[MARMAM] Sarasota Dolphin Research Program Internships - Summer 2012
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.
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
* 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
* 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
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
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.
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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