[MARMAM] CCS Right Whale Ecology Program - Observer Internship

Brigid McKenna bmckenna at coastalstudies.org
Sat Sep 3 04:39:37 PDT 2022

Center for Coastal Studies Right Whale Ecology Program Observer Internship

The Center for Coastal Studies (CCS), a nonprofit institution dedicated to
the understanding and protection of our coastal environment and marine
ecosystems, is seeking a seasonal Right Whale Ecology Program observer
intern from January 2023 through May 2023. This long-term project focuses
on documenting the abundance, distribution and behavior of North Atlantic
right whales and their food resource in Cape Cod Bay and adjacent
Massachusetts waters. The observer intern will be the primary vessel
observer for the project and will participate in research cruises.
Fieldwork responsibilities include photographing critically endangered
North Atlantic right whales, collecting behavioral and environmental data,
recording other sighting events (species, vessels, and fishing gear), and
working with a habitat research team both in the field and office. Office
responsibilities include photo-analysis (downloading images, inputting
sightings information, matching individuals to known animals using an
online and in-house catalog, cataloging), database entry and maintenance,
assisting the aerial team and maintaining vessel field equipment.

Minimum Requirements:

- Previous marine mammal survey experience, including background in species
identification and photo-identification of large cetaceans
- Experience with digital SLR cameras, lenses, and filters
- Basic computer literacy and working knowledge of Microsoft Office
programs (Excel, Word, PowerPoint)
- Experience working on boats and ability to withstand harsh elements for
up to 10 hrs at a time
- Not prone to seasickness
- Must be able to live and work well in a team
- Enthusiasm and willingness to learn field and lab-based research methods
- Strong attention to detail and ability to work well under pressure
- COVID-19 vaccination required

Preferred Qualifications:

- A bachelor’s degree, preferably in biological/ environmental sciences
- Experience using iMatch image database software
- Experience with database entry and management
- Experience using GPS equipment
- Demonstrated ability to estimate object ranges from a vessel
- A valid US driver’s license

The successful applicant will be required to work a minimum of four full
days per week and will need to be flexible for research cruises due to
weather constraints. The intern will often collect data independently in
the field, thus responsible, detail-oriented applicants are encouraged to
apply. Applicants must be available for the full field season and must be
willing to work weekends, holidays and evenings as needed. Housing will be
provided, as well as a biweekly stipend. International applicants must
secure their own visas or other required documentation.

CCS has a long history of conservation and research work with the North
Atlantic right whale and Cape Cod Bay has been a major critical habitat for
over 50% of the estimated population in recent years. This is an excellent
opportunity for anyone wishing to expand their skills in marine mammal
survey techniques, and will offer the successful applicant the unique
chance to work with one of the world’s most endangered cetaceans. This
internship will afford the successful applicant an invaluable opportunity
to work within a well-established institution, with highly-qualified
scientists, and to gain experience in photo-identification, matching, and
data entry and analysis. Experience in oceanographic sampling can also be
gained. Details of our work can be found on our website:

How to Apply:

The application package should include the following as a single PDF:
1) Cover letter describing your specific interests in marine mammal
science, internship qualifications, and how the experience would assist you
in reaching career goals
2) CV/resume
3) College transcripts, if applicable (unofficial are sufficient)
4) The names and contact information of two references

Application materials must be e-mailed to: bmckenna at coastalstudies.org with
the subject line: 2023 RW Observer Internship.

Deadline for submissions: September 16th, 2022.
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