[MARMAM] Seeking volunteers for online small cetacean bycatch research project

Clear, Niki nc461 at exeter.ac.uk
Fri Oct 29 06:51:27 PDT 2021

 Dear MARMAM community,

The University of Exeter and Cornwall Wildlife Trust is conducting a research citizen science project to develop and test a diagnosis tool for detecting bycatch in stranded cetaceans using external features, such as encircling marks and other wounds. We are investigating whether it’s possible for trained individuals to diagnose bycatch to a high degree of certainty using only external features and to create a diagnostic system to investigate bycatch in stranded small cetaceans, where a post-mortem examination is not possible.

We are looking for volunteers to participate in this research project to help us generate data by examining photos of strandings and identifying possible bycatch features. Volunteers will be given access to online training in the skills of identifying bycatch features on stranded cetaceans. Using your new skills, you can examine real strandings cases through the website to determine whether they were bycaught or not, all from the comfort of your own home. We will use the data you generate to develop and test this new bycatch diagnostic method.

We are looking for volunteers with any level of experience and can be based anywhere, but you will need to;

  *   Be over 18 years old
  *   Be able to commit at least 5 hours to the project
  *   Have access to the internet and a laptop or desktop computer
  *   Understand written English

What will you gain?
Involvement in this project is entirely voluntary, you will gain training and experience examining small cetacean strandings by examining detailed photographs through a web-based system. Volunteering is entirely home-based and can be done in your own time. This is a service/citizen science project, and unfortunately, there are no compensation or college credits available for volunteers.

If you would like to learn more about the project and sign up as a volunteer – bycatchproject.co.uk<https://bycatchproject.co.uk/>

Many thanks

Niki Clear, on behalf of the project team and partners

Masters by Research Student

nc461 at exeter.ac.uk

College of Life and Environmental Sciences

University of Exeter

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