[MARMAM] Humpback whale research assistants needed in Babuyan Islands, Philippines

jsilberg at uvic.ca jsilberg at uvic.ca
Thu Oct 20 08:33:56 PDT 2011

The not-for-profit organization Balyena.org is looking for a
research-assistant for the upcoming humpback whale field season in the
remote Babuyan Islands off the northern tip of Luzon, Philippines from
March-April, 2012. The aim of this research is to monitor the status of
humpback whales in the islands through photo-identification and
vocalization recordings.

The Babuyan Islands are the only known humpback whale breeding area in the
Philippines. Since 2000, over 150 whales have been identified and
individuals have been matched to whales from feeding grounds in Russia and
breeding grounds in Japan. Surveys for humpbacks are conducted from a
local outrigger boat (bangka) based from the island of Camiguin, a
four-hour ferry ride from mainland Luzon. Other cetacean species regularly
recorded include spotted dolphins, Fraser’s dolphins, spinner dolphins,
rough-toothed dolphins, melon-headed whales, and pygmy killer whales. When
weather prevents surveys, educational presentations are made in the local
elementary and high schools.

Room and board will be provided while in the field, but assistants will be
responsible for travel to and from the Philippines as well as any visa
fees. Transportation to and from Manila will be arranged (costs around $30
US each way). Assistants will share a living space with 4-6 other
individuals and cooking duties are shared. Note Camiguin is very remote
and does not have all amenities. Internet is sparse and electricity is
only available from 6-10 pm. The island can be cut off from the mainland
due to weather, so it is important for assistants to be flexible in their
travel dates.

We prefer assistants to commit to the full field season, but will consider
shorter terms (minimum 3 weeks). We are ideally looking for an individual
with previous marine mammal experience, although all qualified applicants
will be considered.

Qualifications include:
      •	Comfortable on boats even in inclement weather
      •	Ability to work well with a small group in a remote location
      •	Strong work ethic (days on the boat can be very long)
      •	Experience with photo-identification of cetaceans
      •	Bachelor’s degree in biology or related field desired (not required)

Interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume with
references to joshsilberg at gmail.com by Nov. 15th.

Josh Silberg
Volunteer Coordinator

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