[MARMAM] Volunteer Opportunities with Sea Watch Wales

Hanna Nuuttila hannanuuttila at gmail.com
Fri Oct 14 02:16:49 PDT 2005

*Sea Watch Wales*
2006 Marine Research and Education Volunteer Opportunities

 The Sea Watch Foundation is a registered marine environmental research
charity that aims to achieve better conservation of whales and dolphins in
the seas around Britain and Ireland, by involving the public in scientific
monitoring of populations and the threats they face, and by the regular
production of material to educate, inform and lobby for better environmental
protection. At Sea Watch Wales, we are dedicated to raising awareness,
knowledge and conservation of the marine wildlife of West Wales through
research and education. Our work is funded by the Countryside Council for
Wales, with support from Defra and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and we work
closely with the local management authority, Ceredigion County Council.


The purpose of our research is to monitor the marine mammal populations
inhabiting Cardigan Bay, particularly its two Special Areas of Conservation,
so as to gain information to aid the conservation and long-term well being
of these animals and the local marine environment. This is achieved by
conducting various research projects including:

   - Estimating the abundance and distribution of bottlenose dolphins,
   harbour porpoises and grey seals within the Cardigan Bay SAC using distance
   sampling and opportunistic boat surveys
   - Maintaining and updating a catalogue of photographically identified
   bottlenose dolphins in West Wales in order to study their abundance, social
   structure, movements and life histories.
   - Acoustic monitoring of bottlenose dolphins and harbour porpoises in
   the Cardigan Bay SAC using automated click detectors (TPODs)
   - Setting up a library of underwater sounds in Welsh waters in order
   to develop bio-acoustic research in the area.

 In addition, line-transect abundance surveys for common dolphins are
conducted monthly in the Celtic Deep west of Pembrokeshire. In summer 2005,
these revealed sizeable numbers of minke whales and six fin whales, as well
as orca, Risso's dolphins, and harbour porpoises.


We further aim to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of the
local marine wildlife and the habitats supporting them, to encourage respect
and conservation of the area and its wildlife for future generations. This
is carried out through a school education programme, public talks and road
shows, and the production and dissemination of educational and
interpretational materials. We also run training courses for the public in
cetacean identification and survey methods.


Volunteers are invited to assist with all the various projects listed above,
including: land- and boat-based marine mammal surveys and
photo-identification studies, database entry, awareness raising initiatives,
school education programme, developing education and interpretation
materials and assisting with and participating in training courses and
public talks.

 Volunteers are required from mid April until mid October 2006, with a
minimum commitment of 4 weeks. Preference will be given to those who can
stay for longer periods, including the whole 6-month period. Volunteers
would be based in New Quay, West Wales, and it is possible to obtain part
time paid work in the area if required. We will try and help to find
accommodation for all volunteers (approx. 50GBP per week). However,
volunteers are responsible for their own travel, accommodation and living

 Main tasks involved include:

 *Research volunteers: *

· Conduct land based surveys of dolphins and porpoises

· Conduct boat-based line transect surveys onboard our research vessel

· Collect observational data on marine mammal sightings and weather
conditions on board local marine wildlife watching boats

· Data entry for land and boat based sightings

· Interacting with the public on the pier about the marine wildlife in the
area and the work being conducted by Sea Watch

· Assist with photo-identification work and analysis

· Assist with acoustic monitoring, using T-PODS and hydrophones

 *Education volunteers:*

· Conduct land based surveys, including recording sightings information and
updating sightings records and reports.

· Interact with the public on the pier about the marine wildlife in the area
and the work being conducted

· Assist with school visits, talks and awareness raising events

· Assist with the research and production of education and interpretational

· The opportunity to participate in boat based fieldwork

 *Important skills/qualifications:*

· A background in marine biology/environmental science etc is desirable

· A background in environmental education and experience working with
children is desirable (Education volunteers)

· A strong interest and knowledge of British cetaceans would be an advantage

· Prior experience in boat based survey work would be useful

· An ability to get on well with others in a small group

· Good verbal and written communication skills

· Experience in interacting with the public

· Public speaking and IT skills

· An ability to work in a conscientious and reliable manner

· Willingness to work long hours outdoors in often very changeable Welsh

· Driving Licence and preferably a car owner (Education volunteers)

  All volunteers will be trained in cetacean observation and identification,
in line-transect survey protocols and photo-identification of seals and
bottlenose dolphins.

