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Project Details

Prince Rupert, BC, Canada

The North Coast Cetacean Research Initiative (NCCRI) fills a critical knowledge gap by hosting a community-based cetacean program in Northern British Columbia, an area previously understudied but biologically important for cetaceans.

Placement Details


The North Coast Cetacean Research Initiative (NCCRI) is a community-based program with several key mandates, including:

1) conducting cetacean research in nearshore waters to Prince Rupert

(2) developing citizen science and applied conservation projects such as the BC Cetacean Sightings Network and the WhaleReport Alert System

(3) engaging in conservation management through knowledge sharing and stakeholder collaboration

(4) promoting public outreach and education

(5) acting as a representative and liaison for Ocean Wise in northern communities

(6) supporting the marine mammal research group.

Participants of this placement assist with outreach and education efforts, including social media, blogs, and public engagement activities. They also help with responding to whale, dolphin, porpoise and sea turtle sightings submitted to the Ocean Wise Sightings Network. Finally, they support the research team with data entry/collection and entry, including photo identification, eDNA sample processing, and boat-based cetacean surveys.

Placement Category: Field Research and Monitoring; Community Outreach and Education

Placement Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Placement Type: Field, Urban

2023 Participant Highlights

2023 Participants Jenny Kirkpatrick and Viktoria Muehlbauer

During their 2023 placement with the NCCRI, both Jenny (spring) and Vicky (summer) gained valuable field and outreach skills. Though Prince Rupert is somewhat isolated and its wet climate can be a challenge for some, they expressed that being on the water and in nature collecting data on cetaceans was a highlight. Previous participants also say that highlights are the networks they built, meeting so many Ocean Wise team members, and also gaining a lot of skills and confidence being on boats.

Vicky insists “there is nothing that compares to the feeling of meeting like-minded people that work hard every day to protect something that means so much to all of us!”

Check out their @oceanwiseyouth features here and here.

Read Jenny’s blog about humpback whale strikes here.

2020-2022 Participant Highlights

2020-2022 Participants Sally Gray Best, Cierra Hart, Rhys Jenson, Victoria Smart, Sydni Long, and Alice Brown-Dussault

Read about Ocean Wise Whale Trail in Sally’s blog here! Sally’s placement with NCCRI worked closely with the Communications team and other Whales programs to promote awareness of the Whale Trail BC along the BC coast.

See Rhys’ humpback photography and read about his placement experience here!

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