Program Details

Cetacean volunteer researchers will be directly involved in field activities, helping the scientists to collect cetacean data and assist them in preliminary analyses of digital photos and acoustic recordings, while learning basics in sailing. You will be
Location:
Rome, Italy
Program Type:
Volunteer Abroad
Degree Level:
Undergraduate
Work Types:
Animals, Environment
Duration:
1-3 months

Program Overview

Program Description:
The research focuses on the spectacularly large fin whale as well as on sperm whales, Risso’s dolphins, pilot whales, striped and bottlenose dolphins. We have places for Cetacean Volunteer Researchers to join for one or more weeks from May to September of every year. Individuals, groups, families and students doing research all welcome. Cost for food, accommodation on board the research boat, programme materials, equipment, scientific lectures & training; from £715.

Cetacean volunteer researchers will be directly involved in field activities, helping the scientists to collect cetacean data and assist them in preliminary analyses of digital photos and acoustic recordings, while learning basics in sailing. You will be trained through specific lectures and work side by side with researchers. During this period you will be asked to contribute to the data collection and analysis (e.g. recording cetaceans number and behaviour at regular intervals, preliminary analysis of cetaceans digital photos, etc).The schedule of a research cruise depends very much on weather conditions. Surveys are conducted whenever the sea state and wind forecasts are favourable for data collection. Cetacean volunteer researchers are full members of the crew, and they will be assigned a number of duties. These include sighting shifts (looking for cetaceans), computer shifts (data entry and hydrophone listening), navigation shifts (checking the boat course and velocity), cooking and boat-keeping shifts (participants as well as staff members will be in charge of preparing meals and cleaning-up, keeping the boat tidy and ready to sail).

Since 1990 this project has been investigating the ecology and behaviour of cetaceans living in the Cetacean Sanctuary - a special marine protected area extending between Italy and France. The research focuses on the spectacularly large fin whale as well as on sperm whales, Risso’s dolphins, pilot whales, striped and bottlenose dolphins.
Setting Description:
The project is conducted within the Ligurian Sea Cetacean Sanctuary, in an area delimited by Cote d'Azur (France), Tuscany, and northern Sardinia (Italy). In this region, particularly rich in nutrients, cetaceans are found in numbers that are higher than in other Mediterranean areas. Base harbour is in Sanremo (Italy), near the French border.
Cost:
The total cost ranges from £685 to £822 GB pounds per week (depending on course date). This includes a £150 GB pounds deposit payable with the application with the balance payment to be paid in Euros (719 to 886 Euros depending on course date and duration, or for students under 26 yrs old, 642 to 826 Euros). Please enquire to the Volunteer Coordinator: victoria.mcneil@workingabroad.com for any questions.

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