[MARMAM] Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program Field Camp Volunteer Recruitment

Lizabeth Kashinsky lsk at hawaii.edu
Thu Nov 21 11:17:22 PST 2019


*Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program Field Camp Volunteer Recruitment*

The Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (JIMAR) works with
the NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center through a
cooperative agreement with the University of Hawaii to conduct research and
recovery activities on the Hawaiian monk seal population in the
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine
National Monument. JIMAR is currently seeking Field Camp Volunteer
applicants to assist paid program staff at five remote field sites. Field
teams work in groups of ~2-4 people at each site for ~4-5 months to study
endangered Hawaiian monk seals as part of a long-term annual population
monitoring and conservation program. Activities include conducting trend
counts, tagging seals, identifying individual seals by tags, scars, natural
markings, and applied bleach marks, monitoring reproduction, survival,
injuries, entanglements, migration, vaccinating against morbillivirus,
performing necropsies, collecting scat & spew samples for food habitat,
parasite load, and hormonal analysis, collecting tissue samples for DNA
analysis, and removing debris capable of entangling seals and other
wildlife. Behavior data are also collected at some sites. Researchers at
some sites may participate in shark mitigation activities. Approximately
five weeks of mandatory full-time (40 hours/week M-F) training and packing
in Honolulu will be required before deployment via NOAA ships to field
sites. Once deployed, all food and lodging costs are covered for the entire
duration. The position is physically challenging and living conditions are
rugged. Expect rustic conditions (the surrounding environment includes
numerous seabird colonies and sun exposure, living in tents, no
infrastructure, no running water, bathing in the ocean, no internet or cell
phone coverage, and limited communication with the outside world via
satellite phone/email, etc.). Some sites require extensive boating
operations.

Deployment to a remote field site is a serious undertaking. Delays in
scheduled pick-up and drop-off dates due to weather or ship mechanical
issues may occur, as well as long response times for emergencies, including
evacuation. Volunteers also assist program staff for up to a week or more
after the end of the season to unpack, clean, and inventory gear and
equipment. All other qualifications being equal, preference will be given
to applicants who live on Oʻahu so they can be incorporated into our
program as soon as possible to gain useful experience before the official
training begins.

See attached pdf for more information and instructions on how to apply.

For more information about our program, go to:
https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/species/hawaiian-monk-seal#science
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