[MARMAM] Volunteer required to help establish a cetacean monitoring program on Ascension

Rachel Amies 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/

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 Island’s 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.

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, it’s important that we get along! So, while I ‘m 
looking for someone who is responsible and conscientious, I’d hope that they 
are enthusiastic and lively too.
If you think you’d 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.

Thanks, Rachel

Rachel Amies
The Paddock
Heathfield Road

rachel_amies at hotmail.com

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