Internships/Volunteer Opportunities

Marine Mammal Volunteer at Boston’s New England Aquarium

The New England Aquarium is recruiting Marine Mammal Education & Research Interns to serve aboard our commercial Whale Watch Cruises, which are offered in partnership with Boston Harbor Cruises.

Marine Mammal Education & Research Interns are responsible for collecting, and transcribing data related to the identification, location, and behavior of marine mammals found in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary region. Interns are also involved in public education aboard the vessels. Additional duties include data entry, photo-identification processing, and educational outreach.

Please click the following link to be redirected to a full description of the internship position:
http://www.neaq.org/get_involved/volunteering_and_internships/internship
s/complete_list_of_internships/position_details.php?id=101

Candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, 2 references, and an unofficial transcript to Lace Anderson Garland, Manager of Volunteer Programs & Internships via email to LGarland@neaq.org.


Conservation Biology of Whales and Dolphins in Faxaflói and Skjálfandi Bays

Project:

Volunteers and assistants in Iceland are needed for the year 2013 to assist in Ph.D. dissertation research focusing on common minke whales and white-beaked dolphins occurring off Reykjavik and Húsavík.

This is a research project being conducted along the southwest (Reykjavík area) and northeast (Húsavík area) coasts of Iceland in collaboration with the Faxaflói Cetacean Research project, Elding whale-watching, North Sailing and the University of Iceland’s Research Centre in Húsavík.

Location:

Faxaflói Bay is a bay facing Reykjavík city where both whale-watching and whaling are currently taking place. Daily whale-watching tours are arranged from Reykjavik to spot feeding common minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, humpback whales, harbour porpoises and orcas. Elding whale-watching has been running whale-watching trips since 1998, with special interest in all whales visiting the bay. The company is member of Green Globe 21 and tries to fulfill environmental standards as well as certain whale-watching guidelines.

Skjálfandi Bay is a bay facing Húsavík city where daily whale-watching tours are arranged to spot feeding humpback and minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, fin and blue whales and harbour porpoises. North Sailing is running tours since 1995.

Since 2007, Elding and North Sailing have been collaborating with the Faxaflói Cetacean Research project and University of Iceland’s Research Centre in Húsavík aiming to:

– determine the abundance of common minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, humpback whales, harbour porpoises and orcas in the coastal waters of Faxaflói Bay
– examining patterns of residency using multiple photo-identification efforts
– establishing sex ratio estimates via biological sampling
– analyse the feeding behaviour of common minke whales, white-beaked dolphins and humpback whales and data collected on associated bird species
– determining population structure of the resident population of white-beaked dolphins occurring in the coastal waters of Faxaflói Bay
– assess cutaneous disorders on common minke whales and white-beaked dolphins during photo-identification surveys

Reykjavík area:

One research assistant and two volunteers (per research period*) are requested to partake in a project aiming to investigate abundance, patterns of residency, social structure, health status and behavioural budget of whales and dolphins occurring in the coastal waters of Faxaflói Bay, southwest Iceland. An intensive photo-identification study will be used to estimate number of individual whales/dolphins and their site fidelity (seasonal and annual) in the coastal waters of Faxaflói Bay during spring, summer and autumn months. Data on common minke whales and humpback whales have been collected since 2007, since 2002 on white-beaked dolphins. The existing ID-Catalogue already counts over 400 common minke whales, 300 white-beaked dolphins, 50 humpback whales and 8 orcas.

Most frequently sighted species: common minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) and harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena)

Other species: humpback whales (Megaptera novaengliae), orcas (Orcinus orca), fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) and basking sharks (Cetorhinus maximus)

Húsavík area:

One assistant and two volunteers (per research period*) are needed for a project aiming to investigate abundance, patterns of residency, social structure, health status and behavioural budget of whales and dolphins occurring in the coastal waters of Skjálfandi Bay, northeast Iceland. An intensive photo-identification study will be used to estimate number of individual whales/dolphins and their site fidelity (seasonal and annual) in the coastal waters of Skjálfandi Bay during spring, summer and autumn
months. Data on common minke whales, white-beaked dolphins and humpback whales have been collected since 2001; since 2010 on fin whales. The existing ID-Catalogue already counts over 70 common minke whales, 200 white-beaked dolphins, 200 humpback whales and 5 fin whales.

Most frequently sighted species: humpback whales (Megaptera novaengliae), common minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) and harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena).

