[MARMAM] UPDATE: URGENTLY SEEKING EXPERIENCED FIELD ASSISTANTS for research on tropical dolphins around Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia

Tim Hunt tim.hunt at flinders.edu.au
Tue Jul 30 09:20:45 PDT 2013

Dear Marmam,

Please post this updated advertisement below at your earliest convenience. I initially sent it through last Friday 26th July for a due date this Friday 2nd August but I'll now have to extend the submission date to Monday 5th August to allow people sufficient time to make a submission.

Thanks very much for your help.

Kind regards,

Tim Hunt

URGENTLY SEEKING EXPERIENCED FIELD ASSISTANTS for research on tropical dolphins around Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia

Fieldwork dates: Commencing late August 2013 for 8-10 weeks (field season ends late October 2013).

Application deadline: Monday 5th August 2013 (apologies for short turnaround)

Project title: Population size, habitat use and social structure of Australian humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) around the North West Cape, Western Australia.

Institution: Cetacean Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution Lab; Flinders University; South Australia www.cebel.org.au<http://www.cebel.org.au>

Overview: I am seeking experienced field assistants to assist with boat-based photo-ID of humpback (and bottlenose) dolphins around the North West Cape in north-western Australia for 8-10 weeks starting no later than 1 September 2013.

* Only applicants that can commit for the full 8-10 week period will be considered *

This project is currently underway and aims to collect baseline information on the abundance, habitat use and social structure of humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) around the North West Cape to improve the scientific basis for their conservation and management. The project is funded by the Australian Marine Mammal Centre and our research is in collaboration with the Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit.

This is an opportunity to gain experience in field techniques for small cetacean research and contribute to a project with very high conservation and management value. Furthermore, it provides assistants the opportunity to conduct research in a unique natural setting along the World Heritage Listed Ningaloo Coast, home to one of the longest near-shore reefs in the world, Ningaloo Reef. The region is extremely picturesque and abundant with marine life, including seasonal visits from whale sharks (April-August) and humpback whales (July-November). A spectacular research setting!

Location: We are based in the town of Exmouth on the tropical North West Cape of Western Australia. The small research team is staying in house accommodation within walking distance of the Exmouth town centre.

Duties: Searching for dolphins, driving the boat, taking photos, making and recording field observations, equipment cleaning and basic maintenance, data entry (incl. fin matching), a fair share in communal cooking and housekeeping duties, and generally working hard and having a great time in a beautiful and unique part of the Australian coastline.

Expectations: Field assistants need to be available full-time, including weekends, and be prepared for early morning departures (6-7AM), long days (7-10 hours) on the water for multiple consecutive days, and lengthy days transcribing data. Expect up to a week between days off. Expect to spend sometimes several days stranded on land. If the weather isn't right we won't be conducting the surveys and will have to wait it out. So bring a book or two and lots of movies to watch. Expect to see dolphins, dugongs... and turtles....and sharks...... and lots of whales. We've been here since late May and have seen a lot of everything! Most of all, expect to learn a lot while having an awesome time.


*         Experience of working on and driving a small boat (essential);

*         Experience of photo-ID survey techniques (highly desirable);

*         Experience of field research on small cetaceans (highly desirable);

*         No history of debilitating seasickness (essential);

*         Be team-oriented, patient, clean, and have an enthusiastic attitude to hard work, long hours and collecting data on the natural environment (essential).

*         Experience in Microsoft Excel and Access (highly desirable)

*         Fluent in English (highly desirable)

Expenses: This is an unpaid position. However, food and accommodation in Exmouth are provided at no cost to assistants. Assistants are responsible for their own travel costs to/from Exmouth (direct flights available from Perth).

Please send a CV, a brief covering letter outlining your relevant experience, and contact details of two relevant referees to tim.hunt at flinders.edu.au<mailto:tim.hunt at flinders.edu.au> by Monday 5th August 2013.

Tim Hunt
PhD Candidate
Cetacean Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution Lab (CEBEL)
School of Biological Sciences
Flinders University of South Australia

[cid:image001.jpg at 01CE886E.CAAE6550]<http://www.cebel.org.au/>

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