[MARMAM] [MAMAM] CETACEAN RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY IN ICELAND: CONSERVATION BIOLOGY OF WHALES AND DOLPHINS IN FAXAFLÓI AND SKJÁLFANDI BAYS

chiara bertulli ciarabertulli at yahoo.it
Fri Dec 30 05:25:30 PST 2011


CETACEAN RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY IN ICELAND: CONSERVATION BIOLOGY OF WHALES AND
DOLPHINS IN FAXAFLÓI AND SKJÁLFANDIBAYS
 
WHAT: 
Volunteers
and assistants in Iceland
are needed for the year 2012 to assist in Ph.D. dissertation research focusing
on common minke whales and white-beaked dolphins occurring off Reykjavik and Húsavík.
This is a research
project being conducted along the southwest (Reykjavík area) and northeast
(Húsavík area) coasts of Iceland in collaboration with the Faxaflói Cetacean
Research project (www.faxa-cetacean.org),
Elding whale-watching (www.elding.is), North
Sailing (www.northsailing.is) and the
University of Iceland (www.hi.is):   
 
Reykjavík
area: 
One
research assistant and two volunteers (per research period*) are requested to
partake in a project aiming to investigate abundance, patterns of residency,
social structure, health status and behavioural budget of whales and dolphins
occurring in the coastal waters of Faxaflói Bay, southwest Iceland. An
intensive photo-identification study will be used to estimate number of
individual whales/dolphins and their site fidelity (seasonal and annual) in the
coastal waters of FaxaflóiBay during spring, summer
and autumn months. Data on common minke whales and humpback whales have been
collected since 2007, since 2002 on white-beaked dolphins. The existing
ID-Catalogue already counts over 400 common minke whales, 300 white-beaked
dolphins, 50 humpback whales and 8 orcas. 
Most
frequently sighted species: common minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) and harbour
porpoise (Phocoena phocoena)
Other
species: humpback whales (Megaptera
novaengliae), orcas (Orcinus orca),
fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) andbasking sharks(Cetorhinus maximus)
 
Húsavík
area:
Two
volunteers (per research period*) are needed for a project aiming to investigate
abundance, patterns of residency, social structure, health status and
behavioural budget of whales and dolphins occurring in the coastal waters of SkjálfandiBay,
northeast Iceland.
An intensive photo-identification study will be used to estimate number of
individual whales/dolphins and their site fidelity (seasonal and annual) in the
coastal waters of SkjálfandiBay during spring, summer
and autumn months. Data on common minke whales, white-beaked dolphins and humpback
whales have been collected since 2001; since 2010 on fin whales. The existing
ID-Catalogue already counts over 70 common minke whales, 200 white-beaked
dolphins, 200 humpback whales and 5 fin whales. 
Most
frequently sighted species: humpback whales (Megaptera novaengliae), common minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) and harbour
porpoise (Phocoena phocoena)
Other
species: blue whales (Balaenoptera
musculus), fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), orcas (Orcinus orca), sei whales
(Balaenoptera borealis), bottlenose
whales (Hyperoodon ampullatus) 
 
WHERE: 
FaxaflóiBayis a bay
facing Reykjavík city where both whale-watching and whaling are currently
taking place.  Daily whale-watching tours are arranged from Reykjavik to spot feeding
common minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, humpback whales, harbour porpoises
and orcas. Elding whale-watching has been running whale-watching trips since
1998, with special interest in all whales visiting the bay. The company is
member of Green Globe 21 and tries to fulfil environmental standards as well as
certain whale-watching guidelines.
SkjálfandiBayis a bay
facing Húsavík city where daily whale-watching tours are arranged to spot
feeding humpback and minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, fin and blue whales
and harbour porpoises. North Sailing is one of the two whale-watching companies
running tours since 1995. 
Since
2007, Elding and North Sailing have been collaborating with the Faxaflói Cetacean
Research project aiming to:
-     
determine the abundance of common minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, humpback
whales, harbour porpoises and orcas in the coastal waters of Faxaflói Bay
-     
examining patters of residency using multiple photo-identification efforts
-     
establishing sex ratio estimates via biological sampling 
-    analyse the feeding behaviour of common
minke whales, white-beaked dolphins and humpback whales and data collected on
associated bird species
-   determining population structure of the
resident population of white-beaked dolphins occurring in the coastal waters of FaxaflóiBay
-     
assess cutaneous disorders on common minke whales and white-beaked dolphins
during photo-identification surveys 
 
WHEN:        
Reykjavikarea research period*: 
1st April to 30th May 2012
1st June to 30th July 2012
1st August to 30th September 2012
1st October to 30th November 2012 
1st December to 30th January 2013
1st February to 30th March 2013 
                         
Húsavík
area research period*: 
7th April
to 30th May 2012
1st June to 30th July 2012
1st August to 30th September 2012
 
CONDITIONS: 
In both
Reykjavík and Húsavík, several whale-watching motor vessels will be used as
research platform, for boat based work. In Reykjavik, living space for the boat
based people is located on a former fishing boat in the old harbour, with 4
single rooms, bathroom, kitchen, living room and internet access (25 square metres);
10 min walking distance to the city centre. Internet access is also provided. 
Because of
the training required, applicants must be willing to commit to the project a
minimum of two months (longer stay could be discussed). Because of the training
provided participants must be able to join the project one week prior to the
research period starting date. 
Unfortunately,
these positions are not paid and the successful candidates have to contribute
with 350 Euros per month covering training program in scientific methods,
scientific supervision, and reference materials related to the project
including a certificate of completion (this price will cover accommodation
expenses in Húsavík). 100% of fees support this research project and associated
lectures. Candidates also must be able to cover their own travel expenses,
travel insurance, food and other personal expenses. Accommodation and food
during working hours (mainly lunch) will be provided in Reykjavik. In Húsavík accommodation is not
provided but participants will be helped in finding a place for a
cheap/moderate price (a communal house to rent might be available for all
volunteers). 
There are
possibilities for students to develop their own academic projects using data
collected during their stay (please contact Chiara G. Bertulli for more
information). 
 
DUTIES: 
Applicants
should be ready to work long hours (07:00 to 17.00 or to 21.00 hours depending
on weather conditions) and be expected to participate in the following duties:
-     
data collection (behavioural data, photo-id images, environmental parameters,
ect.)
-     
data entry under the supervision of the PI 
-     
recognition of feeding manoeuvres (engulfment and entrapment)
-    identification of species and behaviour of
associated avian species (e.g. auks, gulls, gannets, arctic terns, skuas,
fulmars and shearwaters) 
-      identification of skin marks (infectious,
parasitic, anthropogenic and antagonistic) 
-      use of photo-ID matching softwares (Darwin) 
Above
this, cleaning, painting and other maintenance tasks is part of staying at the
fishing boat in the old harbour as a gratitude to the free accommodation
provided by Elding. At the beginning and end of each whale-watching trip, we
also help the boat crew out by assisting passengers with life jackets, warm
blankets etc.
 
QUALIFICATIONS: 
-     
have a strong background in Marine biology/Oceanography, with knowledge and
experience of marine mammal behaviour and/or sea birds
-     
have previous wildlife field experience and ability to stand long working days,
sometimes in rough sea conditions (seasick people should not apply for these
positions!)
-     
have previous cetacean photo-identification and/or wildlife photography skills  
-     
be computer literate with a working knowledge PC operating system and
proficiency with MS Word and MS Excel. Familiarity with software including MS
Access and Photoshop is very helpful. Possibility to bring your own Laptop is
much preferred 
-     
be enthusiastic, hard-working, team oriented, able to share small living space
on board
-     
be adaptable, flexible and patient as fieldwork is highly weather dependent 
-     
have good English language skills
-     
bring your own digital reflex camera and zoom lens: 70-300mm, 70-200mm and/or 80-400mm
zoom lenses preferred (Nikon compatible) 
 
HOW TO APPLY: 
CV or
resume should include the following:
-     
details of your availability
-     
contact details of two referees
-     
a brief description of yourself including your interest in marine mammals and
what you hope to gain from this experience
-     
specify if you have any preference for the ‘Reykjavík’ project or the ‘Húsavík’
project.
-     
any dietary requirements (i.e. vegetarian, vegan, etc.)
 
 
Send
applications to both Chiara Giulia Bertulli and Marianne Helen Rasmussen:
 
Chiara G. Bertulli
(Ph.D. student)
University of Iceland
Biology Department
Náttúrfræðahús/Askja
Sturlugata 7
101 Reykjavik
Iceland
E-mail: cgb1 at hi.is / ciarabertulli at yahoo.it 
Mobile:
+354-8618307
Skype: chiara.giulia.bertulli
Website: www.faxa-cetacean.org 
 
Marianne
Helene Rasmussen (Ph.D.) 
Director of Húsavík Research Centre, University of Iceland
Garðarsbraut 19 
640 Húsavík, Iceland
E-mail: mhr at hi.is 
Mobile:
+354-6958846
Website: www.dolphinresearch.dk
            www.stofnanir.hi.is/nordausturland/
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