[MARMAM] volunteer intern-dolphin project-Queen Charlotte Sound, NZ

Cheryl Cross c.cross at massey.ac.nz
Wed Jun 19 01:10:07 PDT 2013

*Volunteer Position in Queen Charlotte Sound, Marlborough Sounds, New
Zealand –Jan-April 2014*

One volunteer is required to assist with an ongoing study 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, killer whales and New Zealand fur seals.  This research
forms part of a PhD study being conducted under the auspices of the
Research Group (C-MRG) at Massey University, Auckland (


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*
hectori hectori*), common dolphins (*Delphinus *sp.), dusky dolphins
obscurus)* and killer whales (*Orcinus orca*). The aim of this project is
to investigate the distribution and density 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.


January-end of April 2014


Picton, New Zealand


Field work will involve data collection from two platforms of opportunity
(13 m catamarans) 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

-          Data processing and analyses including GIS

-          Additional responsibilities may be added as the project


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, with strong communication skills, and fluent in

-          Possess a strong interest in science and a mature attitude
toward marine mammal research

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

-          Be flexible as scheduling is unpredictable and weather dependent

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

-          Make a minimum of a 3.5 -4  month commitment to the project;
ideally one candidate will be available for the entire time needed

Unfortunately, no monetary compensation or compensation for housing is
available for this position, so the candidate must be able to support
living expenses for the extent of the internship period

*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 Student
Coastal-Marine Research Group
Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences
Massey University
Private Bag 102 904, North Shore 0745
Auckland, NZ

Tel:       +64 9 414 0800 EXT 41520
Mob:     +64 21 022 93719
Fax:      +64 9 443 9790
Email:    c.cross at massey.ac.nz
Web:     http://www.coastalmarineresearchgroup.com/
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