Apply to join our team of interns, educators and scientists in 2016!
We are pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for interns to join our research and education team for the field season of January - March 2016. Find details below:
Whales of Guerrero Research Project Internship Announcement
The Whales of Guerrero Research Project (WGRP) is a privately funded field research and community outreach project located in the state of Guerrero, Mexico, near the twin cities of Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo on the Pacific Ocean coast.
This project is the first to investigate humpback whales and other marine mammals in depth in the state of Guerrero. There is an absence of information and awareness about whales and other cetaceans among boat operators, tour guides, residents and visitors to the region.
The two primary goals of the Whales of Guerrero Research Project’s are:
We will accomplish our research goals by conducting on-water and land-based field studies in the area from January through March annually for the next 4 years (winters 2015-2018). The 2016 study will include two concurrent on-water efforts to locate, photo-identify and record the songs of humpback whales and collect occurrence data on other marine mammals including four dolphin species (Tursiops truncatus, Stenella attenuata, Steno bredanensis and Delphinus delphis). The research boats will be 6-meter long fiberglass fishing pangas, driven by local fishermen, who will be participating in the project as regional experts, citizen scientists and ecotour guides in training. In addition, one land-based field study will record marine mammal occurrence and activity relative to all boats in the area. Fluke identification photos will contribute to our local fluke identification catalog as well as larger existing fluke identification catalogs maintained by research colleagues elsewhere in Mexico and the US. We will record humpback whale vocalizations to note presence/absence and also share these data with researchers elsewhere in Mexico and the US.
Data we collect will (1) help the region to become a SEMARNAT-acknowledged marine mammal site, which will garner further resources to study and protect the whales, (2) identify potentially sensitive regions for humpback whales relative to shrimp boat activity, gillnet fishing and other potentially harmful anthropogenic activities, and (3) contribute to the larger scientific community’s understanding of the Northeastern Pacific Humpback Whale stock.
We will raise awareness regarding whale watching practices and humpback whale behavior by hosting and facilitating workshops and training sessions geared toward boat operators, fishermen, tourist-oriented business owners, residents and visitors. These efforts will be led by early career and established scientists and educators from Mexico and the United States. A number of marine mammalogists and marine biology educators will spend short periods of time on the study with us throughout the season to participate in our outreach efforts, provide expertise and support to our research efforts, and strengthen the scientific community’s understanding of marine mammals in the state of Guerrero as they relate to the larger stocks.
For more information about the Whales of Guerrero Research Project, please visit:
Volunteer Intern Positions
The WGRP is in the process of selecting volunteer interns for our Winter 2016 internship program. A minimum of 10 weeks of participation is required during 4 January - 20 March. Applications are due by September 1st. Please note that we are only seeking 4-6 interns this session and that we receive many more applications than we have openings.
Successful candidates will participate in the following research projects:
1) Humpback whale field monitoring and photo-identification. This study will continue monitoring the migratory community of humpback whales in Barra de Potosi, Zihuatanejo, Ixtapa and the surrounding waters. Duties in the field will consist of assisting with boat-based photographic identification surveys for humpback whales five days per week, six hours per day. Behavioral, location, individual, and environmental data will be recorded for each marine mammal group. Interns can expect to rotate between land-based field studies and on-water studies for the duration of the season and spend an average of 30% of their field data collection time on-land (in a lighthouse) and 70% on-water (in a 6-meter fishing panga).
Interns should expect to spend about 60% of their time in the field (a minimum of five days per week, at least 6 hours per day), and about 40% of their time working with data, performing equipment maintenance and participating in community outreach and education efforts.
There is no compensation for these internship positions. However, the project will provide for living accommodations (homestays with local hosts in the village) during the time of the internship, and a $250 travel stipend will be provided to support transportation to and from the region. Interns must cover the expense of their own food, local transportation, internet, telephone and miscellaneous personal expenses during the course of their internship.
Applicants will ideally have the following qualifications:
* Minimum of 24 years of age and engaged in or recently completed graduate studies or comparable marine biology field experience
Intern Application Instructions
To apply for a Whales of Guerrero Research Project internship, interested persons should complete and provide to WGRP the following application materials:
1. Your name, birthdate, gender, permanent mailing address, phone number, e-mail address, the college or university you are currently attending or most recently attended, your year of study at the time of the internship, your major field of study, the highest degree you have received, the year you expect to graduate, other colleges or universities you have attended and the dates you are available to participate in the internship.
All applications will be reviewed; those received by the application deadline of September 1st will be given first priority. Successful applications will be contacted by November 1, 2015.