[MARMAM] Bottlenose Dolphin - Atlantic Spotted Dolphin Project Research In Venezuela. Interns and Volunteer Program 2019 (Sergio Cobarrubia-Russo).

Sergio Cobarrubia sergio.cobarrubia at gmail.com
Tue Aug 13 07:31:15 PDT 2019

Laboratory of Ecosystems and Global Change (LEGC-IVIC) and Provita.

The Laboratory of Ecosystems and Global Change (LEGC) of the
Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research (IVIC, www.ivic.gob.ve) invites
the first season of internships-volunteering (2019) in the study of coastal
dolphins. LEGC is a scientific team that among its research lines on the
fauna of coastal and riparian ecosystems, it has established the first one
on aquatic mammals in Venezuela. On the other hand, Provita is an important
NGO that contributes to the research and conservation in Venezuela.

This research will begin with a project focused on sociobiology
(social structure, social networks and bioacoustics) of resident groups of
the coastal bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the Atlantic
spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis) in the central coast of Venezuela.
This, after an experience of 5 years in that locality studying ecological
aspects of T. truncatus (https://doi.org/10.1007/s13364-018-0401-1). The
coast of Aragua not only houses these species, but also the Bryde's whale
(Balaenoptera edeni), the common dolphin (Delphinus sp.) and the spinner
dolphin (Stenella longirostris). Of which basic information is collected

LEGC interns and volunteers are young, hard-working who are willing
to contribute to research by learning as they experience fieldwork in
teams, field techniques for collecting and processing data and
methodologies. All team members and interns share academic space, housing
in the Institute, housework in the study area, knowledge and experience in
a friendly and multicultural environment.

The internship consists of three weeks: The first week
of theoretical-practical introduction (24 theoretical hours and 16
practicals hours) at the IVIC Ecology Center (
www.ivic.gob.ve/es/investigacion-3/centros-31/ecologia-316). The second
week of seven field surveys for data collection (42 h) on the Cata Bay
(Aragua state) and the third week for data processing and analysis at the
IVIC Ecology Center (40 h). The volunteering consist of the second and
third weeks.

Theory: LEGC, Center of Ecology (IVIC) Miranda State, Caracas (10 23 N -
66 58 W).

Practice: Cata Bay, western coast of the (rain forest) National Park
Henry Pittier, Aragua state (central coast of Venezuela) 150 km from
Caracas (DC) (10 29 N - 67 44 W).

PROGRAM: Interns (Three weeks), Volunteers (Two weeks).

1st WEEK (LEGC-Ecology Center, 40 hours. For Interns).
- Monday: What is a cetacean? The cetaceans and the human in
history. Origin, evolution and diversity. Adaptations for aquatic life:
Anatomy and Physiology. Life histories. Biogeography Distribution. Ecology
Behavior. Conservation.
- Tuesday: Identification of species reported for Venezuela.
Basic logistics for the study of cetaceans on the mainland, sea and air.
Basic equipment to collect information.
- Wednesday: How to detect cetaceans and record an effective
sighting? Basic data to collect during a sighting, calibration and use of
GPS. Configuration and use of the SLR cameras. Download of sightings (GIS).
Download pictures and selection (software).
- Thursday: Daily encounter ratio. Photo-identification as a tool
for ecological and behavioral studies. Estimates of abundance.
Local distribution and areas of action.
- Friday: Residential patterns. Behavior (deployments, states,
daily budget). Habitat use. Social structure and social networks.
Saturday: Break.
Sunday: Transfer to the Cata Bay.

2nd WEEK (Cata Bay-Provita, 42 hours. For Interns and Volunteers). The
field surveys will be carried out in a fishing vessel of 9 m in length by 2
of beam. The field work will depend on the climatic conditions, however,
the Aragua coast offers few climatic inconveniences throughout
the year. There will be 7 mornings of field surveys in the week, after each
survey is lunch, rest and then proceed to download the data of sightings
and then interpret them preliminarily and discuss them.

In the field surveys, it will be implemented:
- The identification and recognition of the elements of the marine
landscape and the method of tracking and detection of cetaceans.
- Ethical navigation mode to study cetaceans.
- The basic data collection / sighting.
- Use of GPS.
- Use of SRL camera.
- Counting of individuals and composition of a group.
- Identification of the behavioral states that configure group behavior and
its recording.
- Use of hydrophone.
In the afternoon the information of the sightings will be downloaded:
- Sighting forms.
- Latitude and longitude.
- Photographs and their selection.
- Voice recordings (behavior).
- Recordings of vocalizations.

3rd WEEK (LEGC-Ecology Center, 40 hours. For Interns and volunteers).

Accomodation (IVIC students residence and apartment in Cata Bay), food and
transport (airport-IVIC-Cata Bay-IVIC-airport) are paid. The cost of
internships and volunteers is US $ 690 for the compensation of logistical
expenses of the field surveys. For more information, please
contact:sergio.cobarrubia at gmail.com. *Ask all your questions, especially to
mitigate your concerns regarding Venezuela. Since our nation is the object
of an intense media campaign where opinion matrices project false dystopian

During the year there will be 6 internships-volunteering
sessions (February, April, June, August, October, November). For interns,
second, third and fourth week of the months scheduled. For volunteers,
third and fourth week of the scheduled months.

4 people / session.

Not included in the rate:
- Meals in restaurants
- Free time activities
- Personal insurance (all participants must have health and / or travel
- Personal expenses.

- Being over 18 years
- Iterns: Preference will be given to undergraduate students and
professional students (biology, marine biology, environmental, conservation
and plus).
- Volunteer: No preferences.
- Have a mature attitude towards the investigation of marine mammals and
- Be autonomous and flexible
- To be able to live and work in an international team and mainly outdoors
in the sea
- Speak Spanish, English or Portuguese.

The LEGC will certify the work performed by intern or volunteer through a
diploma with the recognition of the hours (academic-practical) worked.

Applicants must write to sergio.cobarrubia at gmail.com with the subject

You will be sent a confirmation email with all the details about the
study area and the species present, the practices and requesting your CV
resume, motivation letter (small statement about what your expectations are
and why you want to work with LEGC) and the internship month of your choice.

Applications will be accepted throughout the year, however,
early application is recommended due to limited vacancies.

PLUS: The possibility of making a second expedition to the sea is open, but
for Chichiriviche de la Costa, there is the logistics to study two oceanic
species of dolphins such as the spinner dolphin and pilot whale (usually,
other species are sighted even shark whale). This second expedition would
consist of 5 field surveys to a pelagic zone where the same techniques
would be applied. The costs of this logistics are US $ 650.

*Sergio Enrique Cobarrubia Russo*
Laboratorio de Ecosistemas y Cambio Global
Centro de Ecología
Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas
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