Call for volunteers: Fin whale research (Spain) ~

14 de mayo de 2013

Call for volunteers: Fin whale research (Spain)

Dear all,
The research group CIRCE ( is seeking applications from volunteers to help with fieldwork on fin whale research in the Strait of Gibraltar from 7 June to 24 June 2013 (2.5 weeks)

Fin whale project:
The fin whales observed in the Strait of Gibraltar are in migration between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea and are still recovering from years of hunting. Due to the high and increasing maritime traffic in the Strait, at least 3 ship strikes have been observed with fin whales since 1999 and probably more remain unknown. Therefore, we need to assess for this population the risk of collision with merchant ships or ferries. We will use theodolite tracking from a land station to find the main routes for the fin whales as well as any behavioural changes in relation to boat movements.
This project has been running for 4 years both in summertime and wintertime from the Spanish coast of the Strait.

Summer 2013 survey:
Due to the economic situation in Spain, in summer 2013 we will run the last survey until further notice.
Our main goal for this last survey is to deploy satellite tags on the migrating whales to identify their summer feeding grounds. This is why we need a motivated team of volunteers to detect and focal-follow the migrating whales from the land station to make the tagging possible.

Volunteers should be available for the entire period of 7-24th June. You will be responsible for your transport to and from the main centre, but once here, we will provide accommodation near the research centre and transport to the land station. You will be responsible for your food expenses, but we will arrange communal shopping/cooking so that these expenses will be low (usually no more than 20€/week).
The first day you will receive full training and then start operating as a team.

Volunteers should be prepared to long working days (9-21h, in 2 shifts) under the sun and the wind at the LAND station and to help with data entry when bad weather.
For more information, a video and the blog of the project, see (SOON AVAILABLE, the website has some issues that will be fixed asap)

Successful applicants will:
- have a mature attitude towards marine mammal research
- be autonomous and quickly operational
be able to live and work constructively with others in a team
speak fluently Spanish and/or English

Preference will be given to those who:
- have previous experience in theodolite handling, including whale tracking
- have previous relevant marine mammal field experience

Applicants should send an email introducing themselves. The email should include an outline of why you would like to work on this project, your qualifications and previous experiences relevant to this project. Please also attach a brief CV, detailing your previous experiences, and fill in the attached MANDATORY registration form
 (also available in English and French upon request).

Please remember that this will be the last survey until further notice.

Applications should be sent URGENTLY and then your participation will be confirmed very quickly (please make sure to check your email frequently to make the whole selecting process efficient). The email should have the object “Land survey 2013”. Incomplete applications will not be considered (cover letter + CV + application form).

Successfull volunteers will be required to arrive at the research centre in Pelayo-Algeciras (Cádiz) at 18h00 on Friday 7th of June and will leave on Monday 24th of June before lunch.

For more information, do not hesitate to contact me.
All the best 

----------------------------Pauline GAUFFIER
CIRCE (España/Spain)

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