[MARMAM] Volunteers required for a humpback whale survey in Australia

Michael Noad mnoad at uq.edu.au
Mon Mar 5 21:56:19 PST 2007


The Cetacean Ecology and Acoustics Lab at the University of Queensland
is seeking applications from volunteers for a 6 week survey of humpback
whales from June 17 to July 29 this year. The survey will be conducted
at Point Lookout, North Stradbroke Is, near Brisbane. It will continue
the series of surveys of the east Australian migratory population of
humpbacks that commenced in the early 1980s and which is one of the
longest and most consistent whale surveys in the world.

This year the survey will continue the land-based count of passing
whales during their northward migration to estimate, using data from
previous surveys, relative abundance. During the peak of the migration
there will be approximately 40 - 60 groups of whales passing the
headland daily. Individual volunteers will spend approximately five
hours daily (in two shifts) counting and observing passing whales from
the headland and will get at least one day per week off. In addition to
this, we will also be conducting some aerial surveys to test some of the
assumptions that underpin the land-based surveys. Participation in the
aerial surveys is possible for keen volunteers but is not guaranteed and
will depend on factors such as demonstrated ability in the field and
previous experience with aerial surveys.

Volunteers will be expected to work and live as part of a team of 12
people with shared cooking and cleaning duties. Volunteers must organise
and pay for their own way to the study site (close to Brisbane
international airport) but food and accommodation (beach houses) are
provided once there. As meals are communal, fussy eaters are discouraged
from applying (normal vegetarians are fine).

Volunteers will need to be available for the entire 6 week period. This
project will suit recently graduated science students keen to gain
experience in cetacean survey techniques and applicants with previous
survey experience, particularly aerial survey experience, will be
preferred. Applicants with a strong mathematical or modelling background
with an interest in distance sampling techniques will also be preferred.

Applicants should reply with an email to Michael Noad outlining why they
would be suitable for this survey, why they would like to participate,
and any other relevant details. The email should include an attached CV
and the names and contact details of two professional referees, and
should be cc-ed to Rebecca Dunlop (r.dunlop at uq.edu.au).


Michael Noad   BVSc PhD
Lecturer Veterinary Anatomy

Cetacean Ecology and Acoustics Laboratory
School of Veterinary Science
University of Queensland
St Lucia, Qld 4072, Australia

Ph. +61 7 3365-2088   Mob. +61 416-270567
Fax. +61 7 3365-1255  Email mnoad at uq.edu.au <mailto:mnoad at uq.edu.au> 

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