[MARMAM] Seeking volunteer research assistants for a project on endangered Australian sea lions

Sylvia Osterrieder sylvia.osterrieder at gmail.com
Mon Feb 18 22:39:30 PST 2013


*Seeking volunteer research assistants for a project on endangered
Australian sea lions*





*Project title: **Conservation ecology and human disturbance of Australian
sea lions (Neophoca cinerea) in Western Australia*



*Project description: *In this study, baseline information on the ecology
and behaviour of Australian sea lions in Western Australia are
collected. Individual
focal follows (behavioural observations) will be conducted to measure the
level of disturbance caused by humans using the beaches simultaneously with
these endangered otariid.

Also, a new photo-identification method is being tested and developed to
recognize individual Australian sea lions in the field. This method will
aid estimating the population size of Australian sea lions and
investigating their residency patterns and habitat use on key breeding
islands and haul-out locations in Western Australia.

This project is aiming to provide basic knowledge on the sea lions’ colony
sizes, movement patterns, temporal and spatial habitat use as well as
critical haul-out behaviour that will inform the management of Australian
sea lions inhabiting key breeding and non-breeding locations in Western
Australia.



*Main field sites: *Seal Island in the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park,
Carnac Island Nature Reserve and potentially Rottnest Island, Western
Australia.

Few other haul-out islands off Perth Metropolitan area are visited during
monthly boat surveys.


*Fie**ld trip dates:* April - May 2013, July - August 2013

June and September 2013 will be spent entering and processing data with
opportunistic field trips.
Research assistants who can commit for 2 months are strongly preferred.
Priority will be given to assistants who can commit for longer periods due
to the training required.



*Assistant duties: *Collecting and recording observational data, both on
land and from the boat. Assistants will be helping with data entry and
processing, including sorting and processing photos and data on dictaphones.



*Prerequisites:*

1.* *Background knowledge in marine biology, ecology or conservation and
experience in field research is a plus.



2. Research assistants should be confident working for long hours on
islands with limited facilities and on small boats. Boat license and
handling skills would be beneficial.



3. Assistants need to be dedicated to help in this project. During data
collection the ability to focus for long periods is required. Assistants
are expected to maintain a positive attitude during long hours in the field
and towards other team members, also in varying weather conditions.



4. Field trips are very weather dependant and will therefore be organised
on short notice (often only 1-2 days prior) and will vary between week and
weekend days and may take place on public holidays. Field trips may start
early in the morning.



*Expenses: *This is an unpaid opportunity to gain training and experience
in ecological sciences and particularly in marine mammal research.
Unfortunately, travel expenses cannot be covered and research assistants
are responsible for their own living expenses around Perth/Fremantle. Rides
to the study sites can be provided from Fremantle. Research assistants are
expected to bring their own lunch and water.



If you are interested in helping out in this project, please send a CV, a
brief cover letter highlighting previous experience and relevant
qualifications along with contact details of two relevant referees to:
sylvia.osterrieder at gmail.com.



Sylvia Osterrieder

PhD Candidate

Ecology & Sustainability Group, School of Engineering and Science, Victoria
University, Melbourne, Victoria



and



Research Associate

Centre for Marine Science and Technology, Curtin University, Bentley,
Western Australia
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