Tag Archives: field work

Research Internship – marine mammals and sea turtles

For those of you interested in marine science and boat-based field research:

Fall 2013

Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Research Internship

Program Description
The IMMS Research Internship Program is designed as a way for students interested in a career in marine science to gain valuable research experience in a real-world setting. Interns will participate with multiple projects involving bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles and diamondback terrapins. As an intern, you will be trained in all aspects of dolphin photo-id research, sea turtle satellite tracking, and other current research projects at IMMS. Interns will also participate in other operations at IMMS including stranding response, education, and animal care. Our goal is to give Interns a well-rounded experience in a variety of areas while providing expert training and experience in marine science research.
Principle Duties include: data entry, searching and cataloging journal articles, learning all research protocols, cropping and sorting photo-id fin images, learning to use photo-id programs such as Darwin (fin matching software), and FinBase (Microsoft Access), boat based field research (21’ and 31’ boats), and learn how to use ArcGIS

  • Secondary Duties involve: Assisting with animal care staff, attending marine mammal necropsies, responding to marine mammal and sea turtle strandings, and assisting with educational tours.
  • Field days: Interns must be able to spend many hours on the water and on shore in sometimes extreme seasonal conditions. Seasonal temperatures range from over 100 °F in summer to 30 °F in winter. Field days typically exceed eight hours and occur at least two or three times a week.

To Apply: Please visit our website at http://imms.org/internship.php

Volunteer – Behavioural Ecology and Conservation of Bottlenose Dolphins

Why don’t I live in New Zealand, damn it?

Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus

Volunteers required to assist with a study of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Northland, New Zealand

Program:

The Coastal-Marine Research Group (C-MRG – http://cmrg.massey.ac.nz/) was established under the auspices of the Institute of Natural Sciences (INS) at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand in 2000. Since then, both its staff and postgraduate students have undertaken marine mammal research within and beyond New Zealand waters, concentrating specifically on conservation and management orientated questions.

Volunteers are required to assist on a PhD study (supervised by Dr Karen Stockin, Massey University and Prof Mark Orams, AUT University) to assess the behavioural ecology and conservation of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Bay of Islands, Northland, New Zealand. Bottlenose dolphins are classified as nationally endangered within New Zealand waters (Baker et al 2010), with a local population recently described (Tezanos-Pinto et al in press). This study builds upon earlier research undertaken by Tezanos-Pinto (2009) and Constantine (2002) and will among other things, reassess the status and effects of tourism interactions (a decade on from Constantine 2002).

The field season runs year round and volunteers are required for all periods. A minimum commitment of three months is preferred, with priority given to those who can commit for longer periods.

The volunteer team will be required to fulfill several key roles:

1) Assist on a 5.5m dedicated research vessel operating from the Bay of Islands. Surveys will involve daily return trips (not overnight) and be conducted in favorable conditions only. As such, no minimum or maximum number of research days onboard the research vessel can be guaranteed

2) Assist with vessel of opportunity data collection in the Bay of Islands

3) Assist with data processing and preliminary analysis on bad weather days

4) Undertake additional responsibilities/roles as the season progresses

5) Effort will placed into allowing all volunteers the opportunity to gain experience on each element.

Volunteer requirements:
1) Be adaptable and patient – field work is highly weather dependent and could include long, consecutive days both on and off the water

2) Be enthusiastic and team orientated (both in a living and working environment)

3) A willingness to learn

4) Possess a positive attitude

5) Be polite to, and engage positively with, the local community

6) Be physically fit and able to work in outdoor conditions

7) Speak English

8) Possess basic computer skills (excel, word, etc)

Preferred (but not necessary) skills/traits:
1) Be enrolled in, or have completed, a degree in a related field (Biology, Zoology, Marine Biology, Animal Behaviour, etc)

2) Have small boat experience

3) Have previous (marine) field experience

Enthusiasm and demonstrable commitment to the project will supersede formal qualifications. Volunteers will be expected to work and live as part of a team with shared cooking and cleaning duties. Unfortunately, monetary compensation cannot be provided, and volunteers will be required to pay for their own food and accommodation. However accommodation will be provided in the field research house at a reasonable rate. Volunteers must pay and organize for their own transport to the field site (3 hours North of Auckland). Information, prices and assistance can be provided to successful applicants.

