What is the time commitment for the Ocean Bridge Direct Action?

Ocean Bridge Direct Action volunteers will complete a minimum of 360 hours  of full-time (30 hrs / week) continuous volunteering over a 2.5 to 3 month time period during their placement.  Any training hours involved would be counted towards the 360 hour requirement. 

In the application form, please indicate which months during 2020 you will be available for a continuous 3 month window between June to September, and we will do our best to match successful candidates with available placements. 

The program placements for 2020 will take place over the summer and fall months, between June and September. An example of a 3 month placement time window could be 30 hr/week from July to September. 

What kind of a placement or organization can I expect to be matched with? 

The Ocean Bridge Direct Action staff team will match each youth participant with an available placement with a regional or national partner organization working on research projects related to marine stewardship and ocean conservation. Some examples of Direct Action placements include:

- Working with ecological research projects in National Marine Conservation Areas and Coastal Parks
- Assisting Ocean Wise researchers conducting beluga and marine mammal studies in St. Lawrence River
- Conducting field work and marine biodiversity analysis with the Howe Sound Research and Conservation team
- Supporting and learning from Indigenous led marine stewardship organizations

We have partnered with regional, provincial, and national level not-for-profit marine conservation organizations and government partners as well as researchers and scientists within Ocean Wise to develop placement opportunities in field research on marine conservation and stewardship, located in remote and rural environments and communities across Canada. 

Will my placement be far from home?

Yes, the volunteers will travel from their home communities to the placement sites. Expect to be placed in communities close to marine environments, such as the Pacific and Atlantic Shores, along the St. Lawrence River, or beside the Great Lakes. 

Do I get to choose where I'll be placed?

No, the Ocean Bridge Direct Action management team will be responsible for matching the volunteers with the available placement opportunities. Information collected from both the volunteers and the partner organizations will be used to make the best matches for each placement. 

Will this program cost me anything?

No, Ocean Bridge Direct Action will cover the expenses related to travel (to and from home communities and placement sites), training, placement material costs, food, and accommodation. Youth participants will be given a stipend for food and other costs will be directly paid for by Ocean Bridge Direct Action. 

Do you provide any kind of training or materials?

Ocean Bridge Direct Action will determine what training and materials are required for each placement and organize them with the host organization, who will be responsible for delivering the training at the placement site. The training hours will be counted towards the total number of volunteer hours required for the placement. 

Will there be an orientation before the placement starts?

The Ocean Bridge Direct Action staff team will be in contact with every youth participant to organize the logistics of their placement, as well as provide mentorship and support  through phone calls and emails prior to the start of the placement. There will be a group cohort orientation video call where youth participants will introduce themselves and the placements they have been matched with. Other relevant training will be provided at the placement sites by the partner organizations. 

Where will I live during my placement?

Ocean Bridge Direct Action will organize and manage the housing and accommodations for each placement, with the volunteers living in close proximity to their volunteer work site. If there are local travel expenses to and from the housing to the volunteer site, we will cover these costs.  

Is this program open for all Canadian youth?

This program is designed to be a low-barrier program for all Canadian youth aged 18-30 years old. We encourage people from all backgrounds and educational levels to apply. The 2020 cohort will be limited to 20 youth selected from across Canada. 

There is no minimum criteria for educational experience or research/ training qualifications needed for youth applicants. We do collect information about any qualifications or education within the Ocean Bridge Direct Action 2020 Application Form to best match the selected youth applications with their volunteer placements. 

What can I expect to learn during my placements?

Each placement will provide a diverse range of opportunities for youth volunteers to learn skills and gain experiences directly related to ocean conservation and marine stewardship. Youth will be closely mentored by established scientists and researchers with partner organizations at the marine field sites, and will also learn from direct immersion by living and working in coastal communities across Canada. Youth can expect to gain a broad professional development skillset related to community engagement, conducting marine ecological fieldwork, working with a research team, conservation and stewardship ethics and communicating their experiences.  

Youth will also receive coaching sessions from Ocean Bridge Direct Action staff and training from partner organizations to build their capacity as ocean leaders and support them throughout their immersive field placements. The purpose of these coaching calls is to provide regular check-ins for the youth participants and any additional support necessary by the staff team. 

Will I get paid during my placement?

No, the Ocean Bridge Direct Action placements are volunteer service and educational placements. We are a low-barrier program designed to cover the costs for the participants to support their learning and provide opportunities for professional development in marine conservation. 

I have dependent(s) that I look after, is there any support available for this?

Yes, there is a limited funding available for dependants of the selected youth applicants. If this funding is required, please contact  [email protected] for further information. 

Do I need to speak/read/write French?

Bilingual ability in speaking/reading/writing in French is not a requirement for applicants. However,  the Ocean Bridge Direct Action program is a bilingual program and we have support capacity for native French speakers. We encourage people who have the ability to speak/read/write in French to apply since there will be opportunities for bilingual placements for the 2020 cohort. 

What happens after the placement is over?

Youth participants will be invited for post-program check-ins and fill out program surveys in order to collect their feedback on the program and their experience with it. Youth participants will also be encouraged to highlight their learning and professional development from their Ocean Bridge Direct Action placements on their future career paths. 

Who can I turn to ask more questions now and during my placement?

Please contact the Ocean Bridge Direct Action staff team at  [email protected]  for more information, and we will respond as soon as possible before the placements begin and during the placements. We will conduct regular check-ins and mentorship phone calls will all of our youth participants to support them prior to and during their volunteer placements. Youth participants can also directly ask their mentors associated with the host organizations within the sites for questions  related to their placement work. 

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