RESEARCH INTERN POSITION SUMMER/FALL 2018

Costa Balenae is currently looking for and accepting interns to join our pilot project on bottlenose dolphins in the Western Ligurian Sea, Imperia (Italy) from June to October. (DEADLINE 28th MAY)

Programme: Interns are invited to assist the biologists of Costa Balenae in two different activities:

1.      Research project on bottlenose dolphins:

  • Boat-based surveys (10-12 per month)
  • Photo-id matching/classwork
  • Data entry
  • Opportunistic surveys

2.      Whale watching excursions:

  • Assisting the biologist on board
  • Collecting data of cetaceans and other marine fauna
  • Assisting the participants  

Schedule:

Period: from 1st June to 31st October.

Minimum required: 30 days

Number of interns per month: 2

This is a great opportunity to get involved in cetacean research, enjoy marine biodiversity while gaining fieldwork experience, travelling and exploring the beautiful Liguria region while supporting cetacean research and conservation. 

Fieldwork will be made in coastal waters (Western Ligurian Sea). Surveys will be conducted onboard dedicated vessels (5-6 m inflatable boat) 10-12 times per month.  Training will focus on collecting photo for photo-ID purposes, environmental, geographical (GPS) and dolphins’ behavioural data. Fieldwork will help participants gaining first-hand experience in collecting data on free-ranging cetaceans and improve skills on cetaceans boat-based surveys as well as on the use of the photo-ID technique. Surveys are weather dependent and they can change during the period. Opportunistic surveys will be conducted on whale watching boats or different types of fishing boats.

Interns will be involved 5 days a week, 6-8 hours/day (depending on fieldwork or labwork)
During free time, interns will have the opportunity to experience all sorts of activities: swimming, diving, hiking, exploring historical sites, visit museums, sailing.

Skills/qualification:

  • Minimum age of 18
  • Prior experience in cetaceans or boat-based surveys is not required, but preferred
  • Degree or on-going studies in biology, natural science, veterinary or similar (preferred)
  • Strong motivation and interest in cetaceans and research
  • Speak, read and write in fluent English
  • Be adaptable as fieldwork is weather dependent
  • Be prepared to spend many hours on a small zodiac (5-6 m) and under the sun
  • Be sociable and willing as they are expected to live and work in an international team
  • Boat driving licence or experience in handling small boats (preferred)

About the project

The dolphins research project “Delfini del Ponente” is the first project focused on monitoring bottlenose dolphins in the Western Ligurian Sea. Due to the morphology of the seafloor, this area is not a usual habitat for this species and historically, sightings have a been more rare and sporadic than in the Levantine side of the region. The continental shelf is, in fact, very short and high depths (around 2000 m) are reached quite close to the shore making the area suitable for other cetacean species but not for bottlenose dolphins, which tend to remain in waters with depth not exceeding 200 m.

Despite this knowledge of the range of the species, an interesting change has been noted in recent years in the area. Reports of bottlenose dolphins by boats, fishermen and whale watching vessels are almost tripled compared to previous seasons. Therefore, the project aims to monitor bottlenose dolphins in the region to understand the extent of this change and what drove it. It is structured on an annual basis, in order to obtain data not only on the distribution during the summer, but also changes during the different seasons.

Internship fee

Delfini del Ponente is a self-funded research project, so participation in this programme requires a tuition fee. Fee includes the accommodation in an apartment in Imperia, tuition and all associated field costs during the internship period (use of research vessel, training, use of equipment, field trips). Transportation expenses to and from Imperia (Italy), own insurances, and food costs during the stay are not included in the fee.

Information about Costa Balenae

Costa Balenae is a cooperative organization founded by a group of biologists and naturalists with twenty years of experience in the fields of scientific research, environmental education, territorial development and sustainable tourism. The passion for nature, its conservation and the development of commercial tourism activities that make knowledge, awareness and sustainability a point of strong entrepreneurial imprinting are the main characteristic of the cooperative.

 

How to apply: 

Send your CV with a letter of interest (please indicate the preferred period, date of arriving and departure) to info@costabalenae.it addressed to Davide Ascheri no longer than the 28th of May.

Successful applicants will be contacted for a skype interview.

For any further enquiry and detail, please send an email to info@costabalenae.it 

Davide Ascheri

Biologist – Costa Balenae Whale and Nature Watching

info@costabalenae.it

 

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