Shorewatch Residential Volunteer & Guide

Whale and Dolphin Conservation

Spey Bay, Moray, Scotland

Volunteer • Full Time 01343820339 Lisa Farley

Sectors: marine conservation, conservation & wildlife, environmental education

Closing date: Friday, 05 January 2018

Shorewatch 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 (WDC) our vision is for a world where every whale and dolphin is safe and free. We are looking for a dedicated residential Conservation Intern & Guide to join our team at the Scottish Dolphin Centre, in Moray, North East 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 Policy Officer delivering the Shorewatch Programme, a volunteer community whale, dolphin and porpoise monitoring project.

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 Policy Officer in promoting and developing the Shorewatch whale, dolphin and porpoise monitoring programme.
  • To support the conservation officer in developing volunteer opportunities and support for Shorewatch Volunteers. Therefore we are seeking an individual with an interest in community engagement, outreach and volunteer coordination.

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 Conservation Officer with the development of the WDC Shorewatch Programme (approximately 2 of 5 days per week)
  • Carrying out shore-based dolphin, whale and porpoise observations from various locations around Scotland, visiting partner organisations and cultivating relationships at these sites
  • Supporting recruitment and training of Shorewatch volunteers
  • Managing data collection and input from shore-based sites.
  • Maintaining Social media as a tool to engage Shorewatch Volunteers
  • Support the organisation and delivery of community events to promote WDC in Scotland.
  • Assisting with the administration of the WDC Shorewatch programme
  • Developing interpretative resources and activities to use in the Centre exhibition, at off-site events, and when training Shorewatch volunteers.
  • Carrying out maintenance work around the centre, including gardening and painting, as well as other duties as and when required.
  • Assisting with the development, organisation and delivery of community talks.
  • 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
  • Ability to confidently deliver talks and presentations to adult and child groups
  • Experience of working with children/volunteers
  • Flexibility in the workplace
  • Good computer literacy, including the ability to use spreadsheets, word processing, email and internet
  • Able to work independently and prioritise own workloads
  • Good problem solver with a ‘can do’ attitude
  • Highly motivated and keen to learn
  • Full driver’s licence and car (Mileage expenses will be covered)

Desirable Skills, Experiences and Qualities

  • Knowledge and support of WDC and its objectives
  • Good knowledge of cetaceans, Scottish Wildlife and plants
  • Knowledge of computer design software (preferably InDesign)
  • Knowledge of data basing software
  • Experience of supervising groups and individuals
  • Experience of developing educational resources
  • Experience of working with/training volunteers

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 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
  • Responsibility of day to day running of shop and cash handling
  • Organising, running and publicising events for both adults and children
  • Project management of events and projects
  • Delivering a community conservation programme
  • Shore-based dolphin monitoring
  • Designing resources and leading activities for school groups
  • Volunteer supervision/training
  • Managing data collection and input of research data
  • Assisting in delivering educational activities to visiting school groups
  • 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 and organising work
  • Wildlife identification

The role will give you essential experience in:

  • Delivering environmental interpretation - inspiring people to take an interest and care for the environment through land-based dolphin watching, tours, talks and guided wildlife walks.
  • Visitor engagement - raising the profile of WDC by engaging with visitors to the Centre - amaze & inspire them about the world of whales and dolphins and the work that we do to protect them
  • Guiding visitors (around the Scottish Wildlife Trust nature reserve and the historic Tugnet icehouse) and customer service (in the Centre shop)
  • Research – In the form of 10 minute land-based dolphin watches
  • Supporting the implementation of a conservation and research programme through:

Events organisation - Creating educational/promotional materials (posters, displays, flyers) and manning the stand at events to increase awareness of WDC in Scotland.

Community outreach – Assisting with the development, organisation and delivery of training courses, site visits and community talks.

Developing resources – Activities and training materials

  • Research - (In the form of 10 minute land-based dolphin watches)

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.