[MARMAM] Sea Watch Foundation Research Assistant internship

katrin.lohrengel at seawatchfoundation.org.uk katrin.lohrengel at seawatchfoundation.org.uk
Fri Nov 20 10:05:03 PST 2020

Sea Watch Foundation (SWF) are looking for a Research Assistant and 
Intern Coordinator to assist with the running of the “Cardigan Bay 
Monitoring Project”. The project is based in picturesque New Quay, West 
Wales, and supports the conservation management of the bottlenose 
dolphin, harbour porpoise and grey seal populations of Cardigan Bay, 
monitoring their abundance, distribution, reproductive success and 
population structure using a combination of vessel-based and land-based 
surveys. SWF has been monitoring these populations on behalf of the 
Welsh government (through funding provided by Natural Resources Wales) 
for two decades. Cardigan Bay contains Britain’s largest coastal 
population of bottlenose dolphins, for which two Special Areas of 
Conservation have been established under the EU Habitats Directive. 
Internships with Sea Watch have frequently led to established posts in 
national and international research and conservation bodies, as well as 
providing a stepping stone for students to undertake doctoral studies in 
marine mammal science.

Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:
Coordination between the Monitoring Officer and project interns – in 
charge of the intern shared house and the intern weekly office rota.

Assisting the Monitoring Officer & Sightings Officer in training interns 
and other volunteers in land- and boat based surveys, photo ID studies, 
database entry, and more.
Assisting the Monitoring Officer in all phases of the research.

Assisting the Sightings Officer with maintenance of the national 
sightings network.
Optional opportunity to undertake a personal research project supervised 
by the Monitoring Officer. Research topic will be chosen according to 
Sea Watch Foundation requirements and applicant’s interests.

The successful applicant is expected to have completed a BSc degree (or 
higher) in biology, marine biology, zoology, chemistry, or related field 
and able to demonstrate previous experience in marine mammal research. A 
strong interest and knowledge of British cetaceans and experience are 
The applicant should ideally have some experience using DSLR cameras. 
Practical experience of photo-identification (both photography and 
matching) is desirable.

Experience with other equipment regularly used by Sea Watch Foundation 
such as hydrophone, polecam, theodolite, digiscope and aerial camera 
drone is advantageous.

The applicant must be proficient with database and word processing 
software and be willing to learn new software applications. Specific 
experience in use of Access and GIS would be advantageous.

The preferred candidate should have a proven track record as a team 
player since the project will involve working closely with other 
researchers, but must also be able to supervise small groups of people 
given that they will be coordinating a team of at least 8 interns. The 
Research Assistant and interns live and work together on a daily basis 
which requires a high degree of interpersonal skills to maintain 
relationships and team morale. Previous experience working successfully 
in similar roles is essential.

Applicants must be self-motivated, with the drive and determination to 
work independently and responsibly without direct supervision. The work 
load is varied and therefore a high degree of organisation, attention to 
detail, and ability to prioritise are essential.

If a personal research project is undertaken, this brings the 
opportunity to submit work for scientific publication, and for 
presentation at the European Cetacean Society Conference.

Please note that at this time we cannot guarantee that internships will 
go ahead due to the restrictions that the ongoing pandemic imposes. We 
are hopeful that with the development of a vaccine we will be able to 
resume the field season as normal but if restrictions are likely to be 
in place next spring , on-site internships may need to be postponed or 
suspended. However,  there will always be opportunities to take on home 
based internships should this occur.

This position is unpaid, but (shared) accommodation will be provided in 
the intern house free of charge.

The Research Assistant will be responsible for their own travel expenses 
to New Quay for the 2020 field season. Due to the touristic background 
of New Quay, part-time paid evening work is generally easy to find if 
required by the applicant.
International applications are welcome but it is the applicant’s 
responsibility to ensure visa requirements are met and the chosen visa 
option should be highlighted in the application form. 
To apply:
Please send your CV and Research assistant application form, and contact 
details of two referees, reporting any relevant experience you have, to 
Katrin Lohrengel- katrin.lohrengel at seawatchfoundation.org.uk
Deadline: 17th January 2021.

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