[MARMAM] Bottlenose dolphin - Atlantic spotted dolphin project research in Venezuela. Interns and volunteer program 2019

Sergio Cobarrubia sergio.cobarrubia at gmail.com
Thu Oct 17 12:20:18 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) 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
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 three weeks: The first week of
theoretical-practical preparation (24 theoretical hours and 16 practicals
hours) at the IVIC Ecology Center. The second week of seven field surveys
for data collection (42 h) on the Cata Bay (Aragua state) and the third
week for data storage 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. http://www.ivic.gob.ve/es/).

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.

- 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. Bioacoustics.

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

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).

PRACTICAL FEES: Accommodation, food and transport (airport-IVIC-Cata
Bay-IVIC-airport) are paid. The cost of internships and volunteers is US $
690 for the exclusive compensation of logistical expenses of the field
surveys. For more information, please contact:
sergio.cobarrubia at gmail.com. Especially
it has to do with any doubt about the false dystopian scenarios of the
"anti-Venezuela" campaign that seek to prevent the development of
activities of this type among others. Ask all your questions.

WHEN: 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.

VACANTS: 4 people / internship or volunteerng.

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.

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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