[MARMAM] Volunteer required to help establish a cetacean monitoring program on Ascension
rachel_amies at hotmail.com
Wed Jul 26 08:49:52 PDT 2006
I am looking for a volunteer to assist with setting up a cetacean monitoring
program on Ascension Island. The project is basically to monitor cetaceans
around the island which has never systematically been done, so there is an
opportunity to write up the information and try to get it published. We will
be working for the Island's Conservation Department. Their website can be
found at http://www.ascensionconservation.org.ac/
THE FIELD WORK
There are various sites around the island that were designated as dolphin
monitoring sites - you sit at these recording sightings and environmental
information for a minimum period of 3 hours - some of the sites take a walk
of a few hours to get to, as there are not so many roads on the island.
There is also a round the island boat trip which we could do every 2 weeks,
and record data on the boat trip.
This is the basic monitoring which could be enhanced by:
* Trips on boats that are fishing anyway just to get more at sea records
* Promoting the sightings programme during the time we are there to get more
* Working with the school to enhance awareness of cetaceans amongst children
* Including more sites/longer hours at sites/same sites at different times.
We would probably end up with a data collection for a week that would be
repeated each week.
We would collate the data that already exists, add our data to it, and write
a report for the Islands Conservation Department. Then... (if we wanted to
and the data is good enough) we could develop this into a paper for
While out on Ascension, there may also be opportunities to assist with other
conservation activities, such as beach cleaning for turtles, bird surveys,
land crab monitoring and community talks.
The small island of Ascension is located just south of the equator in the
South Atlantic Ocean.
The island is renowned for green turtles but the ocean surrounding the
island abounds with shark, wahoo, barracuda, tuna, bonita, sailfish, marlin
and other game fish, in addition to whales and dolphins. For more
information on the island, visit:
Flights (from the UK) are from Brize Norton (Oxfordshire) and will cost £500
return. Additional to this are living costs - accommodation will be about
£10 per night. For more information on flights, visit
I have between September and December available in which to travel out to
Ascension for this project. As the research is flexible in terms of
arrival/departure dates and duration, I can negotiate the length of the trip
with anyone who is interested.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED
I have recently graduated in BSc biological sciences and am going on to do a
MSc in marine biology. Ideally I am looking for someone of a similar age in
a similar situation, who has an interest in and some knowledge of marine
mammals. As the project could potentially last a few months and we will just
be working as a pair, its important that we get along! So, while I m
looking for someone who is responsible and conscientious, Id hope that they
are enthusiastic and lively too.
If you think youd like to help out, please email or mail me ASAP with a
description of yourself including a photo if possible, and a brief
description of your interest in cetaceans, or any relevant experience you
may have had with these animals. Please also include details of your
availability and confirm that you will be able to be financially
Any additional questions or enquiries can also be made to me via the email
address provided below.
rachel_amies at hotmail.com
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