[MARMAM] Marine Mammal Monitoring Project Volunteer Internship Opportunities - Sea Watch Foundation

Chiara Giulia chiara.giulia.bertulli at seawatchfoundation.org.uk
Fri Nov 23 07:35:25 PST 2018

The Sea Watch Foundation <http://www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/>, a 
non-profit organisation dedicated to marine research, conservation, and 
public education is seeking applications for the following:


*Sea Watch Foundation Research Internship*

Interns are invited to assist the Sea Watch Foundation (SWF) with the 
running of the “Cardigan Bay Monitoring Project”. The project is based 
in New Quay, West Wales, and supports the conservation management of the 
bottlenose dolphin, harbour porpoise and grey seal populations of 
Cardigan Bay, monitoring their abundance, distribution, reproductive 
success and population structure using a combination of vessel-based and 
land-based surveys. SWF has been monitoring these populations on behalf 
of the Welsh government (through funding provided by Natural Resources 
Wales) for over a decade. Cardigan Bay contains Britain’s largest 
coastal population of bottlenose dolphins, for which two Special Areas 
of Conservation have been established under the EU Habitats Directive.

Interns will help the Cardigan Bay Monitoring Officer and the Sightings 
Officer by taking part in the following tasks:

•Land-based surveys

•Boat-based surveys

•Photo-identification matching

•Data entry

•Raising public awareness

•Education initiatives and events

•Assisting with and participation in training courses and other needs of 
the charity.

In addition to these tasks, we have some specialist equipment, two 
hydrophones and a drone, to opportunistically collect acoustic and 
aerial data during boat-based surveys. Sea Watch have also been 
contributing to a project to collect dolphin blow samples for population 
genetics and microbiome analyses. Interns interested in these subjects 
may also have the opportunity to assist in data collection for these 

Interns are required from early April until the end of October 2019. The 
research season is split into four separate periods, each lasting 7 
weeks. The research periods for the 2019 season are:

Period 1: April 8 - May 26

Period 2: May 27 - July 14

Period 3: July 15 - September 1

Period 4:September 2 - October 20

Interns are expected to arrive on the first day of their chosen period 
and depart on the first day of the next period. Start and end dates are 
not flexible.

Preference will be given to those applying for more than one period.

Interns will be based in New Quay, Ceredigion, West Wales. Accommodation 
is provided by a private landlord through rental of a house that interns 
share at a rate of around £73 per person per week. Rooms are shared 
between two or three people, with a total of nine people in the house at 
any given time. Interns are responsible for their own travel, 
accommodation and living expenses, but it is generally quite easy to 
obtain part-time paid work in the area if required.

_Important skills/qualifications_


•an ability to work independently in a meticulous and reliable manner

•strong commitment to volunteering work

•willingness to work long hours outdoors in often changeable Welsh weather

•good IT skills (Office package)

•an ability to get on well with others in a small team and in shared 



•a strong interest and knowledge of British cetaceans

•a background in marine biology/environmental science or similar

•prior experience in boat-based survey work

•good verbal and written communication skills and in public speaking

•experience in interacting with the public

All interns will be trained in cetacean observation and identification, 
in boat survey protocols, and photo-identification of bottlenose dolphins.

Normal office hours are from 10:00 to 17:00 hrs but field work regularly 
falls outside these hours, particularly land-based watches which take 
place throughout the day in two hour shifts from 07:00 to 21:00. Interns 
will sometimes be scheduled onto ‘early’ and ‘late’ shifts to 
accommodate these. Line transect surveys are all day surveys and will 
typically start in the early morning hours and run for at least 8 hours.

Prospective interns should be aware that they will be contributing to 
ongoing, established research projects that routinely inform government 
agencies on the status of cetaceans in the UK, and accordingly are 
expected to take the internship seriously and prioritise it over 
extra-curricular activities. Working in a small NGO environment in a 
tight knit team can be a challenging experience and requires a high 
degree of flexibility, tolerance and a positive attitude. After initial 
training, interns will often be expected to work in the absence of 
direct supervision so the ability to work independently and maintain a 
positive, proactive outlook is essential.

Internships with Sea Watch have frequently led to established posts in 
national and international research and conservation bodies, as well as 
providing a stepping stone for students to undertake doctoral studies in 
marine mammal science.

International applications are welcome, but it is the applicant’s 
responsibility to ensure visa requirements are met and we ask applicants 
to highlight their chosen visa option in their application.

*Potential funding sources to support your internship with Sea Watch*

SWF is aware that undertaking unpaid work can be challenging, however, 
as a small charity we are currently not able to offer compensation for 
internships. There are some outside funding bodies that may be able to 
help you fund your internship. If you are accepted for an internship, we 
are happy to provide letters to support your funding application.

If you are a current student or recent graduate it is worth checking 
whether your university offers financial support for students 
undertaking field work related to their degree subject.

This site offers a comprehensive list of potential grants to apply for:


If you are interested in this position, please contact Katrin on 
*katrin.lohrengel at seawatchfoundation.org.uk* with a completed 
application form and CV.

Dr Chiara Giulia Bertulli
Sightings Officer

Sea Watch Foundation
+44 (0) 1545 561227


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