domingo, 20 de febrero de 2011

Volunteer: Research Expedition in Norway!!


We are currently searching for 7 research assistants to join boat based expeditions in Norway.

Best Explorer (

Aims of the expedition and itinerary

The aim of this expedition is to conduct a survey during which we will collect data on marine mammal distribution along the North coast of Norway. Data will be used by several students working currently on their PhD and Master´s thesis in Whale Safari Andenes, Norway. This expedition is organized in collaboration with La Isla de los Delfines ( 

We will sail out from Tromsø harbor, and during 7 days of navigation we will pass through the areas of high concentration of cetaceans along the coast of the Vesterålen and Lofoten islands, like the Bleik Canyon, a key feeding ground for sperm whales. In the area we might also encounter killer whales, Atlantic white-sided dolphins, white beaked dolphins, pilot whales, porpoises, fin whales, minke whales and humpback whales. We will conduct visual and acoustic surveys, and work on the photo identification of sperm whales and killer whales. We will spend the night at a different harbor each day, allowing us to explore the wild coasts of these islands.

The itinerary is subjected to weather conditions, as sometimes the sea state may oblige us to stay on land. In this case, additional activities will be proposed.

·         16th – 24th June 2011
·         19th – 27th September 2011

The boat and life on board

Best Explorer is a 15 m long sailing boat that has been used for sailing across remote areas in Northern Norway and the Arctic during the past years. It has a capacity for 12 persons and is perfectly equipped to conduct research surveys.

More info:

The boat is equipped with 3 showers and a full kitchen. As space might be limited, we recommend bringing reduced luggage.

Participant requirements and duties

Participants will help during the survey in effort and marine mammal data collection and analysis. During the expedition we will expend cca 10h a day working on the survey. Participants will learn how to design surveys and data sheets, use GPS, recognize marine mammal species, gather behavior data, individual identification of cetaceans and sailing skills among other tasks.

We will enjoy local nature and landscapes through excursions the rest of the time, the midnight sun in June, and northern lights in September.

During the expedition, participants will be provided with lectures about marine mammals, cetaceans and training in research techniques. A boat safety lecture will be also arranged on the first day of the expedition.
Anyone with an interest in getting actively involved in marine mammal research can join the expedition. Though no prior experience in the marine mammal field is necessary, it will be considered a plus

The applicants should be aware of the weather conditions on the Norwegian sea, which can sometimes be rough, so we discourage people who suffer from seasickness to apply.

Applicants will be accepted on a first come – first served basis. 

Participation fee

Unfortunately, the budget of this project is very limited, so there is a fee of 1500 euros per participant strictly to cover the boat expenses. 

The fee includes travel insurance, accommodation on board in 3-4 persons cabins, and boat expenses (e.g: rental fee, crew salary, oil, harbor fees). Food expenses will not be covered, but we will keep these expenses low by arranging community meals. 

As the participation fee only covers boat expenses calculated on the basis of 7 participants, we need to fill all the assistant positions for the expedition to take place.

The payment can be done by 30th April and it can be done through installement, but please consult me beforehand for this way of payment. However, a part of the fee (300 euros) must be paid in advance (before 31st March) to book the placement. This fee will be returned if the participant communicates refusal of the placement before 31st March.

For more information and application, please contact:

Marta Acosta
Whale Safari Andenes  

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