[MARMAM] Seeking Field Assistants - Hector’s dolphin research, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand

Elanor Hutchison elanorjh at gmail.com
Thu Aug 25 13:02:08 PDT 2011

Seeking Field Assistants - Hector’s dolphin research, Banks Peninsula NZ

I am seeking volunteers to assist in Hector's dolphin habitat surveys at
Banks Peninsula, New Zealand. Volunteers will assist in seasonal fieldwork I
am conducting as part of my PhD at Otago University, involving boat-based
dolphin surveys up to four nautical miles from shore with concurrent benthic
prey and oceanographic sampling. The overall aim of this work is to
investigate which factors drive the distributional patterns of
Hector's dolphins,
with a particular interest in correlation with seasonal prey availability.
As a volunteer you will live and work in a beautiful coastal area. This is
an excellent opportunity to gain experience in marine mammal surveying,
photo-identification, habitat sampling & general data collection, and to
obtain boating practical skills.

Based from a small research vessel (6m), fieldwork 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 2-3 days onshore 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).

Volunteers are sought for the next two field seasons, which will take place
from September 24th to October 31st (5 weeks), and December 9th to February
29th (12 weeks). Preference will be given to those willing to assist for at
least four weeks due to the training involved.

This is a volunteer position, but accommodation, including bed/bedding,
internet access, laundry and cooking facilities will be provided. Applicants
will need to arrange their own travel, but transport between the fieldsite
and Akaroa or Christchurch can be provided on arrival and departure.
Applicants will be required to contribute to the cost of utilities and food.
As we will be working and living in close quarters in a rural setting,
applicants must be sociable, hardworking team players. Cooking and cleaning
duties will be shared.

- Must have full driving license (manual transmission)
- Trailer backing and boat driving skills
- Must be comfortable on a small boat for long periods of time
- Marine mammal survey experience preferred
- Bsc or studying at senior undergraduate level in biology (or similar
field) preferred
- Interest in ecology and marine science

Please send a CV and cover letter outlining relevant experience and your
interest in the project to elanorjh at gmail.com

Kind regards,

Elanor Hutchison

PhD Candidate
Marine Science Department
Otago University
Dunedin, New Zealand

E-mail: elanorjh at gmail.com
Mobile: +64 22 044 1985
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