*Applications are again being accepted due to unforeseen vacancy. Review
of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position
is filled, so get your applications in soon!*
Dolphin Communication Project (DCP) - Volunteer Research
Assistants/Interns - Summer 2018
Florida, USA and Bimini, The Bahamas
The Dolphin Communication Project (DCP,
www.dolphincommunicationproject.org) is currently seeking two interns
for the summer of 2018. These internships have field and office
components, both of which are mandatory, and total 9-12 weeks, depending
on DCP's schedule.
DCP looks at how dolphins communicate and attempts to shed more light on
the meaning of their interactions. With research ongoing since 1991, our
questions focus primarily on communication and behavior among dolphins.
Interns will spend the field portion of this internship at our Bimini,
Bahamas research site, where we study wild Atlantic spotted and
bottlenose dolphins. An abbreviated publication list is available at the
end of this post.
In the field:
--Travel to and assist for 4-6 weeks at our Bimini research site (exact
dates TBD, likely beginning in late June, following the office component)
--Assist gathering data (general observations, photographs) during 4-6
hour/day boat excursions (weather and schedule dependent)
--Complete photo-identification of dolphins from still photography and
video as well as other data entry and analysis tasks
--Assist with on-board and outreach education as well as web-based projects
--Represent DCP in an enthusiastic, responsible, mature and respectful
At the office:
--Travel to and assist for approximately 4 weeks at our Port Saint
Lucie, Florida (FL) office (exact dates TBD, likely prior to field
component, beginning in late May)
--Process and analyze data, including, but not limited to:
photo-identification of individuals from other DCP research sites, event
sampling from video data for behavioral analyses, and acoustic analysis
of dolphin sounds --Assist in the development and implementation of
education programs for schools and the general public, if needed
Successful interns must have functional computer skills and working
knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Current enrollment in
a degree-seeking program, background in science and/or animal behavior
and experience on boats and/or with photo-identification are all
desired, but not necessarily required. The successful candidates will be
comfortable on a boat for several hours at a time in varying conditions,
including extreme heat. They will also be proficient swimmers with the
desire to improve snorkeling and free-diving skills. They will be able
to work as a team both in a small office and in a fairly remote and
isolated field setting. Good writing and public speaking skills are a
must, as is attention to details. Interns must be at least 21 years of
age. Although international applicants are invited to apply, all
applicants should know that interns are responsible for their own daily
transportation to/from the FL office and public transportation is
limited in this area; therefore, all interns should have their own
transportation while in FL.
Expenses and Compensation
This is an unpaid internship. Interns are responsible for their own
transportation to Bimini and Florida. There is a $1,100.00 fee that will
cover housing in the field (on-island transportation not needed). Room,
board and transportation while in Florida are the responsibility of the
intern. Although assistance in finding housing may be available, the
ability to find suitable housing in Florida is ultimately the interns'
responsibility. We recommend all applicants complete a preliminary
housing search in advance of submitting their applications.
Interested applicants should review information at this link:
Please read this page thoroughly before applying or emailing questions.
Send a completed application (downloadable and detailed at the link
above) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are due 28 February 2018. Due
to field schedules, only electronic applications will be accepted.
Interviews (via telephone or Skype) will be arranged for selected
candidates in early March.
For more information, please contact Kelly Melillo Sweeting at
Selected Refereed Publications:
(for a full list of publications by DCP researchers, please visit:
Dudzinski, K.M., Clark, C.W., Würsig, B. 1995. A mobile video/acoustic
system for simultaneously recording dolphin behavior and vocalizations
underwater. Aquatic Mammals 21(3): 187-193.
Dudzinski, K.M. 1998. Contact behavior and signal exchange among
Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis). Aquatic Mammals 24(3):
Dudzinski, K.M., M. Sakai, M., Masaki, K., Kogi, K., Hishii, T.,
Kurimoto, M. 2003. Behavioral observations of adult and sub-adult
dolphins towards two dead bottlenose dolphins (one female and one male).
Aquatic Mammals 29(1): 108-116.
Gregg, J.D., Dudzinski, K.M., Smith, H.V. 2007. Do dolphins eavesdrop on
the echolocation signals of conspecifics? International Journal of
Comparative Psychology, 20: 65-88
Dudzinski, K.M., Thomas, J. Gregg, J.D. 2008. Communication. In (W.F.
Perrin, B. Würsig, H.C.M. Thewissen, eds) Encyclopedia of Marine
Mammals, second edition. Academic Press, Inc.
Melillo, K.E., Dudzinski, K.M., Cornick, L.A. 2009. Interactions between
Atlantic spotted (Stenella frontalis) and bottlenose (Tursiops
truncatus) dolphins off Bimini, The Bahamas, 2003-2007. Aquatic Mammals,
Dudzinski, K.M., Gregg, J.D., Paulos, R.D., Kuczaj, S.A. 2010. A
comparison of pectoral fin contact behaviour for three distinct dolphin
populations. Behavioural Processes, 84: 559-567.
Greene, W., Melillo-Sweeting, K., Dudzinski, K. 2011. Comparing object
play in captive and wild dolphins. International Journal of Comparative
Dudzinski, KM, Gregg, JD, Melillo-Sweeting, K, Levengood, A, Seay, B.,
Kuczaj II, SA. 2012. Tactile contact exchanges between dolphins:
self-rubbing versus inter-individual contact in three species from three
geographies. International Journal of Comparative Psychology 25:21-43.
Dudzinski, KM, Danaher-Garcia, N, Gregg, JD. 2013. Pectoral fin contact
dyads at Zoo Duisburg, with comparison to other dolphin study
Mammals. 39(4): 335-343.
Melillo-Sweeting, K, Turnbull, S and Guttridge, T. 2014. Evidence of
shark attacks on
Atlantic spotted (Stenella frontalis) and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops
Bimini, The Bahamas. Marine Mammal Science. DOI: 10.1111/mms.12082
Melillo-Sweeting, K, Yeater, D, Dudzinski, KM. 2015. Dolphin sightings
near the coast of Bimini, The Bahamas, 2003 – 2013. Aquatic Mammals
41.3: 245-251. DOI: 10.1578/AM.41.3.2015.245.
Kaplan, JD, Melillo-Sweeting, K, Reiss, D. 2017. Biphonal calls in
Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis): bitonal and burst-pulse
whistles. Bioacoustics. DOI:
Kelly Melillo Sweeting
Bimini Research Manager
Dolphin Communication Project