[MARMAM] Bottlenose Dolphin Photo-Identification Internship Position 2016

Jessica Taylor jessarah19 at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 4 12:00:13 PST 2016

 Bottlenose DolphinPhoto-ID Internship/Research Assistant Position for Summer 2016
The Outer Banks Centerfor Dolphin Research (OBXCDR)/Nags Head Dolphin Watch are currently acceptingapplications for the 2016 summer season. One internship position is available.The research season is May 3 – October 7. Successful applicants must be able tocommit for the entire season. 

The Outer Banks Centerfor Dolphin Research is a 501 c(3) non-profit organization dedicated to theconservation of bottlenose dolphins in the Outer Banks, NC. Our program’s goalis to gain an understanding of the population dynamics, movement patterns, andbehavioral ecology of coastal bottlenose dolphins in the sounds and coastalwaters near the Outer Banks. The OBXCDR currently conducts aphoto-identification monitoring study of bottlenose dolphins in Roanoke,Croatan, Albemarle, Pamlico and Currituck Sounds. Data is collected viadedicated small boat surveys as well as opportunistically from a local dolphinwatch. This study is a continuation of the long-term study initiated by theNags Head Dolphin Watch in 1997. Information from the long-term monitoringstudy will provide a basis for studies involving habitat utilization, socialassociations, and anthropogenic effects on the dolphins as well as aid in effortsto examine bottlenose dolphin stock structure and movement patterns along theU.S. Atlantic coast. Interns will gain experience in field data collection,photo-identification of dolphins, and environmental education. For moreinformation about the OBXCDR, please visit: obxdolphins.org. 

The internshipposition 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, andassisting in maintenance of the long-term OBX photo-id catalog using the MSAccess database FinBase.  Additional timewill also be spent completing an independent project in which the intern willmatch the OBX catalog to the Mid-Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin Catalog (MABDC) toexamine seasonal movement patterns. The MABDC is a long-term collaborativeeffort to gain a greater understanding of the stock structure and movementpatterns of bottlenose dolphins along the U.S. Atlantic coast. This independentproject should be completed within the span of the internship. The finalproduct of this project will be a final project report (40% of time)

 §  Mate/naturalist duties aboard the Nags HeadDolphin Watch: This involves the implementation of educational programs,including public speaking aboard the eco-tours (using a microphone andone-on-one) to educate others about local dolphin biology and marineconservation, as well as additional mate duties. The mate/naturalist will alsocollect opportunistic photo-identification data aboard the eco-tours(photographing dorsal fins, measuring environmental parameters, and recordingsighting data), organize opportunistic data for inclusion in thephoto-identification catalog, and assist in general maintenance of fieldequipment.  For additional information about the Nags Head Dolphin Watch,please see www.nagsheaddolphinwatch.com (50% of time)

§  Boat-based photo-identification: The internwill assist with boat-based photo-identification surveys to examine seasonalabundances, site fidelity, and prevalence of skin lesions of bottlenosedolphins in Roanoke Sound.  Responsibilities include operating a smallvessel during transect surveys and sightings, assisting withphoto-identification, collecting environmental, location, and behavioral datafor dolphin groups, and general maintenance of field equipment. (10% of time)

 This internshiprequires a minimum commitment of 36 hours per week, consisting of eco-tours,lab photo-identification, and dedicated surveys. The intern will carry outmate/naturalist duties and opportunistic photo-identification aboard the NagsHead Dolphin Watch for 3-4 days per week throughout the field season while 1-2days per week will be spent conducting photo-identification in the lab.Abundance surveys will be conducted once per month (May, June, August, andSeptember) and 2-3 times a month during July and October.

Salary:  Thisinternship is a paid position. Applicants will receive an hourly salary for thenaturalist position on the dolphin watch. Tips aboard the dolphin tours areexpected, but not guaranteed. 

Housing: Although housing is not provided, we will assist you in finding housingaccommodations in the Outer Banks. Interns are responsible for their owntransportation to and from the Outer Banks as well as to and from the fieldsites and lab.

The successfulapplicant would ideally have the following qualifications:

§  Minimum of 18 years of age and recentlyenrolled in a college-level program in marine biology, biology, zoology, orrelated field

§  Strong interest in the marine environment andconservation

§  Ability to swim

§  Basic proficiency in MS Access, Word, Excel,and Picture Manager

§  Enthusiasm, attention to detail, responsible, independent,focused, and dedicated

§  Works well in a team environment as well asindividually

§  Experience in boating and marine field datacollection

§  Experience in photo-identification preferredbut not required

§  First AID/CPR certification preferred but notrequired

§  Due to employment aboard the dolphin eco-tours,all candidates must be U.S. citizens

 NOTE: The UnitedStates Coast Guard requires all passenger vessels to be drug free workenvironments. In order to work aboard the dolphin eco-tours, the intern will berequired to pass a pre-employment drug test and to participate in random drugtesting during the period of the research season.

Application Process:

Please submit coverletter, resume, and contact information for 3 references via email to:obxcdr at hotmail.com Use “Dolphin photo-id internship” in thesubject line of the email. All applications will be reviewed in the order theyare received. Applicants must apply by February 19th to beconsidered for this position.

 Jessica Taylor

President/PrincipalInvestigator, Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research

P.O. Box 7721

Kill Devil Hills, NC27948


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