[MARMAM] Seeking research assistants: Research to evaluate the swim-with humpback whale trial off Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia.

Kate Sprogis K.Sprogis at murdoch.edu.au
Sun Jul 3 23:00:01 PDT 2016

Seeking research assistants for a research project to evaluate the swim-with humpback whale trial off Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia.

Project Outline:
The Western Australian (WA) Minister for the Environment announced that a trial for commercial swim-with-humpback-whale (SWHW) operations within Ningaloo Mark Park has been approved for 2016. Commencement of operations is during the humpback whale migration in August, September and October 2016. The WA Department of Parks and Wildlife has identified the need for an evaluation of the feasibility and sustainability of the SWHW trial interaction protocol.
To this end, we will be investigating:

1.     Potential short-term behavioural impacts of the SWHW trial, in terms of:

a. Movement patterns before-during and after swim-with interactions;

b. Respiration rates before-during and after swim-with interactions.

2.     The SWHW operating protocol in terms of:

a. Effectiveness and suitability in minimising impacts on whales from vessels operating procedures including vessel distances, placement and approach of vessels, number of swimmers and placement of swimmers;

b. Swimmer safety.

We are seeking volunteers for full-time assistance from late July-mid October 2016.
Primary Investigators: Prof Lars Bejder and Dr Fredrik Christiansen
Affiliation: Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit, www.mucru.org<http://www.mucru.org/>
Location: Ningaloo Marine Park, transiting from Tantabiddi and Coral Bay, WA.
Duties: Field- respiratory and behavioural data collection, range finder and compass data collection, photo-identification, data entry.
Office- data entry, fluke/fin matching, equipment maintenance, project organisation.

Preferred skills and traits:
1. Completed a degree in biology, marine science, animal behaviour or a related field.
2. Previous field experience with wildlife (i.e. field data collection, focal follows, photo-identification).
3. Boating experience.
4. Be mature and have a positive attitude. To work well in small teams and have a genuine interest in wildlife science/research.

Living expenses and food will be covered for the period. Research assistants will be responsible for their own travel to Exmouth, WA.

If you are interested in being an assistant, please provide a short CV (including referees) and a cover letter to the attention of Dr Kate Sprogis, k.sprogis at murdoch.edu.au<mailto:k.sprogis at murdoch.edu.au>

Kate Sprogis PhD
Cetacean Research Unit | School of Veterinary and Life Sciences,
Murdoch University, 90 South St, Murdoch WA 6150, Australia
k.sprogis at murdoch.edu.au<mailto:k.sprogis at murdoch.edu.au> | MUCRU Kate Sprogis<http://mucru.org/group-members/kate-sprogis> | <http://katesprogisphotography.com/> Kate Sprogis Photography<http://katesprogisphotography.com/>

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