors.

2021 Participants Julia, Nikolay, Megan, and Simon

Read about the experiences of previous ambassadors in this article!

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