Want to be part of a truly special project? We are a remote land based research station based near the north end of Vancouver Island. Our primary focus is the non invasive study of the Northern Resident Orca population, Biggs orca as well as the large number of returning Humpback whales. Paul and Helena have been running the lab for the last 52 years and have host volunteers and scientists from around the world every year. Our goal daily is to build a picture of the lives of the whales. We do this by using remote cameras and underwater hydrophones to listen and watch the whales. We are broadcasting all of this live over the internet. Our work is driven by the philosophy that "We want to bring people closer to nature without harming her"
Nearest town:Telegraph cove/Port Mcnieel.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
We are situated in an incredibly beautiful and remote location in the Johnstone Strait area of British Columbia. From dawn till dusk Humpback Whales feed just offshore and on most days from June-October orca families are present in the area.
We are is a busy place in the summer with up to 10-12 volunteers helping with the collection of data. Everyone at the Lab has to work together, look out for one another and be super flexible to all the different tasks involved in running a project like ours. We run on whale time! Anytime there are whales present either vocally of visually, they become our primary focus. Many of our volunteers have been coming back for years and have become lifelong friends, creating a convivial and stable social environment. We eat together most nights and all take turns with the various chores to keep the Lab running smoothly. There will be the opportunity to see some of the area on trips to various sites along Vancouver Island and the in the Broughton Archipelago.
There is always much to learn and gain from time here at the Lab and our goal is simple: To learn as much as we can from the whales without interfering in their lives in order to help protect them.
We are looking ideal for a couple, both who are really handy and positive people who love the outdoors and remote living.
PERSON ONE: Boat driving experience is a must. Tasks would include driving our boat (17ft aluminium outboard 90HP) to the nearest town 30 mins away for groceries, do laundry, get gas, pick up visitors and gather supplies for our project. We would need someone who is forward-thinking and who will manage small building tasks and maintenance projects around the lab.
Requested experience :
- BC boat driver license and boat driving and basic maintenance experience
- Boat driving experience on outboard boats at up to 20 knots
- a good measure of practical skills
- carpentry skills
- ability to operate a chainsaw
General day-to-day tasks could range from...
- small carpentry jobs
- collecting firewood, bucking and chopping wood
- painting, organizing site clean-ups
- maintaining & carrying batteries
- problem solving small tasks around the lab
- helping with remote site maintenance
PERSON 2:A creative cook who doesn't mind the challenge of using a wood stove. During July-September we regularly have between 10-15 hungry people to feed. Dinner time is our time to relax, tell stories and debrief from the busy whale day (whilst it still goes on around us)
General day-to-day tasks could range from...
-Managing a budget
-Creating meal plans for 5 nights a week
-Preparing and cooking a large vegetarian meal usually served around 7pm for up to 15 people
-Preparing shopping lists and managing the dried food store
-Keeping on top of all garbage and recycling and compost for town runs.
Help will be provided throughout your day from the research assistants to aid with things like food preparation and dishes.
Some days will be very busy and others not so much but there is always something to lend a hand to. We also appreciate people's willingness to slow down and breath in the pace that nature provides us with. We are always open to communication on how to manage our projects, however sometimes when the whales are in the area plans often have to change to fit around them.
Please note: Due to Covid-19 we would prefer a minimum of 1-month commitment, ideally during the peak, busiest part of the season (July-September).
Camping in the forest (tent, sleeping bag, pillow, blanket and camping mattress will all be provided.) Access to camp kitchen and outhouse/washroom.
FOOD: All your food will be provided for you. Breakfasts and lunch will be prepared and eaten in the camp kitchen along with other research assistants. Requests for different foods can be places before town runs. Evening meals will be provided for in the main house and eaten as a family.
PLEASE NOTE: Running fresh water is very limited so fresh water showers are very spare in the summer months. We have a salt water bath and of course… the ocean! We have good WIFI available. The site is off grid with solar, wind and generator power systems to maintain the large battery bank. We are always conscious of our power consumption in order to keep all systems running well. Overnight charging is discouraged. However when the sun is out...we can charge anything we need! A personal power pack and head lamp is always a good resource to have.
We have some hiking trails as well as a beautiful beach for swimming (warning, the water is cold!). Life around the Lab is varied and always interesting. There will be many opportunities to learn about the whales, the ocean and island life.
COVID-19. Due to the ongoing global pandemic we are not currently offering positions to anyone that isn't already in Canada, possibly British Columbia (due to recent travel restrictions). This may, of course, change going forward. We are unsure of how this year will be managed in terms of quarantine times, social distancing, mask wearing etc but this can all be discussed closer to the time. During the summer of 2020 we managed to keep our reduced group safe and continue our work pretty much as before, even while expanding our remote sites and revamping many of our previous systems.
In the background, the ocean, the whales and the people provide countless positive experiences. We appreciate anyone who recognizes what nature provides.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week