[MARMAM] Leopard Seal Research Volunteer Position, Auckland, New Zealand

Krista Hupman Krista.Hupman at niwa.co.nz
Thu Aug 20 16:54:37 PDT 2020


Leopard Seal Research Volunteer Position, Auckland, New Zealand

A volunteer is required to assist with ongoing research into the occurrence, residency and movement of leopard seals in the greater Auckland region. The role will involve both field-based and desktop research.

This study is part of an ongoing research project for the Marine Megafauna Group at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research and is being undertaken in collaboration with LeopardSeals.Org.

DETAILS OF ROLE:
This role involves:
1) Observations of leopard seals within the greater Auckland region, including but not limited to the collection of photo-identification, scats and behavioural information.
2) Monitoring and collecting data from trail cameras in Auckland.
3) Liaison with various stakeholders (e.g., Iwi), agencies and organisations where leopard seals reside (e.g., marinas), government departments (e.g., Department of Conservation & Ministry of Primary Industries) and members of the public where required.
4) Assistance with data entry into the New Zealand Leopard Seal Database (i.e., into Microsoft Word and Excel software)
5) Assistance with various other leopard seal research projects throughout New Zealand as and when required (e.g., archiving samples, literature reviews, cross referencing data, extracting data from databases and from published literature).


FIELD-BASED RESEARCH DETAILS
With respect to (1) above, a 'typical' leopard seal call-out may come on any day of the week and the successful applicant would be required to attend the sighting as soon as possible. The applicant will receive training in the collection of photo-identification, scats and behavioural observations. The successful applicant will be issued with the appropriate materials to complete this field work (i.e., SLR camera, scat collection kit & data collection sheets).

With respect to (2) above, the successful applicant would be expected to retrieve data from trail camera(s) once every two weeks, on a pre-determined schedule. During data retrieval visits they would also be expected to change the camera batteries. This task is required to be completed independent of the weather (but within safe operating conditions). Following data retrieval, the successful applicant would be required to upload the collected data to a cloud storage. The successful applicant will receive training in the operation of trail cameras and be supplied with any materials required for trail camera maintenance (i.e. batteries).

APPLICANTS:
We understand that due to COVID-19 restrictions this project will only be applicable to those residing in New Zealand. The applicant will be required to have suitable and reliable transport, be based in the greater Auckland region and have a flexible schedule allowing them to attend leopard seal sightings when they occur.

DATES:
September 2020 - February 2021.

A minimum commitment of three months is required, and priority will be given to those who can commit to longer periods. During these months the volunteer should be available to respond to leopard seal callouts at short notice, including on weekends. The non-field work hours can be flexible to accommodate part-time work, although applicants who are available on a full-time basis (i.e. 38 hours per week), will be given priority.

LOCATION:
Auckland, New Zealand

LOGISTICS:
As this is a volunteer position, there is no monetary compensation or living provisions provided. The successful applicant will be expected to arrange their own accommodation, living expenses, travel and costs.

QUALIFICATIONS:
The project is well suited to upper level undergraduates, recent graduates and graduate students who have some background in biology, marine biology, ecology, zoology or related fields. The successful applicant will be trustworthy, willing to work with a well-established team but also be able to work without direct supervision.

We are seeking a well-rounded applicant who is dedicated and enjoys a mix of both field and desktop research, however, should an applicant be particularly strong in one aspect, we may consider splitting the position into two.

APPLICATION PROCESS:
Email your CV to krista.hupman at niwa.co.nz<mailto:krista.hupman at niwa.co.nz> and outline why you would like to work on this project,  your availability, qualifications and relevant experience.



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Dr Krista Hupman
Cetacean Biologist/Ecologist

+64-4-386-0527 |
National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA)
301 Evans Bay Parade Hataitai Wellington New Zealand
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