We’re Hiring! Local team member needed.

Job Posting
Marine Education and Research Society
Office Assistant – Outreach / Retail / Data 

The Marine Education and Research Society (MERS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting conservation and understanding of marine ecosystems through scientific research, environmental education, and marine wildlife response.  We are based in Port McNeill, on NE Vancouver Island. For information about MERS’ research, education and wildlife response efforts, see www.mersociety.org.

The Office Assistant will be essential in MERS’ efforts to educate the public about local marine mammals and boater safety, and to study and protect marine mammals in British Columbia. The focus is on Humpback Whales with our research dating back to before 2004. With Humpback Whales having made an astounding comeback to the coast of BC, it necessitates a better understanding of this population. This includes education for boaters about how to mitigate the threats of entanglement and vessel strike to Humpbacks, as this species behaves very differently than the Killer Whales most boaters are accustomed to (see our  “See a Blow? Go Slow!” campaign at www.SeeABlowGoSlow.org.

Key to understanding the population is for the whales to catalogued and identified as individuals.

This position also has a retail component whereby funds are raised for our work.

Duties will include:

  1. Greeting visitors and aiding in MERS’ work to serve as a resource to the local community (with a focus on local ecotourism and boat operators) in order to: enhance the value of wildlife viewing experiences; contribute to boater safety; and reduce risks to marine life.
  2. Processing retail and donation transactions to help support MERS’ efforts.
  3. Maintaining a clean and presentable office and retail space.
  4. Conducting ID matching, data entry and database management for Humpback Whale sighting and photographic data.
  5. Other office-based work as needed.


  • Have knowledge of the biology and ecology of marine mammals in British Columbia. It is a significant asset to have completed a MERS Marine Mammal Naturalist Workshop.
  • Familiarity with POS systems and cash handling.
  • Work well independently and with minimal supervision.
  • Have exceptional organizational skills.
  • Have proven successful experience with public outreach and science communication.
  • Have strong computer skills. Previous experience with some or all of the following programs is an asset: Microsoft Excel, Photo Mechanic, Filemaker, Adobe Lightroom, and QGIS.
  • Able to demonstrate strong abilities in matching whale flukes and fins for identification.
  • Have proven dedication to reducing impacts to the environment.
  • Reside near Port McNeill and have strong local knowledge.


Based on experience (minimum $15/hour)


Part-time (12 hours/week; 2 x 6-hour shifts; Friday and Saturday )
8-month contract
Anticipated start date of September 20, 2019

Application deadline:

August 18, 2019.
Interviews may be conducted before the application deadline.

Application format:

Applications must include a cover letter specifically addressing position requirements, resume, and 3 references (name, position and email address) with a minimum of 2 being employment contacts.

Applications should be emailed to MERS Director of Operations: nicole@mersociety.org.

Selection procedure: 

  1. References of short-listed candidates contacted.
  2. Short-listed candidates interviewed via SKYPE.
  3. Final interviews held in person in Port McNeill. Candidates will be asked to complete an exercise to assess their ability to match whale IDs.


Please note that only short-listed applicants will be contacted and that this would happen before August 23, 2019.


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