[MARMAM] Volunteer Request - Hector’s dolphin research, Banks Peninsula NZ

Elanor Hutchison elanorjh at gmail.com
Wed Sep 8 22:33:49 PDT 2010

Subject: Volunteer Request - Hector’s dolphin research, Banks Peninsula NZ

A position is now open for a volunteer to assist in Hector’s dolphin habitat
surveys at Banks Peninsula, New Zealand. I am conducting my PhD studies on
the habitat selection of Hector’s dolphins, involving boat-based dolphin
surveys up to four nautical miles from shore with concurrent prey and
oceanographic sampling. As a volunteer you will live and work in a beautiful
coastal area. This is an excellent opportunity to gain experience in visual
and acoustic marine mammal surveying, photo-identification, habitat sampling
and general data collection and practical skills obtained from participating
in marine fieldwork.

Based from a small research vessel (6m), this research is carried out
whenever weather conditions allow. Daily trips are up to 12 hours long, but
we are typically on the water for up to 8 hours a day, with at least one day
off per week due to unfavourable weather conditions. Volunteers must be
available full-time including weekends, and must be comfortable on a small
vessel in moderate sea states (up to Beaufort 4 with 2m swell).

The next two field season will take place between October 1st and December
9th 2010 (10 weeks), and January 3rd to February 28th 2011 (8 weeks).
Priority will be given to those willing to assist for at least four weeks
due to the training involved, but all applicants will be considered.

This is a volunteer position, but accommodation, including bed/bedding,
laundry and cooking facilities, will be provided. Volunteers will need to
arrange their own travel to Christchurch, but travel between the city and
the field site will be provided on arrival and departure. Volunteers will be
required to pay for their own food, contribute to the cost of
power/phone/internet (20 NZD per week) and pay for any personal phone calls.

As we will be working and living in close quarters in a rural setting,
volunteers must be sociable, hardworking team players. Cooking and cleaning
duties will be shared.

Preferred skills and qualities include:
- BSc or studying at senior undergraduate level in biology (or similar
- Interest in ecology and marine science
- A full driving license (manual transmission)
- Boat driving and trailer backing skills
- Marine mammal survey experience

Please send a letter of interest, a CV and e-mail contacts for two referees
to elanorjh at gmail.com

Kind regards,

Elanor Hutchison
PhD Candidate
Marine Science Department
Otago University
Dunedin, New Zealand
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