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Saturday, October 21, 2017

VOLUNTEER: Marine Fauna Volunteer Position, New Zealand

Marine Fauna Volunteer Position, New Zealand

A volunteer is required to assist with an ongoing study investigating the site fidelity and movement of marine fauna in New Zealand. There are three components to this study: 1) fieldwork conducting cetacean photo-identification, 2) laboratory work conducting necropsys on marine turtles, 3) desktop research including data entry and photo-identification of leopard seals. This project is part of the ongoing research for the Hauraki Gulf Cetacean Project under the Coastal-Marine Research Group (C-MRG) at Massey University, Auckland and for the Marine Megafauna Group at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Wellington.
DATES:
While the field season runs year-round, currently volunteers are needed from November 2017 – April 2018. A minimum commitment of three months is required and priority will be given to those who can commit for longer periods.
LOCATION: Auckland, New Zealand
Component 1: Fieldwork conducting cetacean photo-identification
The fieldwork component involves conducting field surveys, primarily collecting photo identification on common dolphins, Bryde's whales, bottlenose dolphins and killer whales. The successful applicant will gain valuable experience in conducting marine mammal field research, identifying individuals based on dorsal fin characteristics, and the use of databases for archiving field data.
Field work is physically and at times mentally demanding but it is a great opportunity to gain knowledge in visual cetacean surveying, to get hands-on field experience in relation to survey techniques, photo-
identification, behavioural observations, and improve practical skills (data analysis, photo-identification).
Fieldwork is weather dependent and can vary between weekdays and weekends. Surveys will be conducted from a 20m whale and dolphin watching vessel.
Component 2: Laboratory work conducting necropsys on green turtles
The laboratory component involves examining the biology of marine turtles in New Zealand. Duties include assisting with marine turtle necropsies and general laboratory work as required. Laboratory work focuses primarily on the handling and sampling of marine turtle tissue and diet samples.
Component 3: Desktop based research conducting leopard seal photo-identification
The desktop component involves data entry and sorting photographs to be added into to the New Zealand Leopard seal catalogue.
BREAKDOWN OF TIME:
Component 1: 20%
Component 2: 40%
Component 3: 40%

As this is a volunteer position, there is unfortunately no monetary compensation or living provisions. The successful candidate should arrange their own accommodation in Auckland, living expenses, travel costs and visa.
PREREQUISITES:
. Be reliable, adaptable, hardworking and patient as fieldwork is highly weather dependent. This means desktop based research during bad weather and possibly long days in the field when weather permits
. Be flexible to the requirements of a multidisciplinary program involving three different research projects
. Have a mature and independent attitude towards marine fauna research
. Be able to work independently
. Speak fluent English
. Be sociable, enthusiastic and have a positive attitude
. Strong interest in the marine environment and conservation
. Participants should be comfortable working on boats
QUALIFICATIONS:
. The project is well suited to upper level undergrads, recent graduates and graduate students who have some background in biology, marine biology, ecology, zoology or related fields
. Basic computer proficiency in MS Office (especially Excel)

Preferred qualifications but not required:
. Field research including photo-identification experience
. Previous experience in survey techniques and especially in marine mammal research
. Prior experience working on research vessels
. Laboratory experience conducting necropsys
APPLICATION PROCESS:
Applicants should send a short email to krista.hupman@niwa.co.nz, using "Marine Fauna volunteer position" as the subject line. The email should include an outline of why you would like to work on this project, the dates when you are available to assist on the project, your qualifications and relevant experience. Please also attach a brief CV including at least one reference acknowledging your relevant experience.
Early application is recommended as applications will be examined in order of reception.

 Dr. Krista Hupman
Cetacean Biologist
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research
Tel:      +64 (0)220 256 290


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