The Virginia Aquarium’s Education Division is now accepting applications for a Humpback Whale Photo-ID Batten Fellow for Winter/Spring 2020. The application deadline is December 1, 2019. Notification of acceptance will occur no later than December 16, 2019. Chosen candidate is expected to work 400 hours between January, 2020 and May, 2020. The Fellowship include a stipend to help offset personal and incidental expenses. Housing is not provided. It is the responsibility of the Batten Fellow, not the Virginia Aquarium, to ensure that any requirements for academic credit at a home institution are fulfilled.
The Aquarium’s Humpback Whale Photo-ID Fellowship opportunity based in Virginia Beach, Virginia is available to college or post-graduate students. We are looking for a self-motivated, detail-oriented individual to assist with photo-ID and data/image processing. The fellow will be expected to work 24-32 hours a week including some weekends.
Applicants will be assessed on his or her completed coursework, experience, GPA, cover letter, references, and interview. Successful candidate will be required to complete a final presentation on their work.
Batten Fellows are expected to bring a high level of dedication and scientific interest to the program. Fellows will be treated as professionals and will be expected to work side by side with Aquarium staff members and volunteers.
- Assist with research projects focused on humpback whale photo-ID
- Assist with processing images collected from Virginia Aquarium’s whale watch vessel
- Assist with matching dorsal fin and fluke images to the mid-Atlantic Humpback Whale Catalog (MAHWC)
- Assist staff with data entry and processing.
- Help prepare summary reports of whale sightings.
- Assist staff and volunteers on vessel based public what watch trips.
- Conduct interpretive programs aboard private and public what watch trips.
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Have a valid U.S. driver’s license and good driving record
- Be a rising senior, recent graduate or currently pursuing a post-graduate degree in a science-based program
- Demonstrate interest in a career in marine science
- Be comfortable in and around open water and boats
- Have field research experience. Preference will be given to those who have prior photo-ID experience.
- Be detail-oriented
- Experience with DSLR cameras preferred.
- Have basic math and computer skills using spreadsheets, data entry, and data analyses. Experience with Microsoft Excel and Access ideal.
- Experience with basic photo management software such as ACDSee and IMatch preferred.
- Customer service experience and strong communication skills helpful.
- Be self-motivated and able to perform activities both as part of a team and independently.
- Experience with programming in an informal setting a plus.
- Successful candidate will be required to research a topic selected through discussion with his or her supervisor and complete a final report which will be submitted to the Aquarium’s Batten Fellowship Endowment Committee
- Fellow will give an oral (MS PowerPoint) presentation summarizing their experience at the conclusion of the appointment and complete an exit survey.
FELLOWSHIP LEARNING OBJECTIVES
- Learn pertinent research protocols
- Gain experience with Data collection and processing using Microsoft Excel and Access
- Perform image sorting and processing using ACDSee and IMATCH
- Develop skills matching humpback whale fluke and dorsal fin images to the mid-Atlantic Humpback Whale Catalog.
- Gain/Increase experience with ecotours and informal educational programs.
MINIMUM COMMITMENT REQUIRED
400 hours. Although there is some flexibility, most of the field work will take place between January and February. Fellow will work approximately 32 hours a week during this time.
Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, Main Building and the Aquarium’s Whale Watch Vessel.
- A complete Fellowship application packet must include the following components. Incomplete application packets will not be considered.
- Cover letter detailing your available start date, any photo-ID experience, and a statement explaining what you hope to gain from your experience and how you may apply these skills to future experiences.
- Resume with GPA, completed coursework, and previous experience.
- College Transcript(s)
- Two reference letters. One must be from an advisor or professor that may speak on your academic background.
COMPLETED APPLICATION PACKET
Forward your completed application packet to:
Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
717 General Booth Boulevard
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451
Attn: Volunteer Resources – Batten Fellowship
If applying via email, please send application to
Interns@VirginiaAquarium.com. Please type
“Humpback Whale Photo-ID” in the subject line. You may copy
Questions about this positon may be directed to the Aquarium’s Boat Programs Coordinator Alexis Rabon -