Wild Bottlenose Dolphin Research Internships
The Sarasota Dolphin Research Program (SDRP), based at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida, is the world's longest-running wild dolphin research program.The program's goal is to contribute to a better understanding of the structure and dynamics of populations of small cetaceans, as well as the natural and anthropogenic factors that impact them. The SDRP uses an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach in conducting studies of bottlenose dolphins within Sarasota Bay, Tampa Bay, Charlotte Harbor, and the Gulf of Mexico coastal waters.
For more information about the SDRP, please visit: www.sarasotadolphin.org. The SDRP is in the process of selecting volunteer interns for the spring 2008 internship program. Several internship positions are available within four different research projects from January 7th through March 31st. There is no compensation for these internship positions and successful applicants will be responsible for their own living and transportation expenses during the time of the internship. Housing opportunities may be available (cost: $75/week). Scholarships are available through a competitive application process.
The four projects include:
Population Monitoring Project (www.sarasotadolphin.org/Ecology/earthwatch2007.asp)
This study will continue to monitor the resident dolphin population in Sarasota Bay. This will involve surveying, photographing, identifying, and recording data in the field as well as photo-id, catalog maintenance, and data entry and double-checking in the lab.
Juvenile Dolphin Behavior Project (www.sarasotadolphin.org/Social/juvenile2007.asp)
This study will conduct focal animal behavioral follows of juvenile dolphins in Sarasota Bay to assess their association, behavioral, distribution and habitat use patterns and to identify factors that influence their survivorship.
Dolphin Prey and Habitat Use Project (www.sarasotadolphin.org/Ecology/HabitatPrey.asp)
This study will use the Sarasota dolphin community and random sampling of fish population through purse seining techniques to study predator-prey interactions and bioacoustics, specifically helping us to understand relationships between distributions of dolphins and their prey, and factors that affect fish community ecology, such as red tide.
Sea Bird Ecology Project
This study will look at the abundance, distribution and habitat use of sea birds in Sarasota Bay and the effects of red tide on those sea bird communities.
Applicants would ideally have the following qualifications:
*Minimum of 18 years of age and engaged in undergraduate studies;
*A background or degree in Biology, Marine Biology, Zoology or a related field;
*Basic computer proficiency in Microsoft Office programs;
*Some field research experience preferred but not required;
*Enthusiasm and willingness to learn field and lab based research methods;
*A willingness to spend a minimum of 2 - 3 months working full time with our program.
You may apply through Mote Marine Laboratory's web site (www.mote.org) by following the education links to the college intern page. Applications received by November 16th will be given first priority.
Applicants may contact Dana OMara (firstname.lastname@example.org) in Mote's intern office
(941-388-4441 ext. 462) with questions regarding the application process and Jason Allen (email@example.com) in the SDRP with any questions regarding specific projects.