[MARMAM] Bottlenose Dolphin and Passive Acoustic Internships at University of South Carolina Beaufort (USCB)

Tue Mar 3 08:20:47 PST 2020

Bottlenose Dolphin and Passive Acoustic Internships in the Marine Sensory and Neurobiology Lab at University of South Carolina Beaufort (USCB)

Current Need: Two summer interns to work with population and passive acoustic studies in fish and bottlenose dolphins in The Marine Sensory and Neurobiology Lab (Supervisor Dr. Eric Montie), Department of Natural Sciences, University of South Carolina Beaufort (USCB) from May 18th – August 14th, 2020.

About Our Lab: Our research lab strives to understand the sensory and neurobiology of marine organisms. The more applied part of our research program focuses on studies that investigate how natural and human-made stressors impact marine life. These stressors include pollutants, noise pollution, and climate change. Currently, we use long-term passive acoustics to monitor estuarine soundscapes. Our research involves work with wild marine organisms like snapping shrimp, oyster toadfish, silver perch, black drum, spotted seatrout, red drum, and bottlenose dolphins.

Internship Time Frames: Our research lab has an active internship program with a strong emphasis on soundscape ecology and bioacoustics. Available internships occur according to the following timelines. Candidates can apply throughout the year for these internships.

(i) Summer internships (mid-May to mid-August);

(ii) Fall/winter internships (mid-August to mid-December);

(iii) Winter/spring internships (early-January to mid-May).

Current Lab Focus: We are searching for two marine mammal interns for summer 2020 to assist with a collaborative funded grant. Our lab and collaborators will investigate how a predictable anthropogenic stressor (i.e. dredging) interacts with other stressors (i.e. exposure to contaminants, noise pollution, and vessel traffic) to affect the health, distribution, and vital rates of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

Position Information: May 18th to August 14th, 2020 although exact dates are negotiable. Interns are expected to commit to 30 hours per week, Monday through Friday, days and hours are flexible. For each intern, a stipend of $3900 is provided, which equates to $300 per week. Interns have the option to live at the Turnure House at the SCDNR Waddell Mariculture Center for $15/day ($105 per week), which includes all utilities and internet. Interns are responsible for finding their own transportation to campus. The internship is designed for undergraduates or recent graduates who want to gain research experience in marine ecology with a focus on bioacoustics, fish, and marine mammals. This is a great opportunity to work with scientists and graduate students in the field and lab while gaining experience with passive acoustics, deploying/retrieving recorders, photo-identification and boat-based marine mammal surveys. USCB offers a Masters of Computational Science for those interested in bioacoustics and signal detection (https://www.uscb.edu/academics/academic_departments/school-of-science-and-mathematics/computer-science/csci-graduate.html), and Dr. Montie serves as an adjunct in the College of Charleston Graduate Program in Marine Biology (http://marinebiology.cofc.edu/about-the-program/faculty-listing/montie-eric.php). Thus, successful interns may have future opportunities for graduate study at USCB or CoC.

Location: This position is located at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, Bluffton campus. Bluffton, SC is located only 20 minutes from Hilton Head Island, SC. The campus is 10 minutes from the May River and 15 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean.

Duties Will Include:

(1) Reviewing and analyzing passive acoustic data.

(2) Participating in bottlenose dolphin abundance, distribution, and photo-identification surveys.

(3) Helping with the deployment/retrieval of instruments.

(4) Assisting graduate and undergraduate students with their research projects.


  *   Minimum age of 18 years old;
  *   Recently enrolled in a college-level program in marine biology, biology, zoology, or related field;
  *   Strong interest in passive acoustics, fish, marine mammals, and conservation;
  *   Experience with Adobe Audition, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, ArcGIS, and MATLAB is a plus;
  *   Boat experience is preferred but not mandatory (successful interns will be required to take an online Boating Safety Course);
  *   Excellent verbal communication skills, fluent in English;
  *   Enthusiastic and dedicated with a strong ability to interact with others and be professional;
  *   Responsible with a great work ethic and attention to detail;
  *   Works well with a team and individually;
  *   Ability to work long days in the sun/heat/cold on a small boat;
  *   Must be a US citizen.

How to Apply: Please submit an email to Dr. Eric Montie (emontie at uscb.edu<mailto:emontie at uscb.edu>) with the subject “USCB Internship”. Please attach one Word or pdf document to the email and name according to the following format (i.e. Lastname_USCBapp_summer 2020). The application should include (i) a cover letter describing why you are interested in the position, how the experience will help you meet your long-term goals, and your dates of availability (less than 1 page); (ii) curriculum vitae or resume describing your relevant training and experiences as well as names and contact information of two references. Please include your GPA in your CV or resume. For the summer 2020 internships, the application period ends on April 3rd, 2020.

Eric W. Montie, M.S., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology
Director of the Marine Sensory and Neurobiology Lab &
The Lowcountry Dolphin Conservation Program
Department of Natural Sciences
University of South Carolina Beaufort
One University Boulevard
Bluffton, SC 29909

Office Phone: (843) 208-8107
Fax: (843) 208-8294
Email: emontie at uscb.edu

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