[MARMAM] Sarasota Dolphin Research Program Internships - Summer 2012

Katie McHugh kmchugh at mote.org
Wed Jan 18 07:24:57 PST 2012

*Sarasota** Dolphin Research Program Internships*

The Sarasota Dolphin Research Program (SDRP), a partnership led by the 
Chicago Zoological Society and based at Mote Marine Laboratory in 
Sarasota, Florida, conducts the world's longest-running study of a 
dolphin population. The program's primary goal is to contribute to a 
better understanding of the structure and dynamics of populations of 
small cetaceans, as well as the natural and anthropogenic factors that 
impact them. The SDRP uses an interdisciplinary and collaborative 
approach in conducting studies of bottlenose dolphins within Sarasota 
Bay, Tampa Bay, Charlotte Harbor, and the Gulf of Mexico coastal 
waters.  For more information about the SDRP, please visit: 

The SDRP is in the process of selecting volunteer interns for our summer 
2012 internship program (a minimum of 10 weeks of participation during 
14 May -- 28 September).  The successful candidates will likely 
participate in at least the following research projects: 

1)      *Dolphin population monitoring project* (approx 60% time) 

This study will continue to monitor the resident bottlenose dolphin 
community in Sarasota Bay.  Duties in the field will include assisting 
with boat-based photographic identification surveys for dolphin groups. 
 Behavioral, location, individual, and environmental data will be 
recorded for each dolphin group.  While in the lab, work will generally 
involve photo-identification of dolphins, computer data entry, dolphin 
dorsal fin identification catalog maintenance, equipment maintenance and 
other duties.  This year we will begin development of a Gulf-wide 
photographic identification catalog, greatly expanding our existing catalog.

2)      *Dolphin prey and habitat use project* (approx. 20% time) 

This study will use the Sarasota dolphin community and fish populations 
to study relationships between distributions of dolphins and their prey 
and factors that affect fish community ecology, such as red tide.  While 
in the field, work will involve sampling of fish communities through 
purse seining techniques, collection of prey fish for energetic and 
stable isotope analysis, and collection of other environmental data.

3)   *Radio-tracking and focal dolphin behavioral observations of tagged 
dolphins and/or dolphins engaged in interactions with humans* (approx. 
20% time)

We hope to receive funding to test new tag designs and to investigate 
human interactions.  Both of these projects would involve detailed focal 
animal behavioral observations.

There is no compensation for these internship positions, and successful 
applicants will be responsible for their own living and transportation 
expenses during the time of the internship. Shared housing opportunities 
near Mote Marine Laboratory may be available (cost: $85/week). A few 
scholarships are available from Mote Marine Laboratory through a 
competitive application process (US citizens only).


Applicants would ideally have the following qualifications:

    * Minimum of 18 years of age and engaged in or recently completed
      undergraduate studies;
    * A background or degree in Biology, Marine Biology, Ecology,
      Zoology or a related field;
    * Basic computer proficiency in Microsoft Office programs
      (especially Excel and Access);
    * Some field research experience preferred but not required;
    * Must be able to swim;
    * Enthusiasm and desire to learn a variety of field and lab based
      research methods;
    * A willingness to spend a minimum of 10-12 weeks working full time
      as a volunteer with our program.

*To apply for a Sarasota Dolphin Research Program internship, interested 
persons should:*

1) Fill out an application form at Mote Marine Laboratory's website 
(www.mote.org/interns <http://www.mote.org/interns>). Be sure to select 
"Sarasota Dolphin Research Program" as your first choice; 

2) Complete and provide to Mote's intern office all other application 
materials including: a statement of interest, current college 
transcript, letter of recommendation, and /curriculum vitae/;

3) Send a brief email to the SDRP's Intern Coordinator (Katie McHugh, 
_kmchugh at mote.org_) stating your name, contact information, exact dates 
and duration of availability and that you have provided all of your 
application materials to the Mote intern office, as detailed above. 

All applications will be reviewed; those received by the application 
deadline of March 15^th will be given first priority. We are seeking 4-5 
interns for the summer of 2012, depending on scheduling. These are 
competitive positions - we typically receive many more applications than 
we can accept. Applicants may contact Katie McHugh (941-388-4441 ext. 
450, kmchugh at mote.org <mailto:TUkmchugh at mote.orgUT>) in the SDRP with 
any questions.

Applicants applying because of an interest in possibly being involved in 
graduate studies with the SDRP should discuss their interests with 
Program Director Randall Wells upon acceptance into the program.


Katherine McHugh
Post-Doctoral Scientist
Sarasota Dolphin Research Program
Chicago Zoological Society
c/o Mote Marine Laboratory
1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy
Sarasota, FL 34236

(941) 388-4441 x450 office
(650) 400-2776 cell

kmchugh at mote.org

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