[MARMAM] Dolphin Research Intership-Volunteer in Venezuela (Sergio Cobarrubia-Russo)

Sergio Cobarrubia sergio.cobarrubia at gmail.com
Fri Jan 4 09:56:11 PST 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) 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 of species 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 too.

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 two weeks. The first week of
theoretical-practical preparation (24 theoretical hours and 16 practicals
hours) at the IVIC Ecology Center. The second week of five field surveys
and data management (40 h) on the Aragua coast. The volunteering consist of
one week of field surveys.


Theory: LEGC, Center of Ecology (IVIC) Miranda State, Caracas (10° 23' N
66° 58' W, http://www.ivic.gob.ve/es/).

Practice: Bahía de Cata, 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 (Two weeks) – Volunteers (One or two weeks, depends on the
interest of the volunteer).

1st WEEK (LEGC-Ecology Center, 40 hours. For Interns).

2nd WEEK (Bahía de Cata-Provita, 40 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

There will be 5 morning 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 before cetaceans for study.

- The basic data collection / sighting.

- Use of GPS.

- Use of the camera.

- Counting of total individuals and by age group.

- Identification of the behavioral states that configure group behavior and
its recording.

- Use of the 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.

The data obtained in the sea will be processed and discuted. In parallel,
the Interns should write a proposal for the study of coastal cetaceans.

PRACTICAL FEES: Although accommodation and food (lunch and dinner) are
covered in the first week for Interns, the field surveys requires a
monetary contribution that will be used to exclusively compensate the
logistics costs in the study area. The cost is below half average of
interships and volunteering since the dollar or euro are highly overvalued.
For more information, please contact: sergio.cobarrubia at gmail.com.

WHEN: During the year there will be 6 internships-volunteering (February,
April, June, August, October, December). For Interns, two last weeks of the
months scheduled. For Interns, last week of the scheduled months. Only in
December will it be for the firs two weeks.

VACANTS: 4 people / internship or volunteerng.

Included in the rate is:

- Accommodation in the Bahía de Cata (Aragua).

- Transportation Simón Bolívar International Airport-IVIC / IVIC-Bahía de

- Meals in Bahía de Cata (breakfast, lunch and dinner)

- Field work in the sea.

Not included in the rate is:

- 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, Portuguese or Italian.

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

APPLICATION AND QUESTIONS: Applicants must write to
sergio.cobarrubia at gmail.com with the subject "DOLPHINS PROJECT_Name".

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

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