Recruiting 2022 research and outreach volunteers

Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch are looking for local volunteers to undertake full or part-time placements with us during our field season May-September 2022. This position would suit a student or graduate returning to the island for the summer.  This is a non-residential placement so you will need to have a base on the island. You may be studying for a relevant degree and looking to get your foot in the door by way of volunteering for the summer.

Your time with us will be split between 2 main areas: research and outreach/education:

Research work: data collection through land-based and boat-based cetacean survey fieldwork, data-entry, photo-identification, maintaining the public sightings database for cetaceans and basking sharks (daily on a rota basis) and possible acoustic work. There may be potential for GIS mapping and use of other software depending on your experience and what you wish to gain from the placement.

Outreach work will involve manning our Visitor Centre in Peel, assisting with our information stall at carnivals and other events such as Tynwald Day and Peel Day, and helping with our fortnightly Sunday Sea Watches at the Sound. The Visitor Centre will be open daily through the summer, so we need a small, dedicated group of people manning this on a rota basis. Outreach work occurs pretty much every weekend through the summer months.

You will additionally be involved with the running of the Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch Show on August 6th&7th at the Villa Marina Promenade Suite. This event will showcase realistic, life-size inflatable whales, dolphins and other marine creatures. Displays and information about Manx marine life will fill the venue over the course of the weekend, raising awareness of marine conservation and the importance of Manx waters. As a long-term summer volunteer, you will, by August, be clued up about local species and able to communicate your knowledge to the public. We will need you to help with setting up on the Friday and work the whole weekend.

Other ongoing outreach work will include updating social media channels, the website and designing interpretational materials such as leaflets or posters for events.

Research and outreach efforts work hand in hand with one another. The more you learn with us on the job through your own sightings, data-entry and understanding of the movements of Manx species, the more knowledge you will gain in order to effectively communicate this to the public.

Due to the nature of our work, survey work takes priority during calm spells of weather. This can include long back-to-back days, either at a coastal vantage point or out on the water. Boat-based surveys can last between 4 and 10 hours. Due to weather and skipper/crew availability, we cannot guarantee a certain number of boat surveys during the season. Land-based surveys are much more frequent than boat surveys, but equally as exciting, offering the opportunity to watch cetaceans and sharks from a distance without causing any disturbance.

We work pretty much every weekend, manning the Visitor Centre or running a sea watch or show. There is always something going on. We understand that you may have a job and other commitments, but we do ask that you only apply if you are available at weekends plus at least 2 days during the week, which can be flexible. The more hours you can put in the more you will get out of this placement.

All petrol costs to and from the office or survey sites will be covered and access to your own vehicle is highly advantageous.

To apply, please send us a CV and covering letter by 11pm on Sunday 8th May, specifying the following: Your availability between mid-May and mid-September, how many days a week/preferred days of work you can do, and whether you have a car.

If you would like any further information about the placement or to apply please email info@mwdw.net

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