[MARMAM] Wild Bottlenose Dolphin Research Internship

kmchugh at mote.org kmchugh at mote.org
Thu Jan 14 08:14:57 PST 2010

*Dolphin Research and Conservation Institute Internships*

The Chicago Zoological Society’s Dolphin Research and Conservation
Institute (DRCI), based at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida,
conducts the world’s longest-running study of a wild dolphin population.
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 DRCI 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 DRCI
and the individual projects listed below, please visit:

The DRCI is in the process of selecting volunteer interns for the summer
2010 internship program (a minimum of 10 weeks of participation during 17
May - 30 September).  The successful candidates will participate in at
least two research projects:

1) *Dolphin population monitoring project* (approx. 80% time)
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-id of dolphins, computer data entry, dolphin dorsal fin
identification catalog maintenance, equipment maintenance, and other

2) *Dolphin prey and habitat use project* (approx. 20% time)
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.

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: $85/week).   A few
scholarships are available from Mote Marine Laboratory through a
competitive application process (US citizens only).

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

• 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 at Mote Marine Laboratory’s website
(www.mote.org/interns).  Be sure to select “Dolphin Research and
Conservation Institute” as your first choice;

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 DRCI’s Intern Coordinator (Katie McHugh,
kmchugh 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 above.

All applications will be reviewed; those received by March 15th will be
given first priority.  We are seeking 4-6 interns for the summer of 2010,
depending on scheduling. Applicants may contact Katie McHugh (941-388-4441
ext. 375, kmchugh at mote.org) in the DRCI with any questions.

More information about the MARMAM mailing list