ECOP Canada

Stories from Early Career Ocean Professionals

Photo Credit: Andrew McCurdy

The ocean covers over 70% of the planet and is the determining life system that connects us all. It provides clean air, food, and medicine; it regulates weather and climate; it is home to countless species. Culture, transportation, economies, livelihoods, and recreation, all have ties to the ocean. 

We’re currently living in a period of significant change and complex challenges. This demands new and creative ways of thinking and acting. Unprecedented attention is on the global ocean, generating exciting opportunities and pathways for innovation and collaboration. 

We’ve brought together a dynamic team of early career ocean professionals (ECOP) from across Canada and around the world to share with students their personal stories of what ignited their passion for the ocean and how they embarked on their career paths. You’ll gain insights into the nature of their work, the challenges they face, and the burning questions that drive their curiosity. 

This captivating series will span the entire 2023-2024 school year with one presentation a month from September to May, and 5 presentations (one per day) during Ocean Week Canada (World Ocean Week) in early June. 

This series is a collaborative initiative of ECOP Canada, the Canadian Ocean Literacy Coalition, Exploring By The Seat Of Your Pants, and is made possible in part through the Government of Canada’s  Oceans Management Contribution Program.

Event #1

Bringing Back the wild with Kyle Armstrong

September 18th @ 1:00pm eastern

Kyle Armstrong is a restoration ecologist and is the Executive Director of the Peninsula Streams and Shorelines Society. PSS and friends work to protect and restore aquatic and coastal ecosystems across Southern Vancouver Island through Community Stewardship, Research, and Environmental Education. Kyle is a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner (CERP) with the Society of Ecological Restoration’s professional association and in addition to coastal British Columbia, has worked in conservation in South America and Southern Africa. He is passionate about restoration and enhancement of Social Ecological Systems. This will be the first of our Early Career Ocean Professional series happening every month!


Event #2

Storytelling to save the oceans with Rosie Poirier

October 16th @ 1:00pm eastern

Rosie is a marine scientist, underwater photographer and an artist. She works primarily in the field of sustainable resource management and conservation. Rosie has spent many years doing field work with a variety of marine animals from sharks to whales to fish. She recently completed a year as the North American Our-World Underwater Scholar studying marine resource management projects around the world. Now she focuses on conservation strategy and accelerating programs of action in the sustainability sector. Working with both non-profits and industry to help communities improve the ways they interact with the ocean. 


Event #3

Tackling Plastic Pollution with Shoreline Cleanups with Angela Cumming

November 20th @ 1:00pm eastern

Angela Cumming is a passionate outreach and conservation professional working to tackle plastic pollution through Shoreline Cleanups with Ocean Wise. Angela has taught scuba diving and marine conservation around the world, and is now proudly working in conservation in Canada! Currently, she organizes shoreline cleanups for volunteers across the country to tackle plastic pollution on the ground and contribute to Shoreline Cleanup’s data. Litter data is collected at every shoreline cleanup, and informs researchers, industries, and even government policies to reduce plastic!


Event #4

Coral Restoration and Diversity in Ocean Spaces with Aneri Garg

December 18th @ 1:00pm eastern

Aneri is a Marine Ecologist, Science Communicator, Artist and Entrepreneur living in Huu-ay-aht First Nations territory on the West coast of Vancouver Island. As a queer, cis, BIPOC, woman with a disability she is an advocate for Inclusion, Equity, Justice and Accessibility for all in Ocean Spaces. She loves to share stories about her research on coral reef restoration, teach yoga, spend time in and on the water with her puppy, bake sweet treats, and forage for mushrooms in the forest.


Event #5

Supporting the Ocean in Style: How You Can Be An Oceans Warrior

January 15th @ 1:00pm eastern

Mark is an ocean advocate, working to advance campaigns and initiatives that promote ocean health and prevent ocean deterioration. He has been involved with Sustainable Ocean Alliance for six years. Mark founded SOA’s inaugural Youth Policy Advisory Council with 20 other international ocean policy experts. They led campaigns to elevate youth calls-to-action for ocean and climate policy action, and they campaigned against deep-sea mining. Mark has been a fierce advocate against deep-sea mining in his role with SOA and the Jason Momoa-narrated film Deep Rising. He has led activations against deep-sea mining in DC, Hawai’i, and Vancouver. He now works to advance community-building initiatives for communities across North America in the pursuit of action on ocean, climate, and sustainable fashion with his advocacy consulting group, BlueGreen Generation.