[MARMAM] SEEKING FIELD RESEARCH LEADERS for research on humpback whales, Western Australia

Raudino, Holly Holly.Raudino at dec.wa.gov.au
Sun Apr 7 22:37:26 PDT 2013

SEEKING EXPERIENCED FIELD RESEARCH LEADERS for research on humpback whales, Pender Bay, Kimberley Western Australia

Fieldwork dates: Commences 1 July 2013 for 4 months (ends late October 2013).

Application deadline: Friday 26 April 2013

Project title: Monitoring of Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) relative abundance, habitat use and movements in Pender Bay, southern Kimberley region, Western Australia


Two Moons Whale and Marine  Research Base (Goojarr Goonyool Aboriginal Corporation)
Western Australian Marine Science Institute
Department of Environment and Conservation

Overview: We are seeking experienced field research leaders to assist with land-based monitoring of humpback whales a Pender Bay, Kimberley northern Australia for 4 months from 1 July 2013.We have two Block field periods to cover.

 *   June 27th  through to 30th August
 *   August 27th through to 31st October

Commitment to the full duration of the project is of course preferred, however a minimum commitment of 2 months will certainly be considered *

This project aims to collect baseline information on the relative abundance, habitat use and movement patterns for Humpback whales in the southern Kimberley region . The project focuses on the utilisation of the Pender Bay region by Humpback mothers and calves and aims to document behavior such as resting and calving. The relationship will be explored between relative whale abundance and major environmental drivers [Sea temperatures and primary productivity, tidal state meteorological factors] as derived from satellites and weather stations.

The project is funded by the Western Australian Marine Science Institute and is a collaboration between partners Goojarr Goonyool Aboriginal Corporation and Department of Environment and Conservation.

This is an opportunity to gain experience in field techniques for large whale research and contribute to a project with very high conservation, cultural and management value. Furthermore, it provides research leaders the opportunity to conduct research in a unique, remote and pristine natural setting along the Kimberley Coast, a spectacular wilderness experience!

Location: We will be based at the Two Moons Whale and Marine Research Base in northern Western Australia. We will be staying in shared caravan-style accommodation. The field site is approx 180km from Broome. The area enjoys Telstra Mobile coverage however there is no Optus reception.

Duties: Daily Survey supervision of a team of 4, searching for whales with spotting scopes and binoculars, making and recording field observations, equipment cleaning and basic maintenance, data entry, minimal communal cooking and housekeeping duties, and generally working hard and having a great time in a beautiful and unique part of Western Australia.

Expectations: Field assistants need to be available full-time, including weekends, and be prepared for early morning starts (6-7AM), long days (6-8 hours) for multiple consecutive days, and lengthy days entering and processing data. Expect few days off with the occasional excursion to surrounding areas.

• Experience of field research on cetaceans (essential);
• Experience of working on land-based cetacean monitoring station (highly desirable);
• Experience of data entry and cetacean survey techniques (highly desirable);
• Demonstrated experience working at remote field sites for extended periods;
• Be team-oriented, patient, with a good sense of humour, self-motivated and willing to work hard, long hours and collect data on the natural environment (essential);
•Fluent in English (highly desirable).

Expenses: This is an unpaid position. However, food , accommodation, internet and std phone and work related Mobile calls at the Two Moons field base are provided at no cost to Field Research Leaders. Travel assistance is included departing from Perth.

Please send a CV, a brief covering letter outlining your relevant experience, and contact details of a relevant referee to holly.raudino at dec.wa.gov.au<mailto:holly.raudino at dec.wa.gov.au> by Friday 26th April 2013.

Andrew.J. Bowles
Chairperson Goojarr Goonyool Aboriginal Corporation
Two Moons Whale and Marine Research Base, Western Australia

Kelly Waples, PhD
Principal Research Scientist, WAMSI Kimberley Marine Research Program
Marine Science Program, Science Division
Department of Environment and Conservation, Western Australia

Relevant information:

Blake, S., Dapson, I., Auge, O., Bowles, A.J., Marohn, E., Malatzky, L., & Granger, S.S., (2011) Monitoring of humpback whales in the Pender Bay, Kimberley region, Western Australia. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia, 94: 393–405,


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