As one of the longest-standing and most successful citizen science programs in Canada, the Ocean Wise Sightings Network (OWSN) has gathered cetacean sighting reports from volunteer observers of diverse backgrounds for over 22 years.
The Ocean Wise Sightings Network (OWSN) is a citizen science initiative which collects sightings of cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) and sea turtles from mariners, recreational boaters, and coastal citizens for conservation-based research.
Participants of this placement provide support to the Southern Vancouver Island Cetacean Research Initiative (SVICRI) in Victoria by:
- helping promote Ocean Wise conservation-based research through with local community engagement
- planning and conducting public outreach events to educate locals on marine mammal laws/guidelines, and encourage reporting of cetacean sightings using the WhaleReport app
- assisting with data entry & management
- creating content for Ocean Wise social media platforms including writing blogs and articles
- promoting the Whale Trail BC.
Participants conduct site visits to Whale Trail signs in the Southern Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island, and work directly with the Ocean Wise Communications team to increase knowledge of this program through social media.
Placement Category: Community Outreach and Education; Communication and Media
Placement Season: Summer
Placement Type: Urban
2023 Participant Highlight - Rachit Trivedi
During his 2023 placement, Rachit gained the outreach and science communications skills to be able to engage people in whale conservation and citizen science. He also participated in whale blitzes and produced short videos about his experience. In fact, his placement highlight was the first time that he ever saw a humpback breach while filming.
Rachit shares, “before a year, I only had a vision to work towards ocean conservation but Ocean Pathways gave me a chance to feel what it’s like to work in ocean conservation and it feels fantastic.”
Shortly after completing his placement, Rachit joined Ocean Wise as a staff member on our Education team!
Check out a video that Rachit made of a local Whale Blitz here.