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

Michael Noad mnoad at uq.edu.au
Sun Feb 28 22:50:16 PST 2010


The Cetacean Ecology and Acoustics Lab at the University of Queensland
is seeking applications from volunteers for an 8 week survey of humpback
whales from May 30 to July 24 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 relative abundance.
During the peak of the migration there is likely to be approximately 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. Volunteers will get at least
one day off per week, usually during bad weather.

Volunteers must be sociable as the will be expected to work and live as
part of a team of 10 to 20 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 (vegetarians are

Volunteers will need to be available either for the period 30 May to 10
July (6 weeks), or from 20 June to 24 July (5 weeks). (The middle part
of the survey will include counts from two sites, hence the requirement
for a larger number of volunteers.) This project will suit people with a
background in science (including recent graduates and graduate students
as well as higher level undergraduate students) keen to gain experience
in cetacean survey techniques. Applicants should also be highly
motivated and able to concentrate for several hours at a time. Those
with previous survey experience, particularly of marine mammals, or a
strong mathematical or modelling background with an interest in distance
sampling techniques, will 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). We will start to
offer places after March 28 although outstanding applications will
continue to be accepted after this date.



Michael Noad   BVSc PhD

Senior Lecturer, Veterinary Anatomy

Leader, Cetacean Ecology and Acoustics Laboratory

School of Veterinary Science

The University of Queensland - Gatton Campus, 

Qld 4343, Australia. 

P. +61 (0)7 54601876

M. 0416270567     W. http://www.uq.edu.au/vetschool/ceal



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