[MARMAM] job posting

Research (HWDT) research at hwdt.org
Mon Oct 17 06:22:53 PDT 2005

HWDT Cetacean Sightings and Community Education Officer


Over the past three years HWDT established a pilot project that involved collecting and collating cetacean sighting information, involving members of the public and other marine users. HWDT has collated over 8,000 sightings of cetaceans from the Argyll Islands and throughout the Hebrides. 


Building on this work, HWDT would like develop a new Sightings and Community Education Project. The project would have two elements.


1.       To engage marine users, to increase their awareness, understanding and enjoyment of the marine biodiversity of the Argyll Island area and promote action for biodiversity. 


2.       Increase our knowledge of the priority BAP species, the bottlenose dolphin.  Very little is known about the west coast of Scotland’s Bottlenose Dolphin population, by their nature 

            (coastal inshore species) they are one of Argyll’s most visible species.  


By focusing our efforts on well known flagship species which can be readily identified in the field with we are able to not only gather important data regarding their status and distribution but also capture the public’s imagination while sending a clear, positive conservation and biodiversity message. 


In the pilot project we established good links with fish farm companies, fishermen and wildlife operators which we plan to maintain.  Up until now HWDT has not had the resources to engage with recreational marine users.


The Sightings officer would target recreational marine users including yachtsmen, divers, kayakers, anglers as well as visitors to the area. We will target different groups duration the 2 year project duration. 


The Sightings officer, with volunteer support, will work with guidance from the Scientific Committee to implement the proposed Sightings and Community Education Program.  This includes the following key tasks:



Encourage marine-users throughout the Argyll Islands to report sightings of marine life species focusing primarily on cetaceans and other priority species through the distribution of identification sheets, sightings forms and the organization of ID workshops.


Maintain sightings Access database, which will include supervision of the Sightings Volunteer with the input of sightings data.. Generate up to date web-based maps of sightings and sightings reports based on the database.


Encourage the continuation of HWDT’s Logger program which encourages whale watching operators to collect detailed effort-related data marine mammal sighting data.  

Tasks include, onboard training and assistance; checking, maintaining and archiving collected data.  Analysis of dataset.


Organise a series of targeted talks and workshops to specific marine users identified above.  These events would focus on highlighting the following issues: 


Marine biodiversity in the Argyll Region; 

raise awareness of the marine wildlife watching code, what to do in the event of a live or dead strandings, the value of reporting sightings, and the effects of marine debris, engaging many more people in working towards marine conservation enhancement.


Focus on promoting and encouraging participation to the sightings network. By engaging the public, we will maximise sightings contributions to the Bottlenose dolphin sightings network.


·         Assist in ferry sightings project  


·         You will also continue to share updated information with the wider public and current contributors to the Sightings Programme, through our website and quarterly newsletters.  Reports are also required by Sea Watch Foundation, the Whale and Dolphin magazine, British Wildlife Magazine ,WWF, Biodiversity Action Grants Scheme and NADAIR  


·     Assistance with Funding Proposals, through reports will also be required



·         As part of this project, HWDT would continue to work in partnership with many other environmental organisations to develop an effective management framework that ensures biodiversity is taken into account in all decision making.


·           General administrative duties related to the NADAIR community sighting programme


·           Additional duties may include attending strandings and a variety of other work which may come up from time to time.


Desirable Skills/Qualifications:-


a)         A degree in a biological or environmental subject - ideally a subject with a large marine component.

b)         Considerable experience of database construction and analysis (access and excel).

c)         Knowledge of managing and setting up GIS packages.

d)         PR skills including experience of public speaking and dealing with people with a wide variety of backgrounds.

e)         Experience of writing popular and scientific articles/reports.

f)           Excellent marine life identification skills.

g)         Excellent IT skills.

h)         Experience of working as part of a small team.

i)           A full driver’s licence.


General Information:




The post-holder will need to operate as part of a small team in a small but dynamic NGO.  


Salary: salary is based on a full time £13,104 pro rata.

As the post is ¾ time, this is £9828, although for the first 6 months this post will be funded full time. There is a possibility that the post will receive further funding beyond that period.


Term of Contract and Probationary Period:  The term of contract will be from the date of appointment until June 2007 and is subject to satisfactory performance during the initial six-month probationary period. 


Location and travel:  HWDT is based on Mull, and the appointee will work primarily from its offices in Tobermory though much of the day-to-day work may be conducted elsewhere.  Travelling in Argyll and beyond will be essential.  A small proportion of the work may be boat-based. Some other travel will be required including overnight stays away from home.  The Sightings Officer will be required to own or have unrestricted access to a vehicle for the purposes of such travel, for which a mileage allowance will be paid.

Living on Mull can be challenging, often with poor weather in the winter months, limited facilities and is also relatively expensive.


Hours of work: Normal working hours for this contract are 25 per week.  Owing to the nature and location of the work, flexible working hours will be required, with some evening work and work on public holidays and weekends.  No overtime is paid but time off in lieu of extra work will be granted. 


Annual leave: 17 working days leave plus 8 statutory public holidays.  A day off in lieu will be granted for any statutory holidays worked. In addition to this the post holder will be expected to take 17 days leave during the winter months from November – February.


Expenses: Agreed travel, subsistence and other expenses arising from project work will be paid in arrears. Interview expenses will be paid to short-listed candidates. Relocation expenses are the responsibility of the appointee.


Application Procedure


Please send a detailed curriculum vitae and covering letter by 27 October with the names of two referees to:  Cally Fleming, Executive Director

Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust

28 Main Street, Tobermory Isle of Mull

PA75 6NU


For further information on the work of the Trust, see our website www.hwdt.org  email: admin at hwdt.org
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