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The Sri Lankan Blue Whale Project is looking for qualified students to fill our upcoming internship positions. Interns will assist with field work on blue whales, education programme development, social media and outreach. See below for the complete details.

The Sri Lankan Blue Whale Project is the first long term research project on blue whales of the Northern Indian Ocean. The research and conservation work conducted through this project has been featured on BBC, The New York Times, TED, National Geographic, CNN, GOOD and New Scientist.

FIELDWORK:
The volunteer position entails assisting during field surveys and analysis of photo-identification (photo-id). The successful applicant will gain valuable experience in conducting marine mammal field research, identifying individuals based on dorsal fin and fluke characteristics, and the use of databases for archiving field data.

Field work is physically and at times mentally demanding but it is a great opportunity to gain knowledge in visual cetacean surveying, to get hands-on field experience in relation to survey techniques, photo-id, behavioural observations, and improve practical skills.

Assistants need to be available full-time including weekends and be prepared to work long hours with early starts.

RESPONSIBILITIES:
. Assisting with; boat-based photo-id surveys from a small vessel and collecting video based behavioural data.

. Analysis of photo-id and behavioural video data in the lab; including assistance with photo sorting, grading, and matching of photos, maintenance of a long-term photo-id catalogue, identifying behavioural events on video, and data entry. Research assistants should be prepared to work long days in the office analysing of photographs and matching them with the photo-identification catalogue.

PREREQUISITES:
. Be reliable, adaptable, hardworking and patient as fieldwork is highly weather dependent
. Have a mature and independent attitude towards marine mammal research
. Speak fluent English
. Be sociable, enthusiastic and have a positive attitude
. Strong interest in the marine environment and conservation
. Participants must be able to swim and should be comfortable working on small boats

QUALIFICATIONS:
The internship is open to students who are currently enrolled in, or recently graduated from an accredited college or university.
Preference will be given to students or recent graduates working towards biology, environmental studies, zoology, ecology, marine science, conservation, education, or other related fields.
Basic computer proficiency in MS Office
Strong and innovative science communication skills are an added bonus.
Intern should demonstrate strong written and verbal communication skills.
Students that are adaptable, responsible, hardworking, willing to learn, and have attention to detail are encouraged to apply.
Must be able to work independently and as part of a team.
Interns should be available for the entire field season from 1st February -28 February 2017.

Preferred qualifications but not required:
. Prior experience working on small vessels
. Field research including photo-id experience
. Previous experience in survey techniques and especially in marine mammal research
. First AID/CPR certification

As this is a volunteer position, there is unfortunately no monetary compensation (a small donation will be sought from non-Sri Lankan students), interns must cover their own transportation expenses to the field site (including flights and visas) in Weligama, Sri Lanka. Basic housing and food will be provided.

To Apply- Send your resume, cover letter, and one letter of reference to Asha de Vos at whalessrilanka@gmail.com. Applications must be received by January 23rd for decisions to be made by the 25t
in anticipation of the 1st February start date.

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