[MARMAM] Humpback Whale and Sea Turtle Research Internship Opportunity in TCI

Lindsey Stadler lindstadler at gmail.com
Sun Jan 15 07:33:55 PST 2017

Humpback Whale and Sea Turtle Research In TCI!

Humpback Whale Field Intensive Program in Turks and Caicos with the Marine
and Coastal Ecology Research Center (MCERC) (and turtle ecology too!)

MCERC is partering with Salt Cay Divers <http://www.saltcaydivers.tc/> for
week-long sessions available between January 03- the end of March, 2017.
Each week is limited to 4 spots and may be used as internship experience
(for those desiring to use this opportunity as a CV builder). There is the
likelihood of snorkeling with Humpback Whales (*Megaptera novaeangliae*)
during each session as we evaluate the in-water program in the local whale
watching industry.

We are inviting people to join us for our research program where we are
initiating a multi-year study of Humpback Whales (*Megaptera novaeangliae*)
and the tourism industry, collect images for photo-ID to contribute to the
North Atlantic Humpback Whale Catalog, and examine other questions related
to seasonal occurrence patterns. The program will be incorporated into the
snorkeling and boat whale watching programs to study the impact of a
growing industry.

Participants in the program sessions will be collecting data under the
guidance of a team of four research assistants. The sessions are Saturday
through Saturday on Salt Cay, Turks and Caicos (TCI). Saturday and Sunday
are free days to take advantage of activities available on Salt Cay,
including diving, snorkeling, swimming, and beach walking on this beautiful
island. Monday through Friday we will be on the water for whale watching
trips with Salt Cay Divers, and snorkeling with Humpback Whales (when
weather and the behavior of whales permits) while we collect data to answer
specific questions. You will be an active part of the team collecting
behavioral data, acoustic data of singing Humpback Whales, and locating
groups of whales using directional hydrophones. This project is supporting
the newly developing regulations for TCI’s Department of Environment and
Maritime Affairs (DEMA). We will be collecting data on all cetacean species
off TCI during boat trips.

Each day we will conduct roundtable discussions over peer reviewed
publications. We will learn Humpback Whale ecology and evolutionary
biology, incorporating policy, law, and conservation into the discussions.
You will be instructed in software programs related to acoustic data
analysis and matching fluke patterns. We will also collect data on other
cetaceans off TCI, creating catalogs from our images and images shared by
the local businesses. We will include free diving, snorkeling, and beach
walks aimed at collecting data for DEMA’s long term turtle ecology study,
effectively extending their research to the smaller islands. Participants
will be attending the open discussions for TCI’s residents and tourists
aimed at offering education outreach programs in support of local

The cost of this program is $900USD/week and covers three meals a day, a
place to sleep, boat excursions Monday through Friday, and the field
intensive curriculum. Bring your own snorkel gear for Saturday and Sunday
or rent from Salt Cay Divers to take full advantage of your time on the
island. The program fee does not include travel to and from Salt Cay, TCI.

For more details go to http://education.marine-eco.org.  To register,
request passcodes to the Education Hub by emailing nicole at marine-eco.org.

There is no application process, and spots will be filled on a first-come,
first served basis.

We are excited to be expanding our humpback whale research conducted off
Puerto Rico, to the Turks and Caicos Islands.

We would love to have you join us!
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