[MARMAM] Volunteers Needed in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand

Katie H orcaspirit_ at hotmail.com
Mon Jul 25 00:50:50 PDT 2011

Volunteers Needed in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand
Two enthusiastic and reliable volunteers are required to assist me in the field as I begin my PhD study on marine mammal habitat use in Admiralty Bay, Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand.  In addition to dusky dolphins, the proposed study will also look at the use of habitat within Admiralty Bay by other cetacean species, particularly bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and common dolphins (Delphinus spp.), with scope to include other cetacean species, New Zealand fur seals (Arctocephalus forsteri) and seabirds.
This would benefit anyone who wants experience in working with boats, theodolites, photo-ID work and marine mammal and bird observation.  Ideally however, the volunteers will have had some experience in some of these areas already.  Duties will include assistance in the field for data collection, entry and logistical support.  
This years’ field season is from 1 September - 30 November 2011, and while volunteers don’t have to be available the whole time, they need to be able to commit to a minimum of a continuous 4-6 week block.  For more information on the French Pass area go to http://www.frenchpass.com/.
Food and board in French Pass, Marlborough Sounds will be provided in exchange for your assistance.   Please note that this is volunteer work and you will not be paid, but you will gain valuable work experience in the above areas.  
What you need to provide:
Your own transport at least as far as Nelson, Picton or Blenheim, New Zealand.
Your own clothes and field gear e.g. warm clothing, sturdy shoes.
Reliable assistance and a positive attitude while enduring long hours in the field.  A good team spirit and communication skills are a must and good English language skills are helpful.
What’s involved:
This project involves data collection both by boat and theodolite work.  
Boat trips will only be day-trips (not overnight) and involve working along transect lines recording the locations of any dolphin groups observed.  Environmental data and sightings of other cetaceans, pinnipeds and seabirds may also be recorded.  When the run of the transect lines is complete, we will then attempt to re-locate any dolphin groups and take photographs for identification of individuals and limited behaviour work.  
Theodolite data will be recorded from a hilltop near the shoreline, and will require spending the day scanning the bay for dolphin groups and recording their position with a laptop computer connected to the theodolite.
Please apply to Katie Halliday via email at hallidkati at myvuw.ac.nz
In your application please include a current CV and details of your availability during the above time period.
Thank you for your interest.
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