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 summer 2008 internship program. Several internship positions are available within five different research projects listed below. 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 from Mote Marine Laboratory through a competitive application process.
Applicants would ideally have the following qualifications:
*Minimum of 18 years of age and engaged in or recently completed 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;
*Must be able to swim;
*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.
To apply for a Sarasota Dolphin Research Program internship interested persons should:
1) Fill out an application form by navigating to Mote Marine Laboratory's website (www.mote.org) and following the education links to the college intern page. Be sure to select "Center for Marine Mammal & Sea Turtle Research" as your first choice;
2) Complete and provide to Mote's intern office all other application materials including: a statement of interest, current college transcript, letter of recommendation, and curriculum vitae. Be sure to mention which project(s) from the list below interest you and why;
3) Send a brief email to the SDRP's Lab Manager (Jason Allen, email@example.com) stating your name, contact information, which project(s) interest you, dates available (please be specific) and that you have provided all of your application materials to the Mote intern office, as detailed above.
All applications will be reviewed; those received by March 15th will be given first priority.
Applicants may contact Mote's intern office (941-388-4441, firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions regarding the application process and Jason Allen (941-388-4441 ext. 452, email@example.com) in the SDRP with any questions regarding specific projects.
The four research projects include:
Juvenile Dolphin Behavior Project
Supervisors: Katie McHugh, Jason Allen.
Number of intern positions: 4.
Dates of internship: 2 June - 29 August 2008.
This research project will study the behavioral development and survival strategies of juvenile bottlenose dolphins in Sarasota Bay. While in the field, this work consists of boat based surveys for dolphin groups and detailed behavioral data collection on individual juvenile dolphins in our study population. While in the lab, work will mainly involve photo-identification of dolphins and data entry. Interns will also assist the Population Monitoring Project and Dolphin Prey and Habitat Use Project on a rotating basis (see below).
Dolphin and Fisheries Interaction Project
Supervisors: Jessica Powell, Jason Allen.
Number of intern positions: 4.
Dates of internship: 12 May - 18 July 2007.
This research project will study fisheries interactions and depredation by bottlenose dolphins in Sarasota Bay. While in the field, this work consists of boat and land based surveys for dolphin groups, detailed behavioral data collection on specific individuals with the Sarasota Bay population. While in the lab, work will mainly involve photo-identification of dolphins sighted and data entry. Interns will also assist the Population Monitoring Project and Dolphin Prey and Habitat Use Project on a rotating basis (see below).
Sea Bird Ecology Project
Supervisor: Deb Fauquier.
Number of intern positions: 1.
Dates of internship: 16 June - 18 September 2007.
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. Interns will also assist the Population Monitoring Project and Dolphin Prey and Habitat Use Project on a rotating basis (see below).
Population Monitoring Project
Supervisors: Jason Allen, Aaron Barleycorn, Robin Perrtree.
Number of intern positions: 2.
Dates of internship: 2 June - 19 December 2007.
This project will use interns from other projects on a rotating basis from 2 June - 29 August. However, it is accepting applications for all or part of 2 September - 19 December 2007 (eight weeks minimum). This study will continue to monitor the resident bottlenose dolphin population in Sarasota Bay. While in the field, this work consists of boat based surveys for dolphin groups along survey routes. Behavioral, location, individual, and environmental data will be recorded for each dolphin group. While in the lab, work will involve photo-identification of dolphins sighted, data entry, dolphin ID catalog maintenance and equipment maintenance.
Dolphin Prey and Habitat Use Project
Supervisors: Damon Gannon, Sandra Camilleri, Jason Allen.
Number of intern positions: 2.
Dates of Internship: 2 June - 26 September.
This project will use interns from other projects on a rotating basis. 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.
Sarasota Dolphin Research Program
Mote Marine Laboratory
1600 Ken Thompson Parkway
Tel: 941.388.4441 ext. 452