Lying along the west coast of Vancouver Island in the traditional territories of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve boasts kilometres of long sandy beaches and unspoiled temperate rainforests.
This placement is part of the Parks Canada Agency’s (PCA) Southern Resident Killer Whale (SRKW) file at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (PRNPR).
Participants work primarily in the field and occasionally in remote locations under the supervision of the Marine Ecologist Team Leader. During the placement, they participate in: early morning low tide beach seine fish surveys in eelgrass meadows and forage fish sand habitats, kelp surveys; marine mammal surveys; laboratory analysis of eelgrass and sand samples; and data entry/ management.
The data they help to collect supports PRNPR’s marine monitoring program and actions to support the recovery of SRKW within and adjacent to the marine waters of PRNPR.
Placement Category: Field Research and Monitoring
Placement Season: Spring, Summer
Placement Type: Field, Urban
2023 Participant Highlights
Participants Alex Janz and Virginia McCallum
Though their shifts consisted of early mornings and long days in the field, Alex and Virginia cite being able to do hands-on work (like assisting with kelp mapping, using drones and SUPS, and conducting wildlife and vegetation surveys) as a highlight of their program. They also both enjoyed living so close to the ocean and getting to witness whales!
Virginia shares the following testimonial: “If you’re in academics and are searching for that missing piece university and college often doesn’t provide-the hands-on experience and networking in a community of likeminded and passionate individuals, this placement is for you. This three-month immersive placement was like winning the lottery. I learned so many technical skills I can apply to future fieldwork, was given the opportunity to network with others already working in my field of interest, and gave me lifelong friends and connections. This past summer was not only a formative one, but an unforgettable one.”