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Project Details

Ucluelet, BC, Canada

The Ucluelet Aquariums mission is to raise awareness about local marine biodiversity and promote respect for the ocean environment.

Placement Details

The Ucluelet Aquarium is Canada’s first collect-and-release aquarium, showcasing fish and invertebrates from its local waters in Clayoquot and Barkley Sounds. The small organization aims to raise awareness about local marine biodiversity and foster respect for the ocean. Each year, they greet 35,000+ visitors from all over the world and treat them to a very personal view of the fish and invertebrates from the local waters.

During their time at the Aquarium, participants assist the animal care and education teams. In the animal care aspect of the work, this includes assisting in the collection, care, and maintenance of specimens, their exhibits, and the tools and materials used to ensure their wellbeing. Participants learn about water quality measurements and parameters, assist aquarists with data collection, and swim in intertidal areas to collect kelp for displays and food sources for the aquarium’s specimens. Participants also deliver educational information to the Aquarium’s many visitors. Finally, participants assist with cleaning and maintenance around the facility.

Placement Category: Wildlife Advocacy and Rehab; Outreach and Education

Placement Season: Summer, Fall

Placement Type: Urban

2023 Participant Highlight

Participant Hannah Charness

Hannah’s 2023 placement was a full-circle moment, given that Ucluelet was the first aquarium she visited as a child that sparked her passion for invertebrate biology! During her placement she gained valuable skills in animal care, wildlife identification, and public outreach. One of her most valuable takeaways was realizing that the field of marine science offers more career paths than she had expected.

Check out Hannah’s Instagram Takeover on @oceanwiseyouth, under the “Ocean Pathways” highlight.

Read her blog about Sea Star Wasting Syndrome here.

2022 Participant Highlight

Participant Shaugn Coggins

Shaugn volunteered alongside the Ucluelet Aquarium animal care and education teams to raise awareness about local marine biodiversity and to promote respect for the ocean, and became an integral part of the team!

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