[MARMAM] Unique research internship with the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program

Jason Allen allenjb at mote.org
Wed Sep 3 12:02:09 PDT 2008

*Unique research internship with the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program*

The Chicago Zoological Society's Sarasota Dolphin Research Program 
(SDRP), based at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida, is the 
world's longest-running wild dolphin research program.  The program's 
goal is to contribute to a better understanding of the structure and 
dynamics of populations of small cetaceans, as well as the natural and 
anthropogenic factors that impact them.  The SDRP uses an 
interdisciplinary and collaborative approach in conducting studies of 
bottlenose dolphins within Sarasota Bay, Tampa Bay, Charlotte Harbor, 
and the Gulf of Mexico coastal waters.  For more information about the 
SDRP, please visit: TUwww.sarasotadolphin.orgUT 

The SDRP is in the process of selecting volunteer interns for the spring 
2009 internship program (a minimum of 2 months of participation during 5 
January - 24 April).  The successful candidate(s) will have the unique 
opportunity to participate in three diverse research projects: 

1)      *Dolphin population monitoring project* 
<http://www.sarasotadolphin.org/Ecology/monitor_2008.asp>)   This study 
will continue to monitor the resident bottlenose dolphin community in 
Sarasota Bay.  Duties in the field will include assisting with 
boat-based photographic identification surveys for dolphin groups. 
 Behavioral, location, individual, and environmental data will be 
recorded for each dolphin group.  While in the lab, work will generally 
involve photo-identification of dolphins, computer data entry, dolphin 
dorsal fin identification catalog maintenance, equipment maintenance and 
other duties (approx. 40% time);

2)      *Dolphin prey** and habitat use project* 
(TUhttp://www.sarasotadolphin.org/Ecology/prey_2008.aspUT)   This study 
will use the Sarasota dolphin community and fish populations to study 
predator-prey interactions and bioacoustics, specifically helping us to 
understand relationships between distributions of dolphins and their 
prey and factors that affect fish community ecology, such as red tide.  
While in the field, work will involve sampling of fish communities 
through purse seining techniques, recording of fish sounds via 
hydrophone and collection of other environmental data (approx. 15% time);

3)      *Sea bird ecology project* 
This study will look at the abundance, distribution and habitat use of 
sea birds in Sarasota Bay and the effects of red tide on those sea bird 
communities.  In the field, this work will consist of boat-based 
point-count surveys of sea birds in four habitats.  Behavior, distance, 
species, and environmental data will be recorded for each station 
(approx. 45% time).

There is no compensation for these internship positions and successful 
applicants will be responsible for their own living and transportation 
expenses during the time of the internship.  Shared housing 
opportunities near Mote Marine Laboratory may be available (cost: 
$75/week).   Scholarships are available from Mote Marine Laboratory 
through a competitive application process.

Applicants would ideally have the following qualifications:

            *Minimum of 18 years of age and engaged in or recently 
completed undergraduate studies;

            *A background or degree in Biology, Marine Biology, Ecology, 
Zoology or a related field;

            *Basic computer proficiency in Microsoft Office programs 
(especially Excel and Access);

            *Some field research experience preferred but not required;

            *Must be able to swim;

            *Enthusiasm and desire to learn a variety of field and lab 
based research methods;

            *A willingness to spend a minimum of 2 - 3 months working 
full time with our program.


*To apply for a **Sarasota** Dolphin Research Program internship, 
interested persons should:*

1) Fill out an application form by navigating to Mote Marine 
Laboratory's website (TUwww.mote.org/internsUT <http://www.mote.org/>) 
and following the education links to the college intern page.  Be sure 
to select "Center for Marine Mammal & Sea Turtle Research" as your first 
choice and then type in "Sarasota Dolphin Research Program" as the 
specific program; 

2) Complete and provide to Mote's intern office all other application 
materials including: a statement of interest, current college 
transcript, letter of recommendation, and /curriculum vitae/;

3) Send a brief email to the SDRP's Lab Manager (Jason Allen, 
TUallenjb at mote.orgUT <mailto:allenjb at mote.org>) stating your name, 
contact information, exact dates available and that you have provided 
all of your application materials to the Mote intern office, as detailed 

All applications will be reviewed; those received by October 15P^th ^P 
will be given first priority.  Applicants may contact Jason Allen 
(941-388-4441 ext. 452, TUallenjb at mote.orgUT <mailto:allenjb at mote.org>) 
in the SDRP with any questions.

Jason Allen
Lab Manager, Field Coordinator
Sarasota Dolphin Research Program

Chicago Zoological Society
c/o Mote Marine Laboratory
1600 Ken Thompson Parkway
Sarasota, FL 34236

Tel: 941.388.4441 ext. 452
Fax: 941.388.4223

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