Manager, Ocean Bridge

Vancouver Aquarium - Montréal, QC (30+ days ago)

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Ocean Bridge is an innovative youth-led response to the challenge of ocean conservation in Canada. This National service-learning program connects Canadian youth and young professionals (ages 18-30) from coast to coast to coast empowering them to make a difference towards ocean conservation. Each cohort of 40 young people forms a national team that works collaboratively to co-create and deliver service projects to address ocean literacy and ocean health in Canada. This ocean conservation experience is comprised of three key elements to support youth as they adopt a culture of service: (1) Community and Capacity Building, (2) 10-day Ocean Health wilderness service expedition and (3) 5-day Ocean Literacy urban service experience.

Through regular video conference sessions and an interactive online environment, youth connect as a national team and with the broader community of ocean conservation. As individuals, youth receive weekly mentorship and coaching sessions from the Program Specialists, building their capacity as ocean leaders in their home communities where they will complete 1-2 hours of ocean service a week. Ocean Bridge youth also participate in a 10-day immersive wilderness expedition delivering Ocean Health service projects of their design while developing a deep understanding of the important role of National Marine Conservation Areas and Marine Protected Areas in ocean conservation. The national team spends the months leading up to this extended service co-creating their project with the local community and each other. To conclude their experience, the cohort reunites at a leading nature connection institution in one of Canada’s most populous urban centres. During this 5-day urban expedition, Ocean Bridge youth deliver education outreach activities and events created by them to engage their peers in ocean conservation and advance Ocean Literacy in Canada.


Reporting to the Director of Youth, the Ocean Bridge Manager is responsible for overseeing the delivery and assessment of an innovative and engaging national youth service initiative focused on community & capacity building, ocean health, and ocean literacy. This position provides coaching and leadership to staff and participants of one Ocean Bridge cohort; develops and manages the program budget, logistics, scheduling and evaluation; is responsible for project management; supports fundraising initiatives; contributes to detailed report writing; ensures accurate participant data tracking; follows trends in service-learning and experiential education; and works closely with Communications and Marketing teams to ensure appropriate communication strategy. The Ocean Bridge Manager also works closely with the other Ocean Bridge Managers to ensure program consistency and excellence across the four Ocean Bridge cohorts.

This position oversees the logistics and coordination of the wilderness and urban immersive service expeditions including arranging and participating in reconnaissance trips to expedition sites, co-leading the expedition, implementing best practices of experiential education and facilitating meaningful reflection activities. The manager will be responsible for establishing and maintaining positive relationships with community partners at expedition locations including Indigenous communities, provincial and federal parks, and other conservation and education organizations. Leading up to the service expeditions, this position works closely with the staff team to provide training in outdoor and experiential education practices.

This is a full-time contract position. While the Ocean Bridge head office is at the Vancouver Aquarium in Vancouver, BC, we will consider remote offices in the following cities or regions: Vancouver, BC; Ottawa, ON; Montreal, QC; Halifax, NS; Haida Gwaii, BC; North Shore of Lake Superior, ON; Saguenay-St. Lawrence, QC; and Eastport/St.John’s NFL.

Candidates who are considered for employment will be subject to the successful completion of a criminal background check.


Plans and coordinates the successful delivery of Ocean Bridge program and youth service initiatives by:

Designing, developing, evaluating, and coordinating the successful delivery of the Ocean Bridge program for 40 youth per cohort including curriculum design, multilingual online learning environments, video conferences, distance education, professional development sessions, and mentorship;
Recruiting youth and young professionals to participate in program ensuring participants represent the cultural, social, geographic and economic diversity of Canada.
Coordinating with a network of partner organizations supporting the program across Canada including but not limited to: Canadian Museum of Nature, Simon Fraser University, University of Waterloo, Parks Canada Agency, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, TakingItGlobal, and Canada Service Corps organizations;
Supervising day-to-day operations of assigned programs, including effective delivery;
Responding to daily problems, customer service opportunities, special needs/requests and is proactive about finding solutions to conflicts;
Liaising regularly inter-departmentally, including Research, Conservation, Marketing, and Communications.
Acting as a member of the education team and actively participate in team activities, projects, and programs when possible.
Scheduling staff to participate and lead education programs;
Assisting with marketing and public awareness of Ocean Bridge project.

