[MARMAM] Allied Whale and BHWW Co. Research Assistant Positions: 2018 Field Season

Tanya Lubansky tlubansky at coa.edu
Sun Jan 21 16:55:59 PST 2018

Allied Whale, the marine mammal research lab of College of the Atlantic,
and Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co. seek five interns/research assistants for
the 2018 field season. These are entry-level research positions designed to
offer experience for individuals seeking to develop their professional
careers in marine mammal research. Two summer positions (May *through* August
31st) and three full season positions (May *through* October 31st) are

*Overview of position*: This is a unique internship program in that the
selected individuals will have the opportunity to participate and receive
training in a wide range of marine mammal research activities while
receiving income when working as a crew/scientist aboard commercial whale
watching trips operating from Bar Harbor, Maine. Allied Whale currently
supports field projects in the behavioral ecology and distributions of
humpback and fin whales, the ongoing housing and maintenance of the North
Atlantic humpback and fin whale photo ID catalogs, an active stranding
response program, and a research and education partnership with Bar Harbor
Whale Watch Co. In addition, Allied Whale maintains the facilities on and
conducts research from Mount Desert Rock, a remote offshore island. The
interns play a critical role in the success of the field season and serve
as support to all aspects of summer activities within both Allied Whale and
the BHWW Co..

*Description of duties*: Upon arrival in May, all interns will receive
research, boat crew, and Gulf of Maine natural history training by both
Allied Whale and the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company staff. Once the season
is in swing, interns will independently rotate through time “onshore” in
Bar Harbor and “offshore” at our island field station at Mount Desert Rock.

*Bar Harbor*: While in Bar Harbor, interns will rotate through shifts
working as a Research Assistant/Deckhand for the Bar Harbor Whale Watch
Co., being on call for field days on our Allied Whale research vessels, or
assisting the Allied Whale strandings coordinator.

Research responsibilities on the whale watch trips include searching for
whales, photo-identification of whales and behavioral data collection.
Deckhand responsibilities include line handling, vessel cleaning, helping
seasick passengers and passenger safety. RAs are also responsible for
assisting the naturalist in promoting education and conservation programs
on each trip. Maintaining a positive, professional, friendly and outgoing
demeanor while engaging whale watch passengers and fellow crew is

While on board one of the AW research vessels, interns will be responsible
observing for marine mammals along transect lines, for computer data entry,
and for photo identification of whales. This season, they will also assist
in data recording for whale biopsy collections contributing to a stable
isotope project.

When not scheduled on a boat, interns may freely structure their time to
complete office work, develop independent projects, assist with stranding
activities......or explore Acadia National Park!

*Mount** Desert** Rock*: Interns will have multiple shifts (each at least a
week in length) at our offshore

research station Mount Desert Rock. While on the island, interns will
participate in land-based whale monitoring from the lighthouse tower (with
use of a theodolite), plankton tows, oceanography data collection, seal
counts, gull counts, and maintenance/construction projects at the station.
They will also receive experience working in a remote off-the-grid

*Pay/Housing*: Those accepted to the program are able to earn income by
their work on the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company. Deckhands are paid $50 a
trip (at the height of summer, there are 2-3 trips running a day) plus
considerable tips. Interns also receive free First Aid Certification.
Provided housing in downtown Bar Harbor is mandatory for a fee. Rent will
be approximately $375 a month. While at Mount Desert Rock, food is provided
for free. The BHWW Co. also provides funding for RAs to attend the annual
North Atlantic Right Whale Conference in New Bedford, Massachusetts in

*Qualifications*: Applicants should have a college background in biology,
ecology, and/or marine sciences. Previous data collection experience in a
research setting and knowledge of marine mammals are great advantages.
Prior experience offshore or skills in photography are also assets. Due to
Coast Guard requirements, all crew onboard US commercial vessels and
therefore *all research assistant/interns, must be US citizens or have
permanent resident alien status.*  Also, all interns will be drug screened
prior to employment and will be enrolled in a random drug testing program.
Most importantly, applicants must be positive in attitude, flexible to
quickly changing schedules, able to work independently, and be
seaworthy/comfortable working on boats. Lastly, because of the community
living situation both in Bar Harbor and on Mount Desert Rock, applicants
must get along well with others and be able to handle working in a team

These positions begin in early May and applicants must be able to work
through the allotted time period.

*To apply*: Please send a cover letter detailing your reasons for applying,
a resume, and two letters of recommendation to: Dr. Tanya Lubansky (
tlubansky at coa.edu).

*Please specify which position you are interested in (summer or
full-season)*. Deadline of application is *February 20th*.


Tanya Lubansky, PhD
Research Associate
Allied Whale
Bar Harbor, ME
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