Knickle spent 32 days in Thailand conducting tuna fisheries
research in the Indian Ocean.
By Billy Forward
Special to the Gazette
International involvement is one of the foundations upon which
the Marine Institute has been built. From its beginning in
the late 1980s, MI International has built expertise in the
international development area. Though the focus has been
broadened to include international contracts, initiatives
in the developed world, and a global graduate placement program,
the mission remains the same – to provide a unit dedicated
to the design, development and management of international
This year is one of MI International’s biggest to date
for the Global Graduate Placement Program (GGPP). With 22
recent graduates currently placed overseas, preparations and
recruitment are underway to send 11 more in late spring/early
summer. The program started six years ago with three graduates
placed with the State Polytechnic College of Palawan in the
Philippines. Since then, 72 graduates have taken part in the
The GGPP provides post-secondary Canadian graduates with global
experience, assisting them in making the transition from school
to work. The goal of the internships is to assist partners
in developing countries address specific aquatic and coastal
environmental management challenges. At the same time, the
program helps students move from school to their careers.
The second objective reflects the Marine Institute’s
current strategy to build concrete mechanisms for internationalizing
the institute and selected programs. Internships are designed
around the theme of sustainable coastal/aquatic environment
management. Recruitment and selection of participants will
focus on graduates from MI’s fisheries resource management,
aquaculture; coastal zone management; and marine environmental
technology programs. High calibre external candidates are
also considered provided they meet all eligibility requirements.
While overseas, interns are hosted by an overseas partner
organization in areas such as coastal zone management, aquaculture,
community extension or marketing. Host organizations include
non-governmental agencies such as the WorldFish Centre and
SEAFDEC (South East Asia Fisheries Development Center in Thailand)
as well as grass roots social change organizations such as
Tambuyog Development Center (Philippines). Currently, there
are interns located in Cameroon, Malawi, Thailand, Vietnam,
Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Norway and England.
What connects all interns is the desire to learn and grow
personally and professionally. Not only do they apply their
training in a global context, they bring home new found skills
and insight. And while many interns get to have fun along
the way, they also broaden their understanding of coastal
and aquatic problems and solutions, experience exotic environments
and tastes and, of course, make new friends.
In the current placement program, three- and six-month placements
were available. MI International and the Government of Canada
are piloting the three-month internship program in this round.
Funded through the Canadian International Development Agency’s
(CIDA) Canada Fund for Africa, the internships deal with improving
food security by working with rural farmers, trainers, and
educational institutions to enhance capacity at the local
and regional level.
The six-month placements are funded through the Department
of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and CIDA through
the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy.
The program covers expenses associated with living abroad,
including a monthly stipend. To accommodate the ongoing growth
in this program, MI International has dedicated office space
and resources — including knowledgeable staff —
to ensuring interns can prepare for their overseas experience
Recently, a MI graduate and past participant of the GGPP was
named 2001-2002 recipient of the Consultative Group on International
Agricultural Research — Canada Linkage Fund. Brokered
by CIDA, the grant includes a three-year, $150,000 (US) award
that will support her continued efforts to analyse declining
fish populations in Malawi.
With the number of overseas opportunities increasing, interns
can expect a wide range of possible experiences. In the future,
interns will help identify gender issues and the status of
HIV/AIDS in some of countries with strong potential in the
aquaculture industry. Others will conduct fisheries research
and marine ecosystem fieldwork.
For more information on MI International’s Global Graduate
Placement Program, or on how to apply for the upcoming internships,
or contact Billy Forward, global placement program assistant,