Engaging professional mariners in marine mammal conservation
Thorpe, Leah Irene
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Due to British Columbia‟s expansive coastline and limited funding for marine mammal conservation, research projects rely heavily on citizen scientists, or volunteers who contribute data. Professional mariners are an important target audience for such projects. In an attempt to increase participation by this sector, I designed a workshop using the Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation (ADDIE) process. I worked closely with four marine mammal conservation societies and conducted an analysis phase with the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) using a combination of questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. I discovered that there is some awareness of existing conservation programs within the CCG but understanding of these programs as well as basic marine mammal knowledge and identification skills are limited. I also learned the importance of consistent feedback for continued participation and was able to relay information to the societies involved as well as use it to guide the development of my workshop.
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