[MARMAM] Deadline Approaching: Volunteer Dolphin Research Assistants/Interns - Summer 2019 Florida, USA and Bimini, The Bahamas
Kel Melillo Sweeting
kmelillo at dolphincommunicationproject.org
Mon Feb 25 13:00:57 PST 2019
Dolphin Communication Project (DCP) - Volunteer Research Assistants/Interns
- Summer 2019
Florida, USA and Bimini, The Bahamas
The Dolphin Communication Project (DCP, www.dolphincommunicationproject.org)
is currently seeking two interns for the summer of 2019. These internships
have field and office components, both of which are mandatory, and total
10-12 weeks, depending on DCP's schedule.
DCP looks at how dolphins communicate and attempts to shed more light on
the meaning of their interactions. With research ongoing since 1991, our
questions focus primarily on communication and behavior among dolphins.
Interns will spend the field portion of this internship at our Bimini,
Bahamas research site, where we study wild Atlantic spotted and bottlenose
dolphins. An abbreviated publication list is available at the end of this
In the field:
--Travel to and assist for ~4 weeks at our Bimini research site (exact
dates TBD, see below)
--Assist gathering data (general observations, photographs) during 4-6
hour/day boat excursions (weather and schedule dependent)
--Complete photo-identification of dolphins from still photography and
video as well as other data entry and analysis tasks
--Assist with on-board and outreach education as well as web-based projects
--Represent DCP in an enthusiastic, responsible, mature and respectful
At the office:
--Travel to and assist for approximately 6 - 8 weeks at our Port Saint
Lucie, Florida (FL) office (exact dates TBD, see below)
--Process and analyze data, including, but not limited to:
photo-identification of individuals from other DCP research sites, event
sampling from video data for behavioral analyses, and acoustic analysis of
--Assist in the development and implementation of education programs for
schools and the general public, if needed
Approximate Schedule: (all portions required)
Florida Office: 20 or 28 May - 7 June
Bimini Field Site: 10 June - 10 July
Florida Office: 15 July - 2 or 9 August
Successful interns must have functional computer skills and working
knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Current enrollment in a
degree-seeking program, background in science and/or animal behavior and
experience on boats and/or with photo-identification are all desired, but
not necessarily required. The successful candidates will be comfortable on
a boat for several hours at a time in varying conditions, including extreme
heat. They will also be proficient swimmers with the desire to improve
snorkeling and free-diving skills. They will be able to work as a team both
in a small office and in a fairly remote and isolated field setting. Good
writing and public speaking skills are a must, as is attention to details.
Interns must be at least 21 years of age. Although international applicants
are invited to apply, all applicants should know that interns are
responsible for their own daily transportation to/from the FL office and
public transportation is limited in this area; therefore, all interns
should have their own transportation while in FL.
Expenses and Compensation
This is an unpaid internship. Interns are responsible for their own
transportation to Bimini and Florida. There is a $1,100.00 fee that will
cover housing in the field (on-island transportation not needed). Room,
board and transportation while in Florida are the responsibility of the
intern. Although assistance in finding housing may be available, the
ability to find suitable housing in Florida is ultimately the interns’
responsibility. We recommend all applicants complete a preliminary housing
search in advance of submitting their applications.
Interested applicants should review information at this link:
Please read this page thoroughly before applying or emailing questions.
Send a completed application (downloadable and detailed at the link above)
to kelly at dcpmail.org. Applications are due 1 March 2019. Extensions, until
8 March, for letters of recommendation may be granted if requested by 1
March with otherwise complete application. Due to field schedules, only
electronic applications will be accepted. Interviews (via telephone or
Skype) will be arranged for selected candidates in early March.
For more information, please contact Kelly Melillo Sweeting at
kelly at dcpmail.org.
Selected Refereed Publications:
(for a full list of publications by DCP researchers, please visit:
Dudzinski, K.M., Clark, C.W., Würsig, B. 1995. A mobile video/acoustic
system for simultaneously recording dolphin behavior and vocalizations
underwater. Aquatic Mammals 21(3): 187-193.
Dudzinski, K.M. 1998. Contact behavior and signal exchange among Atlantic
spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis). Aquatic Mammals 24(3): 129-142.
Dudzinski, K.M., M. Sakai, M., Masaki, K., Kogi, K., Hishii, T., Kurimoto,
M. 2003. Behavioral observations of adult and sub-adult dolphins towards
two dead bottlenose dolphins (one female and one male). Aquatic Mammals
Gregg, J.D., Dudzinski, K.M., Smith, H.V. 2007. Do dolphins eavesdrop on
the echolocation signals of conspecifics? International Journal of
Comparative Psychology, 20: 65-88
Dudzinski, K.M., Thomas, J. Gregg, J.D. 2008. Communication. In (W.F.
Perrin, B. Würsig, H.C.M. Thewissen, eds) Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals,
second edition. Academic Press, Inc.
Melillo, K.E., Dudzinski, K.M., Cornick, L.A. 2009. Interactions between
Atlantic spotted (Stenella frontalis) and bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus)
dolphins off Bimini, The Bahamas, 2003-2007. Aquatic Mammals, 35:281-291
Dudzinski, K.M., Gregg, J.D., Paulos, R.D., Kuczaj, S.A. 2010. A comparison
of pectoral fin contact behaviour for three distinct dolphin populations.
Behavioural Processes, 84: 559-567.
Greene, W., Melillo-Sweeting, K., Dudzinski, K. 2011. Comparing object play
in captive and wild dolphins. International Journal of Comparative
Dudzinski, KM, Gregg, JD, Melillo-Sweeting, K, Levengood, A, Seay, B.,
Kuczaj II, SA. 2012. Tactile contact exchanges between dolphins:
self-rubbing versus inter-individual contact in three species from three
geographies. International Journal of Comparative Psychology 25:21-43.
Dudzinski, KM, Danaher-Garcia, N, Gregg, JD. 2013. Pectoral fin contact
dyads at Zoo Duisburg, with comparison to other dolphin study populations.
Mammals. 39(4): 335-343.
Melillo-Sweeting, K, Turnbull, S and Guttridge, T. 2014. Evidence of shark
Atlantic spotted (Stenella frontalis) and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops
Bimini, The Bahamas. Marine Mammal Science. DOI: 10.1111/mms.12082
Melillo-Sweeting, K, Yeater, D, Dudzinski, KM. 2015. Dolphin sightings near
the coast of Bimini, The Bahamas, 2003 – 2013. Aquatic Mammals 41.3:
245-251. DOI: 10.1578/AM.41.3.2015.245.
Kaplan, JD, Melillo-Sweeting, K, Reiss, D. 2017. Biphonal calls in Atlantic
spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis): bitonal and burst-pulse whistles.
Kelly Melillo Sweeting
Research Associate & Bimini Research Manager
Dolphin Communication Project
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