Volunteer Position – Research and Outreach Assistant

Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch is a charity based on the Isle of Man dedicated to the conservation of cetaceans in Manx waters through research and education. We are recruiting four full-time volunteer Research and Outreach Assistants for the 2019 season. The placement runs from 20th May to 6th September and you need to be available for the entire duration. You will be joining our small but active team and become involved in all areas of our research and outreach work, alongside running our Visitor’s Centre.

The majority of your time here will be split between five activities: land-based surveys, boat-based surveys, manning the visitor’s centre, office tasks, and public outreach. You will be working alongside MWDW’s three operational staff and local volunteers on a rota of indoor and outdoor tasks.

Land-based surveys are a fantastic way of observing cetaceans and basking sharks behaving naturally in their environment, without causing them any disturbance. These surveys take place regularly, when the weather is calm, sometimes occurring from first to last light for several consecutive days.

Boat based surveys are often the highlights of the summer and will take place as weather and other factors permit. These surveys allow us to collect photo-identification images and offshore data. You also will get opportunities to go out with local tourist boat operators, going aboard to guide passengers and collect data and photographs. Volunteers must be aware that these trips are extremely weather dependent and can be very infrequent, we will not guarantee you a certain number of trips during your stay.

The principal office activities you will participate in are data entry and photo-identification analysis. You will be taught how we enter and process the data we record on our surveys. Photo-identification allows us to keep a record of re-sightings of individuals and to give us another derivative of abundance.

Public outreach and awareness-raising is a key element of our work. We run monthly public watch events at a beauty spot in the south of the island where you will talk to people about local species and help them to spot animals. We attend numerous small events such as carnivals and fun-days with our travelling information stall.

The newly opened Manx Whale and Dolphin Visitor’s Centre is in the heart of Peel, attracting many locals and tourists. We offer information about local species, recent sightings, how and where to spot them, general cetacean facts and a small merchandise area. The Young Scientist’s Area features a collection of locally found bones and activity area. Workshops for children will be organised for the summer months.

As a volunteer for Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch, you will be spending the summer in the beautiful ‘city’ of Peel on the Isle of Man. Peel is a fantastic place to live with two beaches, an impressive castle, entertaining pubs and the chance of seeing basking sharks from the breakwater.
We do not have a typical working week as we must take advantage of good weather when it is available. We work most weekends, but you will get two days off per week. Previous volunteers have taken up part-time evening work to help with living costs.

Experience is not essential but a strong desire to further a career in conservation, marine biology or environmental education is important. You must have a strong work ethic and be able to think pro-actively, learning from the role and using your own initiative to develop new projects over the course of the summer. If you can bring a car, this would open much more flexibility in terms of exploring the island and conducting surveys without a member of staff.

You will be living in shared accommodation within a beautiful big town house in the centre of Old Peel. There are two single rooms and one twin, so you may have to share (same sex). The bathrooms, kitchen, dining/living area and the garden are shared. Rent is £75 per week.

You can get to the Isle of Man easily from the UK or Ireland via the ferry (Steam-Packet) or a flight to our airport (Ronaldsway).

To apply, please email info@mwdw.net with a copy of your CV and a covering letter explaining why you would like to come and volunteer with us. Applications deadline is Sunday 7th April after which we will contact successful applicants offering a telephone/video interview.

Any questions just give us a call on 01624 610131/07624 393496 or drop us an email.

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