[MARMAM] Volunteer Position-Dolphin Research NZ

Cheryl Cross c.cross at massey.ac.nz
Thu May 31 15:25:57 PDT 2012

*Volunteer Position in Queen Charlotte Sound, Marlborough Sounds, New

Volunteers are required to assist with ongoing study data examining the
distribution of marine mammals in the Queen Charlotte Sound, Marlborough
Sounds, NZ.

Species of interest include bottlenose, dusky, common and Hector’s dolphins
as well as New Zealand fur seals.  This research forms part of a PhD study

conducted under the auspices of the Coastal-Marine Research Group (C-MRG)
at Massey University, Auckland (http://cmrg.massey.ac.nz).


The Marlborough Sounds, a region of embayments and estuaries is located in
the northern tip of the South Island of New Zealand.  The study site, Queen
Charlotte Sound,

serves as the main passageway between the North and South Islands of New
Zealand and is utilized by a range of vessels.  Several marine mammal
species occur within

Queen Charlotte Sound including bottlenose dolphins (*Tusiops truncatus*),
Hector’s dolphins* *(*Cephalorhynchus hectori hectori*), common
dolphins (*Delphinus

dusky dolphins (*Lagenorhynchus obscurus)* and killer whales (*Orcinus orca*).
The aim of this project is to investigate the distribution and relative
abundance of marine mammals

occurring within the Sound in order to provide part of a baseline study of
the region. Behaviour, inter-specific interactions and potential
anthropogenic influences will also be investigated.


June 2012-June 2013, in three month increments


Picton, New Zealand

* *


Field work will involve data collection from a platform of opportunity (13
m catamaran)

Responsibilities will include:

-         Diligent searching for marine mammals, identification to species,
recording of group size, group composition and behaviour

-         Collection of various environmental parameters

-         Utilization of GPS equipment to collect sighting location data
and effort tracks

-         Data entry of all fieldwork undertaken

-         Opportunistic Photo-ID

-         Additional responsibilities may be added as the season progresses


The ideal candidate will have a science background and previous marine
mammal field experience. This internship is well-suited for recent
graduates or graduate students

of marine biology, zoology, ecology or similar fields. Preferred candidates
will have some experience studying free-ranging dolphins.

He or she must:

-         Possess basic computer skills including MS excel

-         Be comfortable working on boats

-         Be responsible, focused and motivated

-         Be personable, possess a strong interest in science and a mature
attitude toward marine mammal research

-         Be patient and flexible as many hours are spent in search of
marine mammals

-         Be prepared to live in a small isolated town and to work

-         Make a 3 month commitment to the project

Unfortunately, no monetary compensation or compensation for housing is
available for this position.

*Application Process*:

If interested please email c.cross at massey.ac.nz  with the subject line

Please LIST the following in a CONCISE message:

1)      Relevant experience or qualifications

2)      The time frame that you are available over the next year

3)      Reasons you want to help with this project

4)      The contact info of at least one professional reference that can
confirm work ethic and experience

5)      Current place of residence

Please also attach CV or resume to the email

This is great opportunity to work in a unique environment while gaining
further research experience and contributing to an important project.

Priority will be given to placing applicants that are available
immediately. Thank you for your interest!




*Cheryl L. Cross*
PhD Candidate
Coastal-Marine Research Group
Institute of Natural Sciences
Massey University
Private Bag 102 904
North Shore City 0745
New Zealand

Tel:    +64 9 414 0800 EXT 41520
Mob:  +64 21 022 93719
Fax: + 64 9 443 9790
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