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  • Jeff Baierlein

Ocean Wise Conservation Association Staff Build Safety Skills with Viristar

Renowned Marine Conservation Organization Completes Viristar’s Outdoor Risk Management Training

Thirty Ocean Wise Conservation Association employees graduated this week from Viristar’s month-long Risk Management for Outdoor Programs course, gaining skills in outdoor safety, incident prevention, and emergency response.

Participants came from Ocean Wise’s Ocean Bridge program, which works with young adults across Canada on environmental service projects, and the organization’s Youth Department, which engages young people in environmental education and restoration activities.

Several additional Ocean Wise employees will be going through the training with Viristar later in 2022 and in 2023.

Ocean Bridge’s Rachel Strynadka commented, “I thought this material was delivered in a way that was very engaging and made it super-applicable and relevant to our programming. I learned a lot from the course, and will view outdoor programming through the lens of risk management moving forward.”

This course follows Ocean Wise’s first experience with Viristar in November 2020, where 16 employees of the nonprofit organization completed the same training.

This was the second time through for Ocean Wise’s Assistant Manager, Samantha Dimitraki. “Even though I completed this course two years ago, it was really nice to review the content and see how far we've come as an organisation,” she said. “There are still things that need to get done, but we have made some positive progress! These concepts are amazing reminders for anyone working in any outdoor space!”

Ocean Wise staff on a Viristar online training session

Ocean Bridge: Building Global Ocean Ambassadors

The Ocean Bridge program is a six-month experience where young people from across Canada learn about marine environmental issues, and design and deliver local or national-scale ocean and freshwater action projects.

The Ocean Bridge experience provides 1:1 coaching, immersive learning journeys, and workshops to help Canadians and permanent Canadian residents gain the knowledge, skills and motivations to be effective ocean ambassadors and foster environmental sustainability worldwide.

One of the components of the experience is a 10-day immersive “Remote Learning Journey,” where Ocean Bridge ambassadors live in an iconic natural setting, engage with local Indigenous partners, and experience first-hand an aquatic habitat and its conservation challenges.

The Viristar training will help Ocean Bridge staff understand, anticipate and mitigate the risks of leading groups in Canada’s wild and remote settings during their learning journeys.

Ocean Bridge in action. Image credit: Ocean Wise

About Ocean Wise

Ocean Wise is a globally focused conservation organization on a mission to protect and restore the world’s oceans. The organization is addressing three major ocean challenges: overfishing, ocean pollution and climate change.

Through research, education, direct-action conservation, and field projects, the Vancouver, Canada-based nonprofit empowers communities to take action for ocean health.

Viristar is proud to support the good work of Ocean Wise Conservation Association, and its vision of a world in which oceans are healthy and flourishing.

Ocean Wise works to protect charismatic megafauna, but also the entire global marine ecosystem.

Viristar’s Risk Management Training

Viristar offers its 40-hour Risk Management for Outdoor Programs training each month on an open-enrollment basis. Participants from 49 countries on six continents have participated in the course.

Viristar has also conducted the training for specific groups, like Ocean Wise, who want to use the training as a catalyst to explore and improve their specific risk management systems and organizational safety culture. Organizations including Character & Leadership Academy, FutuReady Asia, InnoTrek, and the Federation of British International Schools in Asia have arranged these custom trainings, which Viristar offers to groups at a discount.


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