Ensures program offering continues to address current issues including program updates, development and evaluation by:

Assisting senior staff with strategic planning for growth and development of Ocean Bridge program and team;
Contributing to education quality assurance; maintenance of Staff Education Handbook, competencies, peer reviews, professional learning;
Ensuring risk management aligned with industry standards;
Overseeing the development of Ocean Bridge programs, responding to changes in marine and environmental issues, experiential education and participants needs;
Tracking participation and relevant statistics for Ocean Bridge Programs;
Contributing to regular reporting requirements;
Conducting regular review and evaluation of program delivery and participant experience and providing recommendations for departmental efficiency and improvement;

Supports plans and objectives for the department by:
Ensuring staffing levels across the department(s) are at optimum levels to support effective and efficient service delivery;
Staying abreast of service-learning, experiential education and distance education trends;
Coaching and developing direct reports and entire team to accomplish strategic growth objectives; recruits, selects and hires the talent needed to meet the department’s goals;
Ensuring compliance to organization-wide, EMS and Health & Safety policies by all team members;
Reviewing and reporting results monthly, and ensuring timely escalation of issues/obstacles/trends to the Director Youth with recommendations/solutions;
Reviewing and approving time and attendance for direct reports prior to established deadlines;
Developing budgets and managing department expenses at or below budget.
Working with Development team to develop new program funding opportunities;
Establishing metrics for the department(s) along with the Director Youth, ensuring all team members clearly understand the metrics, and what is expected of them;

Provides management, coaching and mentoring to Direct Reports and extended team members, and contributes to and fosters the development of the team by:

Creating an environment conducive to individual development, productivity, and achievement while ensuring open lines of communication;
Ensuring that staff are well organized, sufficiently trained/cross-trained to perform their responsibilities, developed to their potential and deployed in a manner that permits a cost-effective operation;
Planning and facilitating individual touch bases (ITBs), group touch bases (GTBs), and skill-building sessions where appropriate;
Providing direction, guidance and support to team members and motivating staff to achieve a high level of performance and productivity;
Establishing performance objectives/goals, reviewing progress throughout the year, and completing formal performance reviews for direct reports as required;
Recognizing and rewarding success, and managing poor performance;
Developing and obtaining agreement on development plans for all direct reports, recommending training courses and seminars where appropriate;
Recruiting, hiring and promoting team members in accordance with standard policies;
Monitoring and controlling expenditures to ensure that organization education standards met while continuing to maintain monthly budget. Tracking budget and maintaining financial records throughout the year;

Consciously desires to improve Ocean Wise and its processes by:

Promptly aiding in Emergency protocol;
Maintaining and supporting organizational safety standards;
Continually improving our impact on the environment and greening of operations through support of EMS protocols;
Actively demonstrating the organizations values and code of conduct;
Building and maintaining relationships across internal departments to achieve the mission of the organization;
Performing additional duties as required.


Education and Experience

Bachelor’s degree in Education, Science, Conservation or related field required;
Minimum of 3-5 years demonstrated successful management experience and strong leadership skills;
Have or working towards a Master’s degree in Education or related field is ideal, but not necessary;
Experience working with youth from diverse socio-economic backgrounds;
Extensive experience developing, implementing and evaluating educational programs;
Teaching experience with a variety of developmental stages required; emphasis on conservation education, experiential learning and marine/freshwater biology;
Experience developing and delivering innovative youth engagement programs;
Experience leading youth on overnight trips in a wilderness setting;
Standard First Aid or Wilderness First Aid certification required (may receive after employment);
Outdoor Experiential Education certification or equivalent an asset;
Experience working with Indigenous communities an asset;
Strong background in customer service.


Bilingual (French and English) candidates preferred, additional languages an asset;
Strong commitment to the environment and education;
Demonstrated project and education management experience and strong time management skills;
Demonstrated knowledge of best practices in the fields of formal and informal education;
Demonstrated creativity for program design and implementation;
Respectful and youth-centred student management skills;
Commitment to continuing development and implementation of leading-edge conservation education practices;
Ability to lead and motivate a team as well as to work as a cooperative team member; experience leading a team successfully through a period of change;
Fluency with Online Learning Environments;
Familiarity and proficiency with Microsoft Office products, Cisco WebEx;
Superior written and oral communication skills;
Self-motivated, enthusiastic, energetic personality;
Ability to work under pressure in a dynamic environment;
Ability to multitask, respond to last minute changes, and maintain a flexible attitude;
Ability to respond to management needs and priorities.
Ability to observe and assess youth participant behaviour, enforce safety regulations and emergency procedures, and apply appropriate behaviour management techniques;
Ability and maturity to deal with a wide variety of ages and personalities;
Active demonstration of Ocean Wise Conservation Association’s values and mission;
Ability to work well under minimal supervision;
Proven ability to work in a team.

Will involve evening, weekend, overnight and multiday overnight work both in and out of town;
Will be delivering programs and participating in meetings across time zones;
Involves some heavy lifting; Incumbents must be able to safely lift up to 50 lbs. to chest level;
Involves physical activities including but not limited to kayaking, canoeing, hiking and shoreline cleanups;
Job requires the ability to stand or sit for extended periods of time;
The incumbent will work in a shared office environment with the usual ergonomic risks;
Exposure to variable weather conditions and associated heat stress and cold stress risks;
Work in adverse/challenging field conditions.








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