[MARMAM] Volunteers needed for bottlenose dolphin project, New Zealand

Blair Outhwaite brouthwaite at gmail.com
Sun Jul 5 15:21:03 PDT 2015


Bottlenose Dolphin Behavioural Volunteer Position at Great Barrier Island,
New Zealand



A volunteer is required to assist with a MSc study investigating the
behaviour of bottlenose dolphins (*Tursiops truncatus*) at Great Barrier
Island (GBI) and the Auckland coastline, New Zealand. This MSc project is
part of the ongoing research of the Coastal-Marine Research Group (C-MRG)
at Massey University Albany, Auckland. (http://cmrg.massey.ac.nz
<https://owa.massey.ac.nz/owa/redir.aspx?C=QIoA5pdRuUCToTWBw5X7lA6HAVO4K9EIsBSmP9km192DOB6SclPxubc4c_xlF5GTNghrzZmEhvI.&URL=http%3a%2f%2fcmrg.massey.ac.nz>
).



The primary aim of this study is to assess the behaviour and acoustic
repertoire of nationally endangered bottlenose dolphins in an area of zero
tourism pressure.





DATES:

While the field season runs year round, currently volunteers are needed
from August – November 2015. A minimum commitment of three months is
required and priority will be given to those who can commit for longer
periods.



LOCATION: Auckland, New Zealand



FIELDWORK:

The volunteer position entails assisting during field surveys and analysis
of bottlenose dolphin behavioural videos and photo-identification
(photo-id). The successful applicant will gain valuable experience in
conducting marine mammal field research, identifying individuals based on
dorsal fin characteristics, and the use of databases for archiving field
data.

Field work is physically and at times mentally demanding but it is a great
opportunity to gain knowledge in visual cetacean surveying, to get hands-on
field experience in relation to survey techniques, photo-id, behavioural
observations, and improve practical skills.

Fieldwork can vary between weekdays and weekends. Assistants therefore need
to be available full-time including weekends and be prepared to work long
hours with early starts. During GBI trips, we will be based on the island
for an average of 4 days, once a month. Coastal surveys will be conducted
over 4 non-consecutive days of each month. Both GBI trips and coastal
surveys are weather dependent. All surveys will be conducted from a 4.8m
Stabicraft vessel.





RESPONSIBILITIES:

. Assisting with; boat-based photo-id surveys from a small vessel and
collecting environmental/video based behavioural data (25% of the time).

DISCLAIMER: while the best efforts will be made to ensure that the
participant gains field work experience, due to the nature of the project,
time in the field cannot be guaranteed.

. Analysis of photo-id and behavioural video data in the lab; including
assistance with photo sorting, grading, and matching of photos, maintenance
of a long-term photo-id catalogue, identifying behavioural events on video,
and data entry. Research assistants should be prepared to work long days in
the office analysing of photographs and matching them with the
photo-identification catalogue (75% of the time).

As this is a volunteer position, there is unfortunately no monetary
compensation or living provisions. The successful candidate should arrange
their own accommodation in Auckland, living expenses, travel costs and
visa. Accommodation and travel expenses to/from GBI will be covered.



PREREQUISITES:

. Be reliable, adaptable, hardworking and patient as fieldwork is highly
weather dependent

. Have a mature and independent attitude towards marine mammal research

. Speak fluent English

. Be sociable, enthusiastic and have a positive attitude

. Strong interest in the marine environment and conservation

. Participants must be able to swim and should be comfortable working on
small boats

. Participants must be comfortable living out of a small backpack (with the
exception of food) for several days (during GBI trips)



QUALIFICATIONS:

. The project is well suited to upper level undergrads, recent grads and
graduate students who have some background in Biology, Marine Biology,
Ecology, Zoology or related fields

. Basic computer proficiency in MS Office (especially Excel)


Preferred qualifications but not required:

. Prior experience working on small vessels

. Field research including photo-id experience

. Previous experience in survey techniques and especially in marine mammal
research

. First AID/CPR certification



APPLICATION PROCESS:

Applicants should send a short email to brouthwaite at gmail.com, using
“volunteer position” as the subject line. The email should include an
outline of why you would like to work on this project, the dates when you
are available to assist on the project, your qualifications and relevant
experience. Please also attach a brief CV including at least one reference
acknowledging your relevant experience.



Early application is recommended as applications will be examined in order
of reception.



All the best,

Blair

----------------------------------

*Blair Outhwaite*

*MSc Candidate*

*Coastal-Marine Research Group*

*Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences*

*Massey University*

*Private Bag 102 904*

*Auckland, New Zealand*



*Tel:        +64 (0)9 414 0800*

*Ext:       43791(office)*

*Cell:      +64 (0)21 062 2794*

*Email:   **brouthwaite at gmail.com* <brouthwaite at gmail.com>

*Web:    **http://cmrg.massey.ac.nz/*
<https://owa.massey.ac.nz/owa/redir.aspx?C=QIoA5pdRuUCToTWBw5X7lA6HAVO4K9EIsBSmP9km192DOB6SclPxubc4c_xlF5GTNghrzZmEhvI.&URL=http%3a%2f%2fcmrg.massey.ac.nz%2f>



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 *Blair Outhwaite*

*MSc Candidate*

*Coastal-Marine Research Group*

*Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences*

*Massey University*

*Private Bag 102 904*

*Auckland, New Zealand*



*Tel:        +64 (0)9 414 0800*

*Ext:       43791(office)*

*Cell:      +64 (0)21 062 2794*

*Email:   **brouthwaite at gmail.com* <brouthwaite at gmail.com>

*Web:    **http://cmrg.massey.ac.nz/*
<https://owa.massey.ac.nz/owa/redir.aspx?C=QIoA5pdRuUCToTWBw5X7lA6HAVO4K9EIsBSmP9km192DOB6SclPxubc4c_xlF5GTNghrzZmEhvI.&URL=http%3a%2f%2fcmrg.massey.ac.nz%2f>
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