 For more information on our research and the volunteer programme, please
visit our website

 *To Apply:*

* *

Please send a CV and a covering letter detailing whether you want to work
with education or research, including any relevant experience you have and
specifying *when in the season you are available and for what length of time

 Hanna Nuuttila

hanna.nuuttila at seawatchfoundation.org.uk

Please put VOLUNTEER APPLICATION into your subject title.**

 Or by snail mail: Sea Watch Foundation Wales, Paragon House, Wellington
Place, New Quay, Ceredigion, SA45 9NR. Tel:01545 561227

 The volunteer selection will take place after the New Year so you will hear
back from us by the end of February.

* *

* *

*Conference Presentations and publications:*

 Lastra, P. and Ugarte, F. (2004) Photo identification of bottlenose
dolphins in the Cardigan Bay candidate Special Area of Conservation. Poster
for ECS Conference, Kolmarden, Sweden, March/April 2004.

 Ugarte, F., Lastra, P., Evans, P.G.H., Hartley, S. and Laing, S. (2004)
Present and future abundance estimation of marine mammals in the Cardigan
Bay candidate Special Area of Conservation (cSAC) from line transect surveys
using a small boat. Poster for ECS Conference, Kolmarden, Sweden,
March/April 2004.

 Lamb, J. and Ugarte, F. (2005) Relationships between presence of bottlenose
dolphins, environmental variables and boat traffic; visual and acoustic
surveys in new Quay Bay, Wales. Poster for ECS Conference, La Rochelle,
France, April 2005.

 Lott, R., Evans, P.G.H., Perez, S., Stone, E., Hartley, S. and Ugarte, F
(2005) Social structure and long term Residency of Bottlenose Dolphins in
Cardigan Bay. Presentation for ECS Conference, La Rochelle, France, April

 Lott, R., Stone, E., Perez, S., Hartley, S., Evans, P.G.H., and Ugarte, F.
(2005) Social structure of bottlenose dolphins in Cardigan Bay, Wales.
Poster for ECS Conference, La Rochelle, France, April 2005.

 Perez, S., Lott, R., Stone, E., Luque, P. Hartley, S., Evans, P.G.H.,
Baines, M., Reichelt, M., Baxter, J. and Ugarte, F. (2005) Long-term site
fidelity of bottlenose dolphins in Cardigan Bay, Wales. Poster for ECS
Conference, La Rochelle, France, April 2005.

 Simon, M. andVerfuß, U. (2005) Acoustic monitoring of bottlenose dolphins
using T-PODs. Presentation for ECS Conference, La Rochelle, France, April

 Ugarte, F., Felce, T., Perez, S., Stone, E., Hartley, S. and Evans, P.G.H.
(2005) Abundance of marine mammals in the Cardigan Bay SAC estimated with
distance sampling and photo identification surveys from a small boat.
Presentation for ECS Conference, La Rochelle, France, April 2005.

 *Masters theses published or in preparation since 2004 from projects
undertaken in conjunction with Sea Watch Foundation:*

   - *Evonne Amblin, University of Plymouth: *Environmental factors
   affecting the distribution of short-beaked common dolphins (*Delphinus
   delphis)* of the Celtic Deep. (in prep.)**

* *

   - *Ina Ansmann, University of Wales, Bangor*: Acoustic behaviour and
   whistle characteristics of common dolphins, (*Delphinus Delphis)*, in
   the Celtic Sea. (in prep.)

   - *Juliana Castrillon, University of Javeriana, Colombia: *Estimating
   the population size and long-term residence of bottlenose dolphins
   truncatus*) in Cardigan Bay SAC. (in prep.)

   - *Ronan Hickey, University of Wales, Bangor: *Comparative study of
   bottlenose dolphin whistles in the southern Cardigan Bay SAC and in the
   Shannon Estuary. (in prep.)**

* *

   - *Jennie Lamb, University of Wales, Bangor: *Relationships between
   bottlenose dolphins (*Tursiops truncatus*), environmental variables
   and boat traffic; visual and acoustic surveys in New Quay Bay. (2004)*

* *

   - *Kate Lewis, University of Wales, Bangor: *Habitat use, behaviour
   and site fidelity of grey seals along the Ceredigion Heritage Coast. (in

   - *Rob Lott, University of Wales, Bangor: *Social structure of
   bottlenose dolphins (*Tursiops truncatus*) in Cardigan Bay. (2004)

   - *Neal Reay, University of Wales, Bangor: *Estimating the g(0) in
   linear surveys of harbour porpoise, bottlenose dolphins and grey seals. (in

* *

   - *Mercedes Reyes-Zamudio, University of Wales, Bangor: *Acoustic
   behaviour of bottlenose dolphins (*Tursiops truncatus*): a comparison
   between T-POD and visual surveys. (in prep.)

   - *Andrew Scullion, University of Wales, Bangor: *Short-beaked common
   dolphin, *Delphinus delphis*, whistles: Is whistle density, a reliable
   Form of measuring group size? (2004)

    * *
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