Marine Research Intern Program

Enthusiastic individuals with a keen interest in nature and science are invited to discover the challenges of marine field research along Canada's coastal rainforest through SEACR's Marine Research Intern Program! MRIP is a volunteer program where interns assist experienced and dedicated marine scientists with their field research. Through MRIP, the interns will visit a remote research field station in the coastal rainforest of Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia, to aid researchers with ongoing field research related to coastal and marine ecology. During the course of this 2- or 4-week program, interns will have the rare opportunity to acquire valuable skills in field data collection and handling, methods in marine field research, and the use of scientific equipment. Interns will also increase their knowledge of marine ecology by being exposed to the abundant array of wildlife of the Canadian coastal rainforest. In turn, marine researchers will benefit from the logistical and financial support provided by the internship program. Marine research is difficult and challenging work, so being a research intern is not for everyone! Those who wish to participate in MRIP must be in good physical health, especially free of back and leg injuries, as the field hours (in the boat and in the lab) can be long - though very satisfying! This is not a program that certifies individuals in field research. It is, however, an experience that delivers a unique opportunity for education, development of field ecology research skills, travel, and enjoyment of wildlife. For those seriously interested, we suggest you click the Marine Research Field Station link below to give you an idea of what to expect.

Research Environment

Flores Island is the home of the Ahousaht First Nation and is nestled in world-famous Clayoquot Sound, in the Pacific Coast rainforest. Flores is an excellent place to learn about marine ecology and the study of nature. Along with learning field and technical skills during the course of work, when the opportunity arises interns may engage in informal talks with graduate students, take hikes along the Wild Side Trail, have beach campfires, and interact with the Ahousaht First Nation people. Professors from the University of Victoria, local scientists and previous MRIP researchers will be frequent visitors to the field research station. Flores Island's natural beauty, sandy beaches, and abundant wildlife will keep you enthralled. Being here is the experience of a lifetime.

The Whale Research Lab

The University of Victoria Whale Research Lab consists of faculty and graduate students from the University of Victoria, who are currently studying gray whales and other wildlife off the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Interns will venture out in Drifter, a 22 foot Lifetimer vessel outfitted with twin 60 HP engines, to gather marine mammal data. You will have the opportunity to learn about the habitat, foraging behavior and ecology of gray whales, killer whales, and other species, and learn how to identify marine mammals, fish, invertebrates, and seabirds. You will learn technical skills by using field and laboratory equipment such as Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers, submersible cameras, benthic core samplers, plankton nets, and microscopes. Interns will also learn how field science is conducted by taking field notes, entering data, and helping with boating and navigation.