Other species: blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus), fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), orcas (Orcinus orca), sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis), bottlenose whales (Hyperoodon ampullatus)

Time periods:

Reykjavik area research period*:

1st April to 30th May 2012
1st June to 30th July 2012
1st August to 30th September 2012
1st October to 30th November 2012
1st December to 30th January 2013
1st February to 30th March 2013

Húsavík area research period*:

7th April to 30th May 2012
1st June to 30th July 2012
1st August to 30th September 2012

Conditions:

In both Reykjavík and Húsavík, several whale-watching motor vessels will be used as research platform, for boat based work. In Reykjavik, living space for the boat based people is located on a former fishing boat in the old harbour, with 4 single rooms, bathroom, kitchen, living room and internet access (25 square metres); 10 min walking distance to the city centre. Internet access is also provided.

Because of the training required, applicants must be willing to commit to the project a minimum of two months (longer stay could be discussed). Because of the training provided participants must be able to join the project one week prior to the research period starting date.

The positions are not paid and candidates must support their everyday living during their stay, as well as travel costs.

Accommodation and food during working hours (mainly lunch) will be provided in Reykjavik. In Húsavík accommodation is provided in an apartment with other volunteers working on different projects in Skjálfandi Bay. The apartment is located in the centre of Húsavík town, just 5 minute walk from the harbour area.

There are possibilities for students to develop their own academic projects using data collected during their stay (please contact Huld Hafliðadóttir for more information).

Duties of Work:

Applicants should be ready to work 5-6 days a week (depending on weather conditions) and be expected to participate in the following duties:

– data collection (behavioural data, photo-id images, environmental
parameters, ect.)
– data entry under the supervision of the Principal Investigator (PI)
– recognition of feeding manoeuvres (engulfment and entrapment)
– identification of species and behaviour of associated avian species
(e.g. auks, gulls, gannets, arctic terns, skuas, fulmars and shearwaters)
– identification of skin marks (infectious, parasitic, anthropogenic
and antagonistic)
– use of photo-ID matching softwares (Darwin)

Above this, cleaning, painting and other maintenance tasks is part of staying at the fishing boat. At the beginning and end of each whale-watching trip, applicants also help the boat crew out by assisting passengers with life jackets, warm blankets etc.

Qualifications:

– have a strong background in Marine biology/Oceanography, with knowledge and experience of marine mammal behaviour and/or sea birds
– have previous wildlife field experience and ability to stand long working days, sometimes in rough sea conditions (seasick people should not apply for these positions!)
– have previous cetacean photo-identification and/or wildlife photography skills
– be computer literate with a working knowledge PC operating system and proficiency with MS Word and MS Excel. Familiarity with software including MS Access and Photoshop is very helpful. Possibility to bring your own Laptop is much preferred
– be enthusiastic, hard-working, team oriented, able to share small living space on board
– be adaptable, flexible and patient as fieldwork is highly weather dependent
– have good English language skills
– bring your own digital reflex camera and zoom lens: 70-300mm, 70-200mm and/or 80-400mm zoom lenses preferred (Nikon compatible)

This project provides excellent opportunity for people seeking experience within the field of cetacean researches, as well as a broad overview of which methods can be applied.

How to apply:

CV or resume should include the following:

– details on your availability
– contact details of two referees
– a brief description of yourself including your interest in marine
mammals and what you hope to gain from this experience
– specify if you have any preference for the ‘Reykjavík’ project or the
‘Húsavík’ project.
– any dietary requirements (i.e. vegetarian, vegan, etc.)

Send applications to Huld Hafliðadóttir huld [at] hi.is


Photo ID Internship with Aquarium of the Pacific

The Aquarium of the Pacific seeks interns to join the Marine Mammal Photo ID program for the summer months of 2013.  This intern will be responsible for assisting the Boats Coordinator on photo IDing blue whales, fin whales, and humpback whales during our daily whale watching cruises, as well as interpreting data to guests at the Aquarium.

Commitment: 15-20 hours/week for 15 weeks starting in Late May/Early June and lasting through August.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Taking dorsal fin photos of animals encountered during daily cruises
Maintain detailed data logs of sightings and enter them into ACESS databases
Answer questions and interpreting for guests on board.
Photo processing and IDing individual whales seen during daily trips

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Must be 18 or over
  • Major/ed in biology, marine biology, or conservation a plus
  • Lift a maximum of 50 lbs

KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS

Each applicant must have a broad knowledge of ecological and biological principles, especially those relating to marine habitats,
Ability to spend many hours standing especially on a boat
Experience working with digital SLR camera?s a plus but not required
Experience in data entry, preferably with Microsoft Access
Comfortable speaking in front of large groups
Have excellent oral and written communication skills
Be able to demonstrate exceptional leadership qualities and work with a diverse group of people.

To apply, please visit http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/volunteer/college_internships/

One Comment

  1. Kameliya
    Feb 18, 2014 @ 23:18:13

    Hello
    I am interested in any internship that you may have for this year.

    Please email me with deadlines and information.
    Thank you

    Reply

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