[MARMAM] Marine Fauna Volunteer Position, New Zealand

Krista Rankmore krista.rankmore at gmail.com
Wed Oct 18 20:02:17 PDT 2017

*Marine Fauna Volunteer Position, New Zealand*

A volunteer is required to assist with an ongoing study investigating the
site fidelity and movement of marine fauna in New Zealand. There are three
components to this study: 1) fieldwork conducting cetacean
photo-identification, 2) laboratory work conducting necropsys on marine
turtles, 3) desktop research including data entry and photo-identification
of leopard seals. 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, Auckland and for the Marine Megafauna Group
at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Wellington.


While the field season runs year-round, currently volunteers are needed
from November 2017 – April 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

*Component 1: Fieldwork conducting cetacean photo-identification *

The fieldwork component 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.

*Component 2: Laboratory work conducting necropsys on green turtles*

The laboratory component involves examining the biology of marine turtles
in New Zealand. Duties include assisting with marine turtle necropsies and
general laboratory work as required. Laboratory work focuses primarily on
the handling and sampling of marine turtle tissue and diet samples.

*Component 3: Desktop based research conducting leopard seal

The desktop component involves data entry and sorting photographs to be
added into to the New Zealand Leopard seal catalogue.


Component 1: 20%

Component 2: 40%

Component 3: 40%

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 desktop based research during bad weather and
possibly long days in the field when weather permits

. Be flexible to the requirements of a multidisciplinary program involving
three different research projects

. Have a mature and independent attitude towards marine fauna 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

. Laboratory experience conducting necropsys


Applicants should send a short email to krista.hupman at niwa.co.nz, using
“Marine Fauna volunteer 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,


Dr. Krista Hupman

Cetacean Biologist

National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research

Tel:      +64 (0)220 256 290

Email:   krista.hupman at niwa.co.nz
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