Education Residential Volunteer & Guide

Whale and Dolphin Conservation

Spey Bay, Moray, Scotland

Volunteer • Full Time 01343 820339 Lisa Farley

Sectors: marine conservation, conservation & wildlife, environmental education

Closing date: Friday, 05 January 2018

Education Residential Volunteer & Guide, WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre, Spey Bay

Get the experience and get ahead in conservation with a volunteer programme that works!

Are you passionate about the environment? Or Want to inspire and educate all ages? Or looking to gain valuable experience to work in education and conservation?

At Whale and Dolphin Conservation our vision is for a world where every whale and dolphin is safe and free. We are looking for an Education Residential Volunteer & Guide to join our team at the Scottish Dolphin Centre, in Northern Scotland, to help deliver WDC’s objectives.

The visitor Centre and volunteer accommodation are based in a beautiful location adjacent to a reserve at the mouth of the River Spey. The largest bottlenose dolphins in the world can be seen feeding regularly along with ospreys, seals, the occasional otter and a huge variety of other wildlife.

Your time will be divided between engaging with/guiding visitors at the Scottish Dolphin Centre and working closely with the SDC Officer-Education to deliver the WDC Education Programme throughout North East Scotland.

This post requires an excellent command of the English language (both written and spoken) and the ability to work individually and as part of a team.


  • Deliver a fun and high quality visitor experience through interpretation and events at the Scottish Dolphin Centre to help raise awareness of the work of Whale and Dolphin Conservation
  • To support the WDC Education Programme raising awareness of whales and dolphins and encouraging people to take an active role in marine conservation.

Volunteer Role Includes:

  • Providing interpretation/guiding/land based dolphin watching for visitors at the Scottish Dolphin Centre, including daily guided walks and tours of the historic building, and customer service in the shop (Approximately 3 of 5 days per week)
  • Assist in the WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre shop including, welcoming visitors, customer service, and stocking shelves.
  • Assisting the Education Officer with the WDC schools programme including delivering talks, running workshops and assisting with group visits to the Scottish Dolphin Centre for groups of all ages from Primary School through to University. (Approximately 2 of 5 days per week)
  • Promoting, organising and attending events both at the Scottish Dolphin Centre and across North East Scotland.
  • Developing interpretative and educational resources to support the Education Programme and the Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Assisting with the administration of the education programme
  • Carrying out shore-based dolphin, whale and porpoise observations in the form of hourly 10 minute watches and entering the data into a spreadsheet
  • Carrying out maintenance work around the centre, including gardening and painting, as well as other duties as and when required.
  • To assist with other WDC work as needed.

Essential Skills, Experience and Qualities:

  • Excellent communication skills, and the ability to effectively convey messages to a wide range of audiences
  • The ability to confidently deliver talks and presentations to groups of children and adults through from 1st year primary, secondary school and university
  • Experience of working with children
  • Flexibility in the workplace
  • Good computer literacy, including the ability to use spreadsheets, word processing, email and internet
  • Able to work independently
  • Good problem solver with a ‘can do’ attitude
  • Highly motivated and keen to learn
  • Prioritising workload

Desirable Skills, Experiences and Qualities

  • Full driver’s licence and car – strongly desirable (mileage expenses will be covered)
  • Knowledge and support of WDC and it’s objectives
  • Good knowledge of cetaceans, Scottish Wildlife and plants
  • Experience of supervising groups and individuals
  • Experience of developing educational resources
  • Experience of working with volunteers
  • Experience of organising events

Skills you will gain

This role offers the following skills, experience and qualifications:

You will gain qualifications in:

  • 1 day Emergency First Aid qualification
  • BDMLR Marine Mammal Medic Qualification (we will give you time off to complete this training but you will need to pay or fundraise for the 50% of the cost of the course)

You will be trained (amongst other things) in:

  • Interpretive guiding
  • Wildlife identification
  • Research – Shorewatch
  • Education talks

You will gain experience in:

  • Delivering interpretive talks and tours to a wide ranging audience
  • Shore-based dolphin monitoring
  • Responsibility of day to day running of shop and cash handling
  • Organising, running and publicising events for both adults and children
  • Project management of interpretive and reserve projects
  • Designing resources and leading activities for school groups
  • Volunteer supervision/training
  • Assisting in delivering an educational programme
  • Monitoring Health and Safety

You will gain skills in:

  • Effective communication
  • Public speaking
  • Strong Interpersonal skills
  • Presentation skills
  • An increased knowledge and awareness of cetaceans, Scottish wildlife and conservation issues
  • Conservation Education
  • Project management
  • Team work
  • Independent work
  • Leadership
  • Flexible working
  • Problem solving
  • Taking initiative
  • Prioritising work
  • Wildlife identification

We also provide:

  • Free onsite accommodation in an area of outstanding natural beauty
  • £30 weekly food budget per person (volunteers find this more than enough to cover their needs)
  • Training and support
  • Mileage expenses

Check us out online:

Volunteers play a vital role in the work we do at the WDC, you will be expected to cover all areas of work and in return you will receive experience in many different aspects of conservation work.

The majority of this role involves community outreach, interpretation and engaging with visitors, if you are looking for field experience this is not the opportunity for you.

Opportunities run:

  • Thursday 1st March – Sunday 28th October 2018
  • Volunteering 5 days a week, including weekends.
  • Must be committed for 8 months in order to gain the full range of experience

and to make a worthwhile contribution to our work.

As we are advertising for more than one volunteer position, should you wish to apply for two or more positions please rank the roles in order of your preference.

Please mention when responding to this ad.