Field Research Volunteer - Forage Fish

You are here

Position description: 

As part of the Pender Harbours Coastal Waters Monitoring Program, we are currently collecting long term data sets for monitoring programs, including forage fish monitoring. Forage fish are a small feeder fish that links the plantonic trophic levels with the larger fish and mammals in the marine environment. We are monitoring 2 forage fish beach spawners (Pacific sandlance and Surf smelt) within the Pender Harbour area and Thormanby Island. We sample two beaches in Pender Harbour (Baker Beach and Martin Cove) and 2 locations at the gap on Thormanby Island. We sample every three weeks in the winter and every two weeks in the summer seasons. We set up 2 transects to collect sediment samples and process them through a series of screens. We then"vortex the sample and collect a subsample to be processed at the office under the microscope. Sampling generally takes between 2-3 hours at the beach. Processing at the lab generally takes approximately 2 hours per sample. Our current schedule is:

Feb. 26, 1pm - 4pm Martin Cove, Francis Peninsula

March 6, 10 am - 3pm Bakers Beach, Francis Peninsula

March 13, 12 pm - 4pm Thormanby Island

March 19, 9 am - 1pm Martin Cove, Francis Peninsula

March 27, 10am - 3pm Bakers Beach, Francis Peninsula

April 3, 12pm - 4pm Thormanby Island

The times posted are a range of when the tide is good for sampling. Times will be confirmed via email.


There are no qualifications required for volunteering with this program. However; there are a few things to note:

  1. No scientific research experience is required.
  2. Must be able to work in all types of weather.
  3. Some of the beaches can have hazards when accessing. For example, there are logs to climb over at Baker Beach. We use the landing barge to go to the Gap at Thormanby Island. Sometimes this leads to wet feet and/or soft sediments t wade through to the beach.
  4. We are not located on a transit route. Carpooling from Sechelt is an option in some cases.
Role is suitable for: 
All Ages
Additional Information: 

We provide a stress free dynamic working atmosphere. While the data we are collecting is extremely important, it is not hard to collect. We are happy to have anyone who is interested in learning about forage fish, the marine ecosystem and looking to explore new things to come and get involved. Our work is tide dependant therefore, the schedule is constantly changing. Please email us with any questions or comments that you may have. We look forward to hearing from you!

How to apply: 
Contact person: 
Jenn Blancard
Contact phone: 
Volunteer Centre: 
Cause Tags: 
Education & Research
Position type:
Number of volunteers required:
Position start/end date:
13 Feb 2019
Time Committment:
3 Hours Total
Time of day:
Work location:
PODS Office
12887 Madeira Park Road
Madeira Park, BC V0N2H0