North Coast Research Assistant (Full Time)


North Coast Cetacean Research Initiative



This is a contract position, with an anticipated end date of September 4, 2020 


The North Coast Cetacean Research Initiative is a program of the Ocean Wise Conservation Association based in Prince Rupert aimed at better understanding cetacean (whale & dolphin) populations around the North Coast and Haida Gwaii.

The Research Assistant will provide support to the NCCRI Manager throughout the busy summer months.  Duties include vessel-based cetacean surveys and photo identification research, maintaining a humpback whale photo identification catalogue and database, responding to sightings submitted to the BC Cetacean Sightings Network, and participating in data entry.  The assistant will also undertake outreach and education efforts, including supporting social media channels, writing blogs, and engaging in public engagement activities (if and where appropriate).

Please note the following important information:

  • This position is located in Prince Rupert, BC.
  • This position is partially funded by a grant from Canada Summer Jobs, which requires the successful candidate to::
  • be between 15 and 30 years of age at the start of the employment
  • be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for the duration of the employment**; and,
  • have a valid Social Insurance Number at the start of employment and be legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial or territorial legislation and regulations
  • This is a 10-week position with an expected start date June 29, 2020. 


Provides research support to the North Cetacean Research Initiative by:

  • Conducting boat-based cetacean surveys and assisting with vessel maintenance with senior staff;
  • Matching humpback photos for identification purposes and maintaining the North Coast humpback whale database;
  • Deploying and retrieving acoustic recorders;
  • Supervising, scheduling and supporting research volunteers;
  • Assisting with other data collection and research projects where required;

Provides data support to the BC Cetacean Sightings Network project by:

  • Responding to reports from citizen scientists and processing sightings to be entered;
  • Entering sightings data into a database for the BC Cetacean Sightings Network;
  • Promoting participation in cetacean citizen science to marine professionals, recreational boaters, and the public;
  • Undertaking a review and clean of old sightings in the database to maintain its integrity and accuracy.

Provides support to NCCRI program operation and outreach by:.

  • Maintaining a presence in the NCCRI office when other staff are away;
  • Undertaking outreach and education activities such as Dock Talks, special events, if appropriate;
  • Distributing outreach materials;
  • Contributing to the Ocean Wise Marine Mammal Research Program social media presence through creating posts and blogs
  • Developing and maintaining professional links and collaborations with conservation groups, government agencies, ecotourism companies, and commercial and sport fishermen;

Consciously desires to improve Ocean Wise and its processes by:

  • Maintaining organizational safety standards;
  • Continually improving our impact on the environment and greening of operations through support of our Environmental Management System (EMS) protocols;
  • Performing additional duties as required.


Education and Experience

  • 2-3 years post-secondary education in biology, natural sciences, environmental studies, marine science or a related field;
  • Previous field work experience;
  • Previous Boating experience, SVOP, MED-A3 and ROC-M a strong asset;
  • Valid BC driver’s license required.


  • Strong organizational skills;
  • Experience with databases;
  • Experience with GIS an asset;
  • Some knowledge of marine mammal biology and ecology;
  • Organized with a strong attention to detail;
  • Self-motivated and able to work well under minimal supervision;
  • Ability to learn and adapt in a constantly changing environment;
  • Independent and can work in a remote environment as required;
  • Strong writing skills and experience with social media platforms;
  • Comfortable speaking in public and engaging people in discussion for outreach purposes;
  • Resourceful, a problem-solver, skilled in meeting priorities and able to adapt to unexpected situations.

Working Conditions

  • Candidate will work in a shared office with 1-2 other employees or remotely from home based on social distancing measures in place;
  • During fieldwork, candidate will be exposed to sun and seasonal weather;
  • Candidate must own or have access to a vehicle for work-related travel (mileage and gas compensated);
  • Able to travel within the region, sometimes overnight, and to occasionally work evenings and weekends;
  • Residency in northern B.C. an asset.

How to Apply