[MARMAM] Bottlenose Dolphin Photo-Id Internship/Research Assistant Position

Jessica Taylor jessarah19 at yahoo.com
Fri Jan 10 09:30:57 PST 2014

Bottlenose Dolphin
Photo-ID Internship/Research Assistant Position for Summer 2014
The Outer Banks Center
for Dolphin Research (OBXCDR)/Nags Head Dolphin Watch is currently accepting
applications for the 2014 summer season. One internship position is available.
The research season is May 5 – October 10. Successful applicants must be able
to commit for the entire season.
The Outer Banks Center
for Dolphin Research is a 501 c(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the
conservation of bottlenose dolphins in the Outer Banks, NC. Our program’s goal
is to gain an understanding of the population dynamics, movement patterns, and
behavioral ecology of coastal bottlenose dolphins in the sounds and coastal
waters near the Outer Banks. The OBXCDR currently conducts a
photo-identification monitoring study of bottlenose dolphins in Roanoke,
Croatan, Albemarle, Pamlico and Currituck Sounds. Data is collected via
dedicated small boat surveys as well as opportunistically from a local dolphin
watch. This study is a continuation of the long-term study initiated by the
Nags Head Dolphin Watch in 1997. Information from the long-term monitoring
study will provide a basis for initiation of studies involving habitat
utilization, social associations, and anthropogenic effects on the dolphins as
well as aid in efforts to examine bottlenose dolphin movement patterns along
the U.S. Atlantic coast. Interns will gain experience in field data collection,
photo-identification of dolphins in the lab, and environmental education. For
more information about the OBXCDR, please visit: obxdolphins.org. 
The internship
position will consist of bottlenose dolphin photo-identification,
opportunistic/dedicated field research, and environmental education.
Responsibilities include:
§  Photo-identification of dolphins in the lab:
This includes photo sorting, grading, and matching, sighting data entry, and
assisting in maintenance of the long-term OBX photo-id catalog using the MS
Access database FinBase.  Additional time
will also be spent matching the OBX catalog to the Mid-Atlantic Bottlenose
Dolphin Catalog (MABDC). The MABDC is a long-term collaborative effort to gain
a greater understanding of the stock structure and movement patterns of
bottlenose dolphins along the U.S. Atlantic coast. (40% of time)
§  Mate/naturalist duties aboard the Nags Head
Dolphin Watch: This involves the implementation of educational programs,
including public speaking aboard the tours (using a microphone and one-on-one)
to educate others about local dolphin biology and marine conservation, as well
as additional mate duties. The mate/naturalist will also collect opportunistic
photo-identification data aboard the dolphin tours (photographing dorsal fins,
measuring environmental parameters, and recording sighting data on datasheet),
organize opportunistic data for inclusion in the photo-identification catalog,
and assist in general maintenance of field equipment.  For additional
information about the Nags Head Dolphin Watch, go to www.nagsheaddolphinwatch.com(50% of time)
§  Boat-based photo-identification: The intern
will assist with boat-based photo-identification surveys to examine seasonal
abundances and prevalence of skin lesions of bottlenose dolphins in Roanoke
Sound.  Responsibilities include operating a small vessel during transect
surveys and sightings, assisting with photo-identification, collecting
environmental, location, and behavioral data for dolphin groups, and general
maintenance of field equipment. (10% of time)
This internship
requires a minimum commitment of 36 hours per week, consisting of ecotours, lab
photo-identification, and dedicated surveys. The intern will carry out
mate/naturalist duties and opportunistic photo-identification aboard the Nags
Head Dolphin Watch for 3-4 days per week throughout the field season while 1-2
days per week will be spent conducting photo-identification in the lab.
Abundance surveys will be conducted once per month (May, June, August, and
September) and 2-3 times a month during July and October.
Salary:  This
internship is a paid position. Applicants will receive an hourly salary for the
naturalist position on the dolphin watch. Tips aboard the dolphin tours are
expected, but not guaranteed. 
 Although housing is not provided, we will assist you in finding housing
accommodations in the Outer Banks. Interns are responsible for their own
transportation to and from the Outer Banks as well as to and from the field
The successful
applicant would ideally have the following qualifications:
§  Minimum of 18 years of age and currently or
recently enrolled in a college-level program in marine biology, biology,
zoology, or related field
§  Strong interest in the marine environment and
§  Ability to swim
§  Basic computer proficiency in MS Office Access
and MS Office Picture Manager
§  Enthusiasm, attention to detail, responsible, focused,
and dedicated
§  Works well in a team environment as well as
§  Experience in marine field data collection
§  Experience in photo-identification and working
on boats preferred but not required
§  First AID/CPR certification preferred but not
NOTE: The United
States Coast Guard requires all passenger vessels to be drug free work
environments. In order to work aboard the dolphin ecotours, the intern will be
required to pass a pre-employment drug test and to participate in random drug
testing during the period of the research season.
Application Process:
Please submit cover
letter, resume, and contact information for 3 references via email to:obxcdr at hotmail.com Use “Dolphin photo-id internship” in the
subject line of the email. All applications will be reviewed in the order they
are received as part of a rolling application process until a candidate is
Jessica Taylor
Investigator, Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research
P.O. Box 7721
Kill Devil Hills, NC
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