Research Associate, Dolphin Research
The Sarasota Dolphin Research Program (SDRP) is a collaborative partnership dedicated to dolphin research, conservation, and education. It was the first systematic study of bottlenose dolphin ranging patterns, and findings of multi-decadal, multi-generational residency have set the stage for the program to continue and develop into new areas of research. Since 1989, the Chicago Zoological Society (CZS) has led the SDRP partnership, providing an administrative home for the long-term program and support for ongoing program operations, including the CZS employees who form the core program staff. Mote Marine Laboratory, where initial research was conducted during 1970-1971, has provided a base of operations on Sarasota Bay and access to laboratory facilities and infrastructure since 1992. The Program Director since the late 1970's, Dr. Randall Wells, guided the SDRP from a seasonal operation involving teams of volunteers to its current year-round operations with a complement of full and part time staff, who work with graduate students, interns, and volunteers. The Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, conducting the world's longest-running study of a wild dolphin population, now is a pre-eminent international center for research into the biology,behavior, ecology, health, and impacts of human activities on dolphins in Sarasota Bay and elsewhere around the world.
The Research Associate, Dolphin Research contributes to the success of the Chicago Zoological Society ("CZS") by performing a variety of dolphin field research and subsequent sample and data analysis and reporting tasks in support of the CZS mission and Conservation Science innovation and leadership.
The successful candidate will:
· Assist with dolphin field research, including leading photographic identification survey teams, participating in capture-release projects for health assessments and rescues, and leading biopsy dart sampling. Supervises interns and volunteers as needed.
· Coordinate sampling preparation logistics for dolphin capture-release projects, including organizing and generating sample overviews, procuring and preparing sample collection, archiving, and shipping supplies.
· Coordinate biological sample processing during dolphin health assessments, managing a boat-based veterinary sample processing laboratory, including leading a processing team of 5-8 veterinary technicians and biologists, overseeing processing/labeling/storage/shipping of biological samples in support of projects involving collaborators from around the world.
· Perform advanced-level photo-identification analyses to prepare data for incorporation into long-term dolphin database.
· Enter, double-check, archive and retrieve data, prepare data summaries, reports, and manuscripts, and assist other staff with preparation of publishable manuscripts.
· Prepare proposals for funded research projects, and manage the projects if funded.
· Assist with seasonal field surveys of fish distribution/abundance in Sarasota Bay, Florida.
· Assist with maintenance and repairs on program boats, trailers, and other equipment.
· Other related duties as assigned.
The requirements for this position include:
· Bachelor's degree in Biology, Natural Resources, Environmental Science, Marine Sciences or related field or eight years of equivalent experience required.
· Photographic experience required.
· Two years of experience leading photographic identification surveys required.
· Ability to trailer boats, including launching and retrieval required.
· Biopsy dart sampling experience with small cetaceans required.
· Computer proficiency in Microsoft Excel, Word, Access, PowerPoint and Outlook, Finbase, ACDSee and ArcView required.
· Two years of experience operating and maintaining boats and associated equipment required.
· USCGA Safe Boating certificate, or equivalent, required within first three months of employment.
· Must be a proficient swimmer.
· Experience and/or ability to work and interact effectively with a diverse, multicultural audience.
· A valid driver's license is required on date of hire. If a Florida resident, must possess a valid Florida driver's license at the time of hire or must obtain one within 30 days of hire. A valid out-of-state driver's license is required at time of hire if the employee is an out-of-state resident.
The preferred qualifications include:
· Experience with veterinary sampling techniques and sample processing preferred.
· Current certifications in CPR and First Aid preferred.
· Experience conducting quantitative fisheries surveys using purse seines preferred.
· Familiarity with hand and power tools and fiber-glassing for equipment maintenance preferred.
· Multilingual ability, Spanish fluency a plus.
The Chicago Zoological Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer.