[MARMAM] Internship opportunities for Humpback Whale Research

Mithriel MacKay mithriel.mackay at gmail.com
Wed Oct 5 09:40:30 PDT 2011

Internships Opportunities for Humpback Whale Research

Two internships in Puerto Rico, USA, are available for the winter of 2012 to
assist in PhD dissertation research focusing on humpback whales (*Megaptera
novaeangliae*) wintering off Puerto Rico.

*General description:* Research for this project includes occupancy, habitat
use, and movement of humpback whales wintering off Puerto Rico. Examination
of reaction to vessel traffic from land based platforms using theodolite
tracking will be included in data collection. We anticipate a minimum of 1-3
days/week of vessel based data collection, 2-3 days/week land based data
collection, and inclement weather days spent managing data at the base
station. Acoustic data will be analyzed during days when field excursions
are not practical or possible.

*Commitment:* Interns are required to be available full time from the end of
December 2011 until the middle of May 2012. It may be possible to split the
internship positions between people (effectively creating a maximum of four
internships lasting half the season). Preference is given to senior
undergraduates and recent graduates with a BSc. Two positions will be aimed
at students from Puerto Rico. Interns must stay at the base station in
Guayanilla and be prepared for very long days. We typically rise well before
sunrise and finish well after sunset each day. Breaks (“days off”) are
infrequent. This is a low density area for humpbacks. The ability to
maintain land based observations for hours (or even a full day) without
seeing a whale requires commitment and patience.

*Responsibilities:  *Interns are fully involved in all aspects of this
project including preparation and maintenance of equipment, data collection,
and mentoring students who join our team during the field season.  We
interact with the public and peers frequently. Interns will be involved in
outreach opportunities (impromptu and scheduled).

*Provisions & Accommodations: *You will be provided with a place to sleep at
the base station and transportation to all field sites from the base station
at no cost. Interns pitch in for food. Please visit the website and read the
entire description of the base station (see below for link).

*Travel: *Interns are responsible for transportation to and from Ponce,
Puerto Rico. We will get you from the Ponce Airport and bring you to the
base station in Guayanilla. Residents of Puerto Rico are required to live at
the base station with the team during their internship.

*Qualifications: *Priority is given to students with an upbeat, hardworking
and positive attitude. The ability to take direction and live in close
quarters with 6-8 people is also a must. A stellar academic grade average is
a plus, but is not a requirement and should not discourage interested people
with lower academic scores from applying. A strong desire to learn new
skills, mentor other students, and promote a positive attitude towards
stewardship is essential for candidates.

                Interested senior undergraduates (with majors in marine
biology or related field), recent graduates seeking to gain experience in
marine biology/ecology, and graduate students are encouraged to look over
the website (compusafe.biz/humpbacks_off_puert_rico) and submit a letter of
interest, CV, and availability to mithriel.mackay at gmail.com.  Please place
"Humpback Whale Internship" in the subject bar for questions and

*}-wh^ale> **}-wh^ale> **}-wh^ale> **}-wh^ale> **}-wh^ale> **}-wh^ale>*

Mithriel M. MacKay
Ph.D. Candidate
Marine Mammal Research Program
Department of Marine Biology
Texas A&M University, Galveston
(830) 688-9878

Director of Research and Education
Marine and Coastal Ecology Research Center
HC02 6231 Guayanilla, PR
PO Box 63435 Pipe Creek, Texas 78063
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