[MARMAM] VAQS Stranding Response and Research Internships

Erin R. Bates EBates at virginiaaquarium.com
Mon Oct 5 07:57:39 PDT 2015


The Virginia Aquarium’s Research & Conservation Division is now accepting Stranding Response & Research Intern applications for the winter/spring 2016 season. There are currently three positions available to begin early 2016. One of the positions will assist the research team with an on-going humpback whale photo ID matching project and the other two positions will assist the stranding response team with an emphasis on either data entry/organization or an on-going stomach content analysis project. The application deadline is November 15, 2015.

 Please note that all internships are non-compensatory and intern housing is not provided by the Virginia Aquarium.
Duties:
Research Intern-

  *   Assist with vessel-based transect surveys for marine mammals

  *   Assist with photo identification and matching of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) dorsal find and fluke images

o   Staff will train you in photo ID techniques, recording track effort and sighting data, image and data processing

  *    Assist in the field with photo ID and biopsy efforts

o   Stock research kits (biopsy supplies, electronic equipment, datasheets)

  *    Enter data from vessel surveys in excel and GIS databases and utilize image processing software (e.g. ACDSEE and IMATCH)

  *   Respond to marine mammal and sea turtle stranding events. Work may be done under adverse weather conditions.
Stranding Response Intern-

  *   Respond to marine mammal and sea turtle stranding events. Work may be done under adverse weather conditions.

  *   Assist in the collection of Level A data for the National Marine Fisheries Service
  *   Participate in post mortem data collection and necropsies
  *   Assist in care for animals during rehabilitation including, but not limited to: food prep, feeding, cleaning (mopping floor, washing dirty laundry, vacuuming tanks, washing dishes, etc.), tank repairs, and other husbandry duties
  *   Assist with public outreach and education events
  *   Assist with volunteer and cooperator trainings
  *   Assist staff with daily administrative tasks including answering phones, taking messages, and preparing volunteers for response
  *   Other duties as assigned by Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response staff
  *   Data entry: Assist staff with on-going data entry into established databases and organization and entry of new data.
  *   Stomach content analysis project: Assist the project lead with on-going bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) stomach content analysis project which includes: extraction of otoliths from fish and measurement of fish and otoliths
Qualifications: Applicants must: 1) be at least 18 years of age; 2) be able to and comfortable with driving full-sized pick-up trucks; 3) be in good physical condition and able to lift over 40 pounds and assist with heavier loads; 4) be able to work in adverse conditions; 5) be comfortable on and around water; 6) be completing this internship for college credit. Specific to the research internship: 1) experience with photo-id, GIS, data and image processing preferred; 2) experience with Microsoft Office required; 3) a high level of attention to detail is preferred.

Applicants must commit to 10 weeks and work well both independently and as part of a team. All interns will be required to deliver a 10-15 minute presentation to staff and volunteers at the end of their internship. Candidates should be self-motivated, articulate, mature, reliable, responsible and able to take, as well as give direction. Internships are open to undergraduate and graduate students. Preference is given to students who have completed their sophomore year and are working towards credit for a degree in science. A background in biology and familiarity with stranding response is preferred but not required. Applicants who are interested in applying but will not be seeking college credit should still apply and may be considered for an apprenticeship position.

Requirements: Interns are expected to work 24 hours a week (three eight-hour days) for 10 consecutive weeks without exception. Housing and transportation cannot be provided. Most of the animals the Stranding Center works with are dead (approximately 95%) and most are decomposing. This is a position that requires a strong nose, stomach and mental state. IT IS NOT FOR EVERYONE! Please consider this before applying.
A complete Stranding Response Intern application packet must include the following required components:

  *   Cover Letter
  *   Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center Internship application form (http://www.virginiaaquarium.com/join/Documents/Intern-Application-Form.pdf)
  *   (2) Letters of Recommendation (one must be from an academic instructor)
  *   Statement of Intent: (1) page describing how the intern applicant intends to use the internship experience to assist in career or academic goals.
  *   Resume
  *   Official College Transcript(s)
Forward your completed application packet to:
Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
717 General Booth Boulevard
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451
Attn: Volunteer Resources Office - Intern Applicant
OR email complete application packet to aquavols at virginiaaquarium.com<mailto:aquavols at virginiaaquarium.com>

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