Research Assistant- Vessel Observer- Right Whale Field Station, Lubec, ME
New England Aquarium - Massachusetts

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DATE: June 28th, 2013TITLE: Research Assistant- Vessel Observer- Right Whale Field Station, Lubec, MEDEPT: ResearchREPORTS TO: Chief Survey ScientistAVAILABLE: Start date of August 1st, 2013HOURS: Full Time SeasonalThis position works August 1st September 30th Schedule is 7 hours per day when on land and 14-15 hours per day when at sea. Observers will work 6 days per week. Current or previous New England Aquarium staff, volunteers, and interns are preferred. JOB SUMMARY: The Vessel Survey Observer is required to have extensive previous experience with North Atlantic right whale vessel surveys and post survey photography and data analysis and proofing of images and data.

Survey observer duties include in-survey observation for marine mammals, DSLR photography, data collection and processing for North Atlantic right whales; following line transect method protocols, preparation and maintenance of survey equipment and research vessel. Additional duties include assistance with budgeting, daily and end of season reports, summarizing data, maintaining data logs, and quality checks, as assigned by supervisors. May be additional opportunities for involvement in other surveys and work on right whale catalog.This position is based in the right whale field station in Lubec, Maine. Free room and board in a group living situation at the field station is provided.

Transportation is not provided, however Lubec, Maine is accessible via public transportation to a nearby town or by car-pooling with team members traveling from and to Boston at the start and end of the field season.Please apply by July 5th, 2013.RESPONSIBILITIES: 1.Review, analyze, record and summarize photographic data collected from aerial surveys off of coastal Canadian Maritimes. 2.Conduct vessel surveys as observer, data recorder. Perform duties aboard research platform including cleaning, maintenance of engine and safety equipment and ability to take the helm and navigate in local waters. Prepare and maintain vessel survey equipment.

Perform ground contact duties for an aerial survey team. Drive various distances in various vehicles including pickup trucks and perform maintenance checks on vehicle. 3.Provide assistance to the Chief Survey Scientist. Duties include: coordinating survey crew, making weather calls for survey planning, coordinating with other vessel surveys that operate in the survey area, field work logistics.4.Author blog posts and partake in other social media and outreach outlets related to research projects; maintain web pages associated with research program.

5.Miscellaneous duties such as tracking field season budget, gathering materials for research blog, creating reports and presentations, grocery shopping and occasional meal preparation for the team as assigned.QUALIFICATIONSMinimum Training and ExperienceRequires a Bachelor's degree in Marine Science or related field and at least four field seasons of right whale vessel survey and aerial survey experience. Candidates must have a valid driver's license. Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Experience in marine mammal biology and vessel and aerial survey methodologyPrevious experience with digital photography and photographic analysis for North Atlantic right whalesPrevious experience with right whale behavior and surface behaviors of other whale species.Previous experience identifying various marine mammal species from a shipboard platform (both shipboard and aerial preferred).Previous experience identifying individual right whales Proficient in Microsoft Office programs. Experience with Access, GIS and statistical packages would be advantageous.

Good writing skills.Previous experience with computer data logging programs.Previous experience with marine electronics (VHF radio, GPS, AIS, etc.).Excellent organizational, communication and coordination skillsAbility to get along well with others and play various roles in a team capacityGood accounting skills and experience handling budgetsNew England Aquarium is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to diversity in the workplace.

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