AQUA 400: Work Term

A highlight of the Aquatic Resources Program is the student work term (AQUA 400).  This experience provides an opportunity for students to assess career possibilities while obtaining valuable aquatic-related employment and/or volunteer experience.

Each student undertakes a work/volunteer term over the duration of the summer between their 3rd and 4th years of study.  However, preparation for the work and/or volunteer term begins during the students' third year of study.  Work term preparation activities contribute to the students' grade in AQUA 400 and will include:

  • an initial meeting to outline what is expected of each student and
  • workshops to assist in identifying work search strategies, professionalizing resumes, practicing interview skills, etc. 

The AQUA Program utilizes a Moodle course site to post resources from meetings and workshops and to post work and/or volunteer positions for students.  Students are also expected to conduct their own work/volunteer searches beyond the scope of the postings shared on the Moodle site.

Are AQUA 400 (work term) and AQUA 450 (senior seminar/capstone) connected?

YES, there is overlap between the work term and the senior seminar course.  As students are preparing for their work/volunteer term, they should also be considering topics that may be appropriate for their Senior Research Project (AQUA 450).  It is important to begin thinking about this early, because each student will be conducting their senior project research - under the guidance of a StFX faculty advisor - at the same time that they are completing their work/volunteer term.  Students will each present their Senior Research Projects to their peers and other members of the academic community during their final year of study as part of AQUA 450 (3 academic credits) senior seminar course.

AQUA students have been employed by and/or volunteered with a variety of organizations in the Atlantic region, across Canada and abroad. Upon successful completion of the work/volunteer term students earn academic credit for AQUA 400 (3 credits).

Examples of AQUA Work Terms:

Conservation Authorities in Ontario
Gulf Aquarium and Marine Station [GAMS] Cooperative, Cheticamp, Nova Scotia (non-profit)
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources [MNR], locations across Ontario
St. Mary's River Association [SMRA], Nova Scotia (non-profit)
Parks Canada: Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia
Department of Fisheries and Oceans [DFO] Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
Ann and Sandy Cross Conservation Area, Calgary, Alberta (non-profit)
JaviTech Ltd., Dartmouth, Nova Scotia (industry)
Parks Canada: Prince Edward Island National Park
Georgia-Pacific/Melford Gypsum Mine, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia (industry)
Northumberland Fisheries Museum, Pictou, Nova Scotia (non-profit)
Department of Fisheries and Oceans [DFO] Canada, Antigonish, Nova Scotia
Department of Fisheries and Oceans [DFO] Canada, Moncton, New Brunswick
Environment Canada, Fredericton, New Brunswick
Guysborough County Inshore Fishermen's Association (non-profit)
Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, Cape Breton Island
Aquanet National Centre of Excellence
Marine Institute, County Mayo, Ireland
Prince Edward Island Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Environment
St. Francis Xavier University: faculty-funded research projects (science and social science)
Environmental Consulting Companies in Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia