[MARMAM] MMR Humpback Whale Research - Seeking dedicated volunteers for Phase 2# project

scott at marinemammalresearch.com scott at marinemammalresearch.com
Fri Sep 5 06:07:43 PDT 2014

Dear MARMAM  Marine Explorers

Marine Mammal Research Unit (MMR) Research project  Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

Seeking dedicated volunteers for Phase 2# project


The Marine Mammal Research Unit (MMR) is seeking applications form volunteers for a 2 to 3 weeks distribution and behaviour study on humpback whales in October 2014. 

The study will be conducted at Jervis Bay, New South Wales (about 3 hours south of Sydney).

Phase 2# Dates from 6th to 26th of October.

Priority will be for volunteers who can commit to 2-3 weeks or if applicant is suitable 1 week may be ok. (as training is needed and time will be limited if applicant has NO experience)

The study will collect data on the movements of southward migrating humpback whales and cow/calf pairs in Jervis Bay for spatio-temporal distribution patterns, documenting behaviour using focal follows and collect fluke identification photographs, record acoustics vocalisations of cow/calf pairs. Fieldwork may be conducted from both boat and land-based observations as they enter the study site in and around Jervis Bay.

The volunteer is required to conduct boat and or land-based observations of the whales as they enter the study site. This area is unique as it represents a possible resting area for humpback whales while on southward migration to the main feeding grounds in the Antarctic. The volunteer will spend approximately six to eight hours daily counting and observing whales from the boat and or land-based. The volunteers must organise their own transport to the study site. Jervis Bay is a 3 hour drive from Sydney / airport (30 mins from Bomaderry (Nowra) train station).  Own transports may be required to get to land-based observations sights.

Volunteer daily duties:

Equipment preparations, land & boat observations, detecting and Identifying cetacean’s, data collection, storage and reporting at the end of every day. Clean equipment, charge batteries and prepare for the next day of fieldwork.

Phase 2# (CBED) shared accommodation and food will be provided for non local volunteers, meals are communal, fussy eaters are discouraged from applying (vegetarians are fine). The volunteers must be sociable as that will be expected to work and live as a part of a team and shared cooking and cleaning duties. This project will suit people with a background in science (including recent graduates and graduate students as well as higher level undergraduate students) keen to gain experience in cetacean survey techniques. Applicants should also be highly motivated and able to concentrate for several hours at a time. Those with previous survey experience, particularly of marine mammals, will be preferred.

Applicants should reply with an email to  info at marinemammalresearch.com 

Outlining why they would be suitable for this survey and why they would like to participate, an previous relevant experience. Email an attached CV, the names and contact details of two professional referees and will need to fill in a MMR volunteer application form.

Successful applicants will be notified.

Project associates

Marine Mammal Research Unit (MMR)

University of Sydney (UOS)

Marine explorer (MEX)


Please find our link to publication - humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Jervis Bay

Article title: Distribution patterns of migrating humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Jervis Bay, Australia: A spatial analysis using geographical citizen science data


Marine Mammal Research | PO Box 117 Huskisson NSW 2540 Australia | web: www.marinemammalresearch.com

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