[MARMAM] Marine Mammal research assistants required in Broadhaven Bay, Co. Mayo, Ireland

Maldini, Daniela daniela.maldini at ucc.ie
Tue Jan 5 02:18:31 PST 2016

Marine Mammal research assistants required in Broadhaven Bay, Co. Mayo, Ireland
The Marine Ecology Group at MaREI, University College Cork, is seeking volunteer research assistants for the 2016 field season, to carry out research on marine mammals in Broadhaven Bay, Co. Mayo, Ireland between May – September 2016. Research assistants will be required to conduct cliff-based monitoring surveys, office related tasks and strandings surveys and will each be assigned a seasonal office-based project. This presents an opportunity to work within a team of experienced researchers and gain experience in field techniques for marine mammal surveys, while contributing to a larger program of marine mammal research.

15 May 2016 – 31 September 2016
Due to training requirements, preference will be given to applicants who can commit to the full season. However, those available for shorter periods of time will also be considered.

Research assistants will be based in a shared house on the Mullet Peninsula, Co. Mayo. The house, which doubles as the office, is approx. 7km from the town of Belmullet, where there are supermarkets, cafes, pubs, banks, etc. Accommodation will be shared with up to 7 people so good teamwork and interpersonal skills are imperative. The Mullet Peninsula is a stunning location on the world famous Wild Atlantic Way, boasting some of the nicest, and untouched, beaches in Ireland. Applicants must be aware that the Mullet Peninsula is geographically remote with limited facilities and variable weather patterns with rain, wind and generally stormy conditions possible year-round. Expect to spend time in the office when conditions are less than ideal as field work will not be possible in these circumstances, however there will be plenty of opportunity to explore the surrounding area, which is an ideal location for those who enjoy surfing, hiking and wildlife. Whilst bikes for transport to the nearest town will be provided, applicants with a car will be looked upon favourably.

Interns will work in shifts and all field work is weather-dependent and can be cancelled with short notice by the field leader if conditions are not ideal. A structured schedule will be set up with rotations of field duties, time off and specific duties for each person. Interns will each have their own project in addition to rotational field duties. Field work will include conducting cliff-based surveys from two sites in Broadhaven Bay using theodolites. There will be occasional C-POD servicing trips on a fishing vessel. There will be the need to respond to strandings in the area and to conduct complete necropsies when appropriate. The rest of the time will be spent in the office on data entry and analysis duties and each intern will be assigned a project according to previous agreements with the Field Leader, which could include either photo-id, acoustics, or GIS data analysis. There may be a public outreach and education component as well which will include interpreting marine mammal biology to the local community.

As part of the internship there will be three courses offered throughout the field season. An introductory course on marine mammal biology and ecology, a photo-identification workshop focusing on data analysis, data entry and the use of photo-identification data in mark-recapture and social analysis, a course on stranding response and necropsy skills and procedures, and a workshop on C-POD data download and verification.

The project budget will cover accommodations at the project house and transportation to and from the field, and the courses offered during the internship. Interns will be responsible for their own food, transportation to and from the research station, entertainment and free time expenses.

Genuine interest in marine mammal biology, the marine environment and conservation.
Advanced computer proficiency in MS Office (Excel, Word)
Excellent verbal and communication skills
Enthusiasm and a positive attitude to hard work and long hours in the field in inclement weather
Ability to work well both in a team and independently
Flexibility and patience as fieldwork is highly weather dependent
Excellent English language skills
Moderate level of fitness – there is a 25 minute hike carrying gear to the cliff sites.

Highly Desirable
Driving Licence and car
Familiarity with theodolite use, GPS equipment and software
Prior experience with R, ArcGIS and C-POD software
Enrolled in or completed a degree in Biology, Marine Biology, Environmental Science, Animal Behaviour, Ecology, Zoology or related fields
Previous field research experience, particularly marine research
Previous experience of working in remote locations as part of a small team
A strong interest and knowledge of marine mammals

To apply, please send a copy of your CV (including two relevant referees and their contact details) and a brief (max 250 words) cover letter with a description of yourself and your experience to Daniela Maldini (daniela.maldini at ucc.ie<mailto:daniela.maldini at ucc.ie>).

Daniela Maldini, Ph.D.
Senior Post Doctoral Researcher

MaREI Centre
Beaufort Building - Environmental Research Institute (ERI)
University College Cork
Haulbowline Rd
Co. Cork
Mobile: +353 087 446 4342
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