Davide Ascheri davide.ascheri at gmail.com
Sun Oct 7 12:16:15 PDT 2018


*The project*

The dolphins research project “Delfini del Ponente” is the first project
focused on monitoring bottlenose dolphins in the Western Ligurian Sea. Due
to the morphology of the seafloor, this area is not a usual habitat for
this species and historically, sightings have a been more rare and sporadic
than in the Levantine side of the region. The continental shelf is, in
fact, very short and high depths (around 2000 m) are reached quite close to
the shore making the area suitable for other cetacean species but not for
bottlenose dolphins, which tend to remain in waters with depth not
exceeding 200 m.

Despite this knowledge of the range of the species, an interesting change
has been noted in recent years in the area. Reports of bottlenose dolphins
by boats, fishermen and whale watching vessels are almost tripled compared
to previous seasons. Therefore, the project aims to monitor bottlenose
dolphins in the region to understand the extent of this change and what
drove it. It is structured on an annual basis, in order to obtain data not
only on the distribution during the summer, but also changes during the
different seasons.

*WHERE:* Imperia, Italy

*WHEN:* 1 November – 30 November

Minimum required: *30 days*

Number of interns per month: *2*

*Programme**:* Interns are invited to assist the biologists of Costa
Balenae in different activities of the research project on bottlenose

·  Boat-based surveys (10-12 per month)

·  Collect data on species, group size, interaction with boats..

·  Take pictures to photo-identification

·  Photo-id matching/classwork

·  Data entry

·  Opportunistic surveys

·  land base surveys

This is a great opportunity to get involved in cetacean research, enjoy
marine biodiversity while gaining fieldwork experience, travelling and
exploring the beautiful Liguria region while supporting
cetacean research and conservation.

Fieldwork will be made in coastal waters (Western Ligurian Sea). Surveys
will be conducted onboard dedicated vessels (5-6 m inflatable boat) 10-12
times per month.  Training will focus on collecting photo for photo-ID
purposes, environmental, geographical (GPS) and dolphins' behavioural data.
Fieldwork will help participants gaining first-hand experience in
collecting data on free-ranging cetaceans and improve skills on cetaceans
boat-based surveys as well as on the use of the photo-ID technique. Surveys
are weather dependent and they can change during the period.

Interns will be involved 5 days a week, 6-8 hours/day (depending on
fieldwork or labwork)
During free time, interns will have the opportunity to experience all sorts
of activities: swimming, diving, hiking, exploring historical sites, visit
museums, sailing.


·  Minimum age of 18

·  Prior experience in cetaceans or boat-based surveys is not required, but

·  Degree or on-going studies in biology, natural science, veterinary or
similar (preferred)

·  Strong motivation and interest in cetaceans and research

·  Speak, read and write in fluent English

·  Be adaptable as fieldwork is weather dependent

·  Be prepared to spend many hours on a small zodiac (5-6 m) and under the

·  Be sociable and willing as they are expected to live and work in an
international team

·  Boat driving licence or experience in handling small boats (preferred)

*Internship fee*

Delfini del Ponente is a self-funded research project, so participation in
this programme requires a tuition fee. Fee includes the accommodation in an
apartment in Imperia, tuition and all associated field costs during
the internship period (use of research vessel, training, use of equipment,
field trips). Transportation expenses to and from Imperia (Italy), own
insurances, and food costs during the stay are not included in the fee.

*Information about Costa Balenae*

Costa Balenae is a cooperative organization founded by a group of
biologists and naturalists with twenty years of experience in the fields of
scientific research, environmental education, territorial development and
sustainable tourism. The passion for nature, its conservation and the
development of commercial tourism activities that make knowledge, awareness
and sustainability a point of strong entrepreneurial imprinting are the
main characteristic of the cooperative.

*How to apply: *

Send your CV with a letter of interest (please indicate the preferred
period, date of arriving and departure) to *info at costabalenae.it
<info at costabalenae.it>* addressed to Davide Ascheri *no longer than the
15th of October.*

Successful applicants could be contacted for a skype interview.

For any further enquiry and detail, please send an email to
*info at costabalenae.it
<info at costabalenae.it>*

Davide Ascheri

Marine Biologist - Costa Balenae Whale and Nature Watching

*info at costabalenae.it <info at costabalenae.it>*
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