[MARMAM] Humpback Whale Internships-Puerto Rico (new deadline)

Mithriel MacKay mithriel.mackay at gmail.com
Tue Aug 27 15:17:25 PDT 2013

Four Internships Available for 2014 Humpback Whale Field Season in
Puerto Rico, USA!

Deadline to apply: September 30, 2013

Four full time internships are available for the winter of 2014 to
assist in PhD dissertation research focusing on seasonal occurrence
patterns and social strategies of humpback whales (Megaptera
novaeangliae) wintering off Puerto Rico, USA. Two interns will
organize and analyze data. Two interns will be involved in mentoring
students and data collection in the field. One of the four selected
interns will be team leader and all interns must be available for the
entire field season. This is the 4th year for accepting interns for
this long term study.

 General description: We anticipate a minimum of 1-3 days/week of
vessel based data collection, 2-3 days/week land based data
collection, and inclement weather days spent managing data and
mentoring students at the base station. Photographic and acoustic data
will be analyzed during days when field excursions are not practical
or possible. There may be opportunity for aerial survey experience.

Commitment: Interns are required to be available full time from
January 01-May 01, 2014. Preference is given to recent graduates with
a degree in marine biology. Previous participation in an MCERC program
is an advantage.  Interns must stay at the base station in San German,
Puerto Rico, USA and be prepared for very long days. We typically rise
well before sunrise and finish well after sunset each day. Breaks
(“days off”) are infrequent. This is a low density area for humpbacks.
The ability to maintain land based observations for hours (or even a
full day) without seeing a whale requires commitment and patience. All
interns must speak conversational English.

Responsibilities:  Interns are fully involved in all aspects of this
project including preparation and maintenance of equipment, data
collection and management, up keep of the field house, and mentoring
students who join our team during the field season.  We interact with
the public and peers frequently. Interns will be involved in outreach
opportunities (impromptu and scheduled).

Two interns will be dedicated to organizing and analyzing photographic
and acoustic data.  Interns in these positions will work Monday-
Friday (long days with weekends off) at the field station. These are
not field positions.  A laptop computer is required and must run a
Windows based operating system (not Mac) to be able to run necessary
software. Training will include Mysticetus tracking software, Ishmael
acoustic analysis software, and programs associated with managing
photographic data.

Two interns will be dedicated to mentoring students participating in
the Humpback Whale Field Intensive. These positions are Sunday-Friday
with Saturdays off. One “Education Specialist Intern” will be the team
leader for all four positions and will have the ability to oversee all
tasks and the basic routine of the field station. “Education
Specialist” interns will be trained in collection of data from small
vessel and land based platforms as well as effective teaching methods.

All interns will receive training specific to their roles in the
project and can expect to learn a great deal from this internship
including humpback whale ecology, field methods, and cetacean
behavioral ecology in exchange for a long field season.

Final candidates will be provided contact details of previous interns
and be expected to engage in a conversation via Skype before the final
selection to assure new interns are clear about our winter schedule.
This provides candidates an opportunity to ask questions from peers.

Provisions & Accommodations: You will be provided with a place to
sleep at the base station and transportation to all field sites (for
education interns) from the base station at no cost. Interns will
pitch in for food. Please visit the MCERC website and read the entire
description of the base station (www.Marine-Eco.org).  There is no
stipend or salary for these positions.

Travel: Interns are responsible for transportation to and from San
German, Puerto Rico, USA. Interns are responsible for determining and
acquiring necessary travel documents, including visas, to the USA.
MCERC will provide a letter stating intern’s involvement with the

Qualifications: Priority is given to students with an upbeat,
hardworking and positive attitude. The ability to take direction and
live in close quarters with 8 (or more) people is a key to a
successful field season. Previous participation in an MCERC program is
a helpful, but not required. A stellar academic average is a plus, but
is not a requirement and should not discourage interested people with
less than perfect academic scores from applying.  A desire to learn
new skills and mentor students, a strong work ethic, and the ability
to promote a positive attitude towards stewardship of marine habitats
is essential for candidates.

Interested senior undergraduates (with majors in marine biology or
related field), recent graduates seeking to gain experience in marine
biology/ecology, and graduate students are encouraged to look over the
website (Marine-Eco.org) and submit a letter of interest, CV, and
availability to Mithriel at Marine-Eco.org together in one email.
Candidates should be familiar with the associated website at
www.Marine-Eco.org prior to applying and interviews.

Applications are only accepted for one internship position to assure
interest is matched with tasks and support interns in maintaining high
quality research. Applications for both the “data management-analysis”
position and the “education-data collection” internship cannot be
considered.  The team leader will be selected after all interns are
accepted.  Candidates for internships will complete an interview via
Skype or in person prior to being accepted for a position for the 2014
field season.  Notification of acceptance is expected before September
30, 2013. Candidates offered an internship will be required to
purchase travel to Puerto Rico, USA within 2 weeks as a sign of
commitment in January 2014. A waiting list may be created.

Please feel free to distribute this call for interns to other lists
and individuals that may be excited to participate in humpback whale
research and fit the description of our team member!

Mithriel M. MacKay
Ph.D. Candidate
Marine Mammal Research Program
Department of Marine Biology
Texas A&M University, Galveston
(830) 688-9878
mithriel.mackay at gmail.com


Director of Research and Education
Marine and Coastal Ecology Research Center
San German, Puerto Rico, USA
Pipe Creek, Texas 78063
MCERC.mail at gmail.com

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