[MARMAM] Cetacean Photo-identification Volunteer Position in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand

Krista Rankmore krista.rankmore at gmail.com
Thu Jun 8 13:17:50 PDT 2017

Cetacean Photo-identification Volunteer Position in the Hauraki Gulf, New

A volunteer is required to assist with an ongoing study investigating the
site fidelity cetaceans in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand. This project is
part of the ongoing research for the Hauraki Gulf Cetacean Project under
the Coastal-Marine Research Group (C-MRG) at Massey University Albany,


While the field season runs year round, currently volunteers are needed
from September 2017 – January 2018. A minimum commitment of three months is
required and priority will be given to those who can commit for longer

LOCATION: Auckland, New Zealand


The volunteer position involves conducting field surveys, primarily
collecting photo identification on common dolphins, Bryde’s whales,
bottlenose dolphins and killer whales. The successful applicant will gain
valuable experience in conducting marine mammal field research, identifying
individuals based on dorsal fin characteristics, and the use of databases
for archiving field data.

Field work is physically and at times mentally demanding but it is a great
opportunity to gain knowledge in visual cetacean surveying, to get hands-on
field experience in relation to survey techniques, photo-identification,
behavioural observations, and improve practical skills (data analysis,

Fieldwork is weather dependent and can vary between weekdays and weekends.
Surveys will be conducted from a 20m whale and dolphin watching vessel.


. Assisting with boat-based photo-identification surveys from a local whale
and dolphin watching vessel collecting environmental, location, and
behavioural data.

. Subsequent data entry and archiving of photo-identification information.

As this is a volunteer position, there is unfortunately no monetary
compensation or living provisions. The successful candidate should arrange
their own accommodation in Auckland, living expenses, travel costs and


. Be reliable, adaptable, hardworking and patient as fieldwork is highly
weather dependent. This means time off during bad weather and long
consecutive days in the field when weather permits.

. Have a mature and independent attitude towards marine mammal research

. Be able to work independently

. Speak fluent English

. Be sociable, enthusiastic and have a positive attitude

. Strong interest in the marine environment and conservation

. Participants should be comfortable working on boats


. The project is well suited to upper level undergrads, recent graduates
and graduate students who have some background in biology, marine biology,
ecology, zoology or related fields

. Basic computer proficiency in MS Office (especially Excel)

Preferred qualifications but not required:

. Field research including photo-identification experience

. Previous experience in survey techniques and especially in marine mammal

. Prior experience working on research vessels


Applicants should send a short email to K.Hupman at massey.ac.nz, using
“photo-identification position” as the subject line. The email should
include an outline of why you would like to work on this project, the dates
when you are available to assist on the project, your qualifications and
relevant experience. Please also attach a brief CV including at least one
reference acknowledging your relevant experience.

Early application is recommended as applications will be examined in order
of reception.

All the best,



*Research Associate*

*Krista Hupman, PhD*

*Coastal-Marine Research Group*

*Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences*

*Massey University*

*Private Bag 102 904*

*Auckland, New Zealand*

*Tel:      +64 (0)220 256 290*

*Email:   k.hupman at massey.ac.nz <k.hupman at massey.ac.nz>*

*Web:    **http://cmrg.massey.ac.nz/*
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