Research Assistant and Intern Coordinator

Sea Watch Foundation

New Quay, Ceredigion, Wales

Volunteer • Full Time

www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk [email protected] Katrin Lohrengel

Sectors: marine conservation, conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Sunday, 17th January 2021  


PLEASE NOTE THAT INTERNSHIPS WILL BE SUBJECT TO WHATEVER COVID RESTRICTIONS ARE IN PLACE AT THE TIME

Sea Watch Foundation (SWF) are looking for a Research Assistant and Intern Coordinator to assist with the running of the “Cardigan Bay Monitoring Project”. The project is based in picturesque New Quay, West Wales, and supports the conservation management of the bottlenose dolphin, harbour porpoise and grey seal populations of Cardigan Bay, monitoring their abundance, distribution, reproductive success and population structure using a combination of vessel-based and land-based surveys. SWF has been monitoring these populations on behalf of the Welsh government (through funding provided by Natural Resources Wales) for two decades. Cardigan Bay contains Britain’s largest coastal population of bottlenose dolphins, for which two Special Areas of Conservation have been established under the EU Habitats Directive. Internships with Sea Watch have frequently led to established posts in national and international research and conservation bodies, as well as providing a stepping stone for students to undertake doctoral studies in marine mammal science.

Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Coordination between the Monitoring Officer and project interns – in charge of the intern shared house and the intern weekly office rota.
  • Assisting the Monitoring Officer & Sightings Officer in training interns and other volunteers in land- and boat based surveys, photo ID studies, database entry, and more.
  • Assisting the Monitoring Officer in all phases of the research.
  • Assisting the Sightings Officer with maintenance of the national sightings network.
  • Optional opportunity to undertake a personal research project supervised by the Monitoring Officer. Research topic will be chosen according to Sea Watch Foundation requirements and applicant’s interests.

Requirements:

The successful applicant is expected to have completed a BSc degree (or higher) in biology, marine biology, zoology, chemistry, or related field and able to demonstrate previous experience in marine mammal research. A strong interest and knowledge of British cetaceans and experience are beneficial.

The applicant should ideally have some experience using DSLR cameras. Practical experience of photo-identification (both photography and matching) is desirable. Experience with other equipment regularly used by Sea Watch Foundation such as hydrophone, polecam, theodolite, digiscope and aerial camera drone is advantageous.

The applicant must be proficient with database and word processing software and be willing to learn new software applications. Specific experience in use of Access and GIS would be advantageous.

The preferred candidate should have a proven track record as a team player since the project will involve working closely with other researchers, but must also be able to supervise small groups of people given that they will be coordinating a team of at least 8 interns. The Research Assistant and interns live and work together on a daily basis which requires a high degree of interpersonal skills to maintain relationships and team morale. Previous experience working successfully in similar roles is essential.

Applicants must be self-motivated, with the drive and determination to work independently and responsibly without direct supervision. The work load is varied and therefore a high degree of organisation, attention to detail, and ability to prioritise are essential.

If a personal research project is undertaken, this brings the opportunity to submit work for scientific publication, and for presentation at the European Cetacean Society Conference.

Please note that at this time we cannot guarantee that internships will go ahead due to the restrictions that the ongoing pandemic imposes. We are hopeful that with the development of a vaccine we will be able to resume the field season as normal but if restrictions are likely to be in place next spring , on-site internships may need to be postponed or suspended. However, there will always be opportunities to take on home based internships should this occur. 

This position is unpaid, but (shared) accommodation will be provided in the intern house free of charge.

The Research Assistant will be responsible for their own travel expenses to New Quay for the 2020 field season. Due to the touristic background of New Quay, part-time paid evening work is generally easy to find if required by the applicant.

International applications are welcome but it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure visa requirements are met and the chosen visa option should be highlighted in the application form. 

To apply:

Please send your CV and Research assistant application form, and contact details of two referees, reporting any relevant experience you have, to Katrin Lohrengel- [email protected]

Deadline: 17th January 2021.


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