[MARMAM] Volunteer Opportunities Available

Delphis mdc info at delphismdc.org
Mon May 19 05:44:03 PDT 2008

DELPHIS Mediterranean Dolphin Conservation is a non profit organisation 
  dedicated to the conservation of cetaceans in Italy through education 
and research.
The study area is located in South Tyrrhenian Sea, in the waters of the 
islands of Ischia, Procida and Ventotene. The research is focused on the 
submarine canyon of Cuma, characterised by an high level of pelagic 
biodiversity. The region is important for seven different cetacean 
species: it was described as feeding ground for fin whales, breeding and 
feeding ground for striped dolphins and Risso’s dolphins and transitory 
area for social units of sperm whales. At last the area was listed, 
during the last Cetacean Action Plan of IUCN, as critical habitat for 
the Mediterranean short-beaked common dolphin.
The main purpose of the research is the conservation of the local 
community of common dolphin and of sperm whale, endangered species in 
Mediterranean Sea.

We are looking for dedicated volunteer research assistants to assist 
with the data collection during the summer field season, which runs from 
the beginning of June 2008 to  mid October 2008. The research will focus 
on the seven species present in the study area.

We are looking for enthusiastic, hard-working and reliable individuals 
who possess a strong interest in marine mammals to assist us during the 
scheduled field season. Volunteers who are able to commit for a minimum 
of 1 weeks are encouraged to apply.

Field work will involve boat-based surveys carried out from an 
historical sailing boat. The Jean Gab is a 17,7 m cutter built in 1930 
in Marseilles.

Data is collected by researchers and volunteers during daily 
standardized boat-based, photo identification surveys within the study 
area. Survey trips are conducted at sea state of Beaufort four or less. 
A detailed trip log of the route covered and GPS positions are recorded 
every 3 minutes. The routes cover the waters within 1000 m bathymetric 
line. Once animals are approached number of animals, group composition, 
behavioural and acoustic data are recorded. The encounters continue 
until the groups are lost and, possibly, all the animals in the group 
have been photo-identified.

Bioacoustics: thanks to the support of a professional recording system 
and hydrophones it is possible to document the different vocalizations 
of the dolphins during their daily duties. Synchronized recording of 
underwater images, dolphin sounds and behavioural data can help to 
clarify the functional meaning of their vocalizations. During sightings, 
continuous recordings are taken to obtain a comprehensive set of 
acoustic data based on the local cetacean community.

Volunteers should be prepared to work long hours and be ready to spend 
nights out tracking down sperm whales.

Volunteers will be expected to participate in data collection, data 
entry, boat steering and general logistical support. Volunteers will be 
expected to help in daily duties on board such as cooking and cleaning.

For more information about the project please visit the following 
website: http://www.delphismdc.org.

- Be responsible, independent, and conscientious,
- Be enthusiastic, have a good team spirit and genuine interest in
marine mammals.
- Have good communication skills,
- Be familiar with computers and the Microsoft Office softwares,
- Have some sailing or navigation experience. This would be advantageous 
but is not a prerequisite.

Application forms and detailed information can be found at 

If you are interested, please send your application by email or regular 
mail to Barbara Mussi at:

Mediterranean Dolphin Conservation
Island of Ischia
22, via Zaro
80075 Forio (NA)
tel&fax +39 081 989578
barbara at delphismdc.org


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