[MARMAM] Atlantic Marine Conservation Society Internship Opportunity

Jennifer Lopez volunteers at amseas.org
Thu Jan 30 08:52:57 PST 2020

Good evening, MARMAM Community,

My name is Jennifer Lopez and I am the Volunteer Coordinator with the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society (AMCS). AMCS is a 501 © 3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting conservation of our marine environment through action. Some of our action items include data research, surveys and health assessments, involvement in the Specially Trained Animal Response Team (START), response to entangled and out of habitat animals, necropsies, beach monitoring, public outreach, and education.

I wanted to reach out to let you know that our organization is now accepting applications for our Spring and Summer 2020 internships. We offer internships in three different areas:

1) Conservation Research Program
Join our conservation efforts through a Conservation Research Internship. Conduct beach monitoring events including beach clean ups, cold stunned sea turtle monitoring, and seal surveys. Work with collected data to help bring a better understanding of Long Island’s marine habitat and the marine animals and marine debris and present within.

Specific projects include:

 1. Pinniped Population Documentation: Lead a seal watching cruise once per week throughout the length of the internship aboard the Peconic Star II. Educate the public on seals in our area, and photo document the population of grey seals that are observed during the cruise. Observations include weather recordings, animal numbers and behavior while at the site. Compare this data to other days of the week from fellow interns to determine if there is any predictability in residency or frequency of sightings. Interns will also review photographs taken during the winter seal cruises in Shinnecock Bay, identify any injured animals, and complete counts of the photographs taken. This will give a different perspective to seal observation work in comparison to the grey seals observed on the cruises they lead.

2. GIS/ Database Management: Develop database for storing stranding, survey and satellite tracking data. Map strandings real time for monthly stranding trend review, and keep the team up to date with real time stranding trends. Map satellite tagged animals and input data from tags into the database.

3. Wild Population Surveys: Work with biologists on data collected from aerial, land and boat based surveys. Maintain data entry for these trips, learn about conducting and leading each type of survey, and work with photographs collected from surveys to count animals and identify natural or human caused injuries.

4. Marine Debris Documentation: Lead two beach cleanup activities per week, one north shore beach one south shore beach. Educate the public on the harms of marine debris and data collection techniques. Record data from each site, compile at the end of internship to compare amount collected at each site and difference in items collected. Create marine debris content to be used on AMCS website and presented at educational opportunities.

Skills important to the internship are attention to detail, the ability to work individually or as a part of a team, and the ability to train and lead small groups for beach monitoring efforts.

Our objectives are to train students to successfully monitor the beaches of our local marine environment and collect data to help gain a better understanding of these individual landscapes and their properties. Students will also receive training in what to do in the case of marine mammal and sea turtle sightings and strandings. This internship will provide students with firsthand knowledge on the impacts of marine debris on our environment, will allow them to quantify and qualify the marine debris specific to individual beaches, and how to involve our communities in taking action to make a positive impact. Data collected will contribute to efforts in mitigation.

2) Education Program
Work with our Education Team to promote an informed community that is aware of our marine environment and its inhabitants, our human impact, and how to impact the environment in a positive way. Help us with our outreach efforts by conducting community beach clean ups, and education programs geared to a variety of ages through an Education Internship.

Skills required for this internship include the ability to communicate in writing and in public speaking, and a basic knowledge of environmental science.

Our objectives are to provide students with hands on education experience in a variety of outlets and audiences. Students will train to communicate with and teach local communities about our marine environment, the marine mammals and sea turtles inhabiting our waters, the anthropogenic threats that they face, and how we can work together to help create a healthier environment. Students will not only have the opportunity to grow in their ability to educate the public, but will also learn more about our ocean's need for conservation, and how to promote conservation as a part of this marine mammal and sea turtle stranding response team.

3) Field Response Program
Work with our Field Response Team to conduct stranding investigation efforts, including necropsies for the marine mammals and sea turtles that wash up on our shores through a Field Response Internship.

Specific Projects include:

1. Response to a specific species or taxa (i.e. Sea turtles, or more specifically Loggerhead sea turtles)
Complete all data collection required for those animals, and compile cause of mortality tables. Compare these results to the results from 2017 and 2018 to determine patterns or unusual findings.

2. Sea turtle stomach contents: Examine the stomach contents of sea turtles examined in 2017 and 2018 season, and categorize food items eaten, along with foreign items found.

3. Sample Inventory Maintenance: Maintain inventory of marine mammal and sea turtle samples collected during response. Research technology to assist with digitization of current inventory and implement procedures for real time entry into inventory system when samples are collected.

Skills this internship requires include the ability to work as a member of a team, participation in lecture-based training and some flexibility regarding some of the hands-on experiences like necropsy events, which do not have much notice due to the nature of these events.

Our Objectives for students include training as a part of the response team, growing in knowledge of marine mammal and sea turtle anatomy, and a variety of roles within stranding investigation process.

Application steps are as follows:

  1.  Apply by filling out an application on our website: http://www.amseas.org/volunteer/
  2.  Send a cover letter, resume, and have three letters of recommendation (two being academic) to either education at amseas.org, or to PO Box 932, Hampton Bays, NY 11946

If you have any questions, please email education at amseas.org.

Warm regards,

Jennifer Lopez
Field Biologist & Volunteer Coordinator
Atlantic Marine Conservation Society
Email: volunteers at amseas.org
Cell: (631)-461-7826
Hotline: (631)-369-9829

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