Application process:
Applicants should send a short email cover letter, using ‘volunteer opportunity’ as the subject line, to c.peters@massey.ac.nz. The email should include an outline of why you would like to work on this project, your availability and relevant experience. Please also attach a brief CV including at least one reference.
Early application is recommended to avoid disappointment. Successful applicants will be notified ASAP.

This is a great opportunity to work in a dynamic environment and gain further experience, whilst working on an important research project. For more detailed information on the project please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you for your interest.

***********************************************
Catherine Peters
PhD Candidate
Coastal-Marine Research Group
Institute of Natural Sciences
Massey University
Private Bag 102 904
Auckland
New Zealand
Tel: + 64 (9) 4140800
Ext: 41196
Mob: + 64 (0) 211058040
Email: c.peters@massey.ac.nz
Web: http://cmrg.massey.ac.nz/

Research Assistant – Dolphin Ecology

This one seems like a great opportunity for “beginner” marine mammalogists/biologists. Details below.

Two research assistants are required to assist with a PhD study investigating common dolphin ecology (Delphinussp.) in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. This PhD project is part of the ongoing research of the New Zealand Common Dolphin Project (NZCDP) and the Coastal-Marine Research Group (C-MRG) at Massey University Albany, Auckland. (http://cmrg.massey.ac.nz).

PROJECT BACKGROUND:

Growing interest in observing and swimming with free-ranging cetaceans has contributed to a rapid growth ofdolphin-based tourism operations. The PhD project aims to examine distribution and habitat use of common dolphins in the East Coast Bay of Plenty and assess the effects of interacting activities on both populations. Part of the study focuses on photo-identification in order to assess common dolphin site fidelity in the Bay of Plenty.

DATES:

March – September 2013. A minimum commitment of 3 months is required. Priority will be given to candidates who can commit for longer periods.

LOCATION:

Tauranga, New Zealand

RESPONSIBILITIES & FIELD WORK OPPORTUNITY:

Analysis of photo-identification data, including assistance with photo sorting, grading, and matching, sighting data entry, maintenance of long-term photo-id catalogue using a MS Access database. Research assistants should be prepared to work long days analysing photographs and matching them with the photo-identification catalogue.

Opportunistically, the candidate will be able to join the team on the field and learn environmental and behavioural data collection for cetaceans. Surveys will be conducted from tourism boats. Surveys will be carried out in the coastal waters of Tauranga. Fieldwork is weather dependent and can vary between weekdays and weekends.

Assistants need to be available FULL-TIME (including WEEKENDS and PUBLIC HOLIDAYS if on the field) and be prepared to work on computer 6-8 hours per day.

This position is suitable in the framework of a degree, with the opportunity to write up a report/thesis for the candidate university/school.

PREREQUISITES:

. Be meticulous, reliable, adaptable, hardworking and patient.

. Have a mature and independent attitude towards marine mammal research.

. Speak fluent English

. Be sociable, enthusiastic and have a positive attitude

. Strong interest in the marine environment and conservation

. Previous experience in photo-ID on small cetaceans will be considered.

QUALIFICATIONS:

. The project is well suited to upper level undergrads, recent grads and graduate students who have some background in Biology, Marine Biology, Ecology, Zoology or related fields.

. Basic computer proficiency in Microsoft Office (especially Excel and Access)

Preferred qualifications but not required:

. Field research including photo-identification experience

. Previous experience in survey techniques and especially in marine mammal research

. Prior experience working on small research vessels

APPLICATION PROCESS:

This is a volunteer position, so there is unfortunately no monetary compensation or living provisions. However, help can be provided to find accommodation. Assistants will be responsible for travel to Tauranga and their own living expenses.

Applicants should email a letter of interest outlining relevant experience and motivation for participation, as well as a CV and the contacts for referees to Anna Meissner

a.m.meissner@massey.ac.nz

Early application is recommended as applications will be examined in order of reception.

Kindest regards,
Anna Meissner
————————————————-
Anna M. Meissner
PhD student
Coastal-Marine Research Group
Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences
Massey University
Private Bag 102 904
North Shore City, 0745
Auckland, New Zealand

Tel: +64 9 414 0800 ext 41520
Cell: +64 22 603 6646
Fax: +64 9 443 9790

Email: a.m.meissner@massey.ac.nz
Web: http://cmrg.massey.ac.nz