Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program Field Training Volunteer The Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (JIMAR)/Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program (HMSRP) has been utilizing volunteers in recent years to assist with Hawaiian monk seal seasonal field research camps (~4 months duration) in the remote Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI).
As part of an effort to recruit more locally-based personnel for the field camps, we are currently seeking 1- 2 individuals to volunteer with our program as a field training volunteer for several months before the field season begins. The field training position requires a commitment to volunteer approximately 10 hours/week through ~March or April 2018. During this time, candidates gain experience to become better qualified for a position as a monk seal field camp volunteer in the NWHI, a position we will recruit for at a later time.
The 10 hours/week are flexible, but must be between approximately 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Selected individuals will receive training and experience with various activities on Oahu such as data collection and entry, specimen archiving and processing, identifying seals, bleaching them for identification, assisting with necropsies, inventorying and packing field supplies, and other activities.
Although selection for the field training volunteer position does not guarantee a field camp volunteer position, we are only seeking candidates with a strong desire to become a field camp volunteer and who would be available for the 2018 field season if eventually selected for the volunteer field camp position (described below). Thus, ideal candidates for the current recruitment for the field training volunteer position must have the right personality and capabilities to live on a remote, isolated atoll in rugged conditions for approximately 4 months with only a few other people.
The dates for the 2018 field season are unknown at this time but will most likely range between March and September 2018. Applicants are also required to be available 40 hours/week M-F beginning approximately late March/early April when mandatory field camp training begins. Field camp deployment is expected to be approximately 5 weeks after training begins and is expected to run as late as August/September 2018. This schedule is subject to change so flexibility is required.
The field training volunteer positions will be located at Inouye Regional Center at Ford Island. Applicants must be able to meet the U.S. Department of Commerce and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) security requirements to access the work location.
To apply for the field training position, email a resume and cover letter to Lizabeth Kashinsky at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. Positions will remain open until filled.
Cover letter should include:
Explain why you are interested in the field training position
Clearly address each qualification listed in the field camp volunteer position description (p. 4)
Availability in days (M-F only) and times (e.g., 8:00-4:00 every Monday and Wednesday).
Availability if later selected for the field camp volunteer position
See next page for more information on the field camp volunteer position. This position must be applied for separately when the position is announced at a later date.
Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program Field Camp Volunteer:
Approximately three weeks of training/packing in Honolulu will be required before deployment, with an additional week or more after the end of the season for unpacking, cleaning, etc. All other qualifications being equal, preference will be given to applicants who live on Oahu so they can be incorporated into our program as soon as possible to gain useful experience before the official training begins
Field camp volunteers may be working in groups of ~2-4 people per camp. Living conditions are rustic (e.g., living in tents, bathing in the ocean, no internet or cell phone coverage, and limited communication with the outside world via satellite phone/email). Deployment to a remote field site is a serious undertaking. Delays in scheduled pick-up and drop-off dates due to weather or ship mechanical issues may occur, as well as long response times for emergency responses, including evacuation.
Applicants must be able to meet both the U.S. Department of Commerce and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) security requirements to access the work location, and also the health requirements to board a NOAA vessel.
For more information on the field camps, go to:
JIMAR HAWAIIAN MONK SEAL FIELD CAMP VOLUNTEER POSITION DESCRIPTION JIMAR
Hawaiian Monk Seal Field Camp Volunteer, located at the National Marine Fisheries (NMFS), Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) in Honolulu, Hawaii. DUTIES: Under guidance of field camp leader, field camp assistant, and/or NMFS personnel, assists in camp preparation, collection, entry and editing of data. Maintains a safe working environment for field personnel. Collects census and life history data on Hawaiian monk seals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands or on remote shorelines in the Main Hawaiian Islands; enters data into computer databases; collects, inventories, and removes debris capable of entangling seals and turtles; assists with collection of tissue samples for DNA analysis; assists with tagging and measuring weaned pups under the guidance of field camp leader/assistant; may assist with the disentanglement of seals and other recovery actions which may include mitigation and deterrence of shark predation by assisting the leader/field camp assistant while translocating weaned pups from areas of high shark predation to areas of lower shark predation risk. This may also involve assisting the field camp leader during shark fishing procedures by photographing, recording data, handing equipment and supplies to the leader, and holding the line taut, all while standing at a safe distance away. Also, assists with preparation of equipment and supplies for field camps; packs equipment and supplies for shipment to Northwestern Hawaiian Islands; loads and unloads gear from transport vessel; assists with establishing field camp at remote site. At the field site, under guidance of field camp leader, field camp assistant, and/or NMFS personnel may assist with necropsies; collects and assists processing of scats and spews for food habits analysis. Participates in daily maintenance and operation of field camp. Assists with return, repair, and clean-up of field equipment and supplies. May participate in boating operations under the direction and at the discretion of the field camp leader. May also assist with other protected species research. Performs other duties as assigned.
PRIMARY QUALIFICATIONS: EDUCATION: High School Diploma or equivalent.
EXPERIENCE: Some field or wilderness experience, including working in small groups. Some previous experience collecting or working with data.
ABIL/KNOW/SKILLS: Good communication and team skills. Ability to perform accurate data entry. Ability to follow directions and abide by the restrictions of living and working in a fragile (and federally protected) ecosystem. Capable of maintaining a positive attitude in challenging field conditions and succeed and thrive in an isolated environment with minimal contact with current events and family/friends during the extent of deployment. Demonstrated ability to be a good team player. Working knowledge of personal computers including use of word processing, spreadsheets, and databases.
PHYSICAL/MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS: Ability to swim. Ability to work in remote locations for extended periods of time. Must be able to work long hours in the sun. Must be able to walk long distances (up to 7 miles) in the sand carrying 25-35 pounds of field gear. Must be able to manually restrain immature seals (up to 200 pounds). Must be able to obtain medical clearance for embarking/working on NOAA research vessels or other appropriate vessels which includes providing proof of required immunizations and/or obtaining the necessary immunizations as required by NOAA Marine and Aviation Operations.
SECONDARY QUALIFICATIONS: Prior field experience, including experience working within small groups in remote settings. Wildlife handling experience. Prior monk seal experience in the main Hawaiian Islands or in a Hawaiian monk seal field camp. Previous experience in field or laboratory studies of marine mammals, previous experience handling marine mammals, previous data entry experience. Prefer applicants interested in pursuing career in marine mammalogy or related field. For positions requiring travel between multiple-island atolls, possess prior experience with small boats and/or the ability to conduct routine maintenance on small boats. Possess NOAA certification for small boat operations (having completed Motorboat Operators Certification Course (MOCC), open water module (OWM) and NOAA small boat component training) to work at multiple-island atolls.