IWDG wish to recruit Celtic Mist Field Biologist

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group wishes to recruit a seasonal part time Field Biologist to run research surveys onboard IWDG’s research vessel Celtic Mist.

Photo by IWDG Member Marcus Hogan

Celtic Mist was donated to the IWDG in 2011, by the family of Ireland’s  former Taoiseach, Charles J. Haughey. At 17m, Celtic Mist has become IWDG’s flagship vessel, equipped to accommodate eight people. Celtic Mist has surveyed Irish inshore and offshore waters since 2012, successfully circum-navigating Ireland on several occasions, including in 2022.

This years surveys onboard Celtic Mist will run for seven days, departing from a variety of locations throughout Ireland from April – September 2023. The Field Biologist will work closely with IWDG’s Science Officer to manage and deliver a new data collection programme onboard Celtic Mist, collecting vital information on cetaceans in Irish waters. They will be responsible for training members in marine mammal survey techniques, managing the data collection and communicating the project through our social media channels.

Job Specifications:

A detailed programme of work will be agreed with the successful candidate at the outset. The successful candidate will report to the IWDG Science Officer and work closely with other IWDG Officers, especially the Celtic Mist and Education and Outreach Officers.

Key tasks and responsibilities:

  • Manage the robust data collection and storage of error corrected survey data on board Celtic Mist under the supervision of IWDG’s Science Officer.
  • Train and supervise volunteer members in visual marine mammal survey techniques.
  • Coordinate with other marine biologists during the season to ensure consistency in data collection.
  • Maintain on board science equipment (computer hardware and software, cameras) in coordination with the Science Officer.
  • Partake fully in all aspects of the survey, acting as a full crew member and participating in all operational, domestic, and social aspects of the survey.
  • Work with the Digital Content Officer and Science Officer to provide content for website news articles and provide social media updates.
  • Deliver talks on marine conservation and Marine Protected Area AOIs identified in the Fair Seas report Revitalising Our Seas to local communities.
  • Assist the Education and Outreach Officer on education activities.
  • Be informed and up to date with IWDG policies and objectives.
  • Represent the Group in a positive way at all times, while adhering to all IWDG

Essential qualifications, skills, and experience:

  • Degree in a scientific or environmental discipline or over two years of experience in marine mammal surveying.
  • Knowledge and experience of marine mammal survey techniques, including visual data collection methods.
  • Cetacean ID skills
  • Offshore sailing/ boating experience (formal qualifications not essential but desirable).
  • Provable experience in working with databases (Access, excel).
  • Experience in photo identification techniques of marine mammals.
  • Medical certificate (i.e., ML5 or ENG11).
  • Garda vetted by start date.

Desirable skills and experience:

  • A postgraduate degree in marine/cetacean science.
  • Experience delivering citizen science projects and volunteer management.
  • Demonstrable experience in developing training material and delivering training programmes.
  • Knowledge of and experience using IFAW LOGGER.
  • Photography skills
  • Experience assisting with educational programmes.
  • Experience using a variety of social media platforms.
  • Full valid and clean driving license.

Personal attributes and competencies:

  • Passion for wildlife conservation and the mission of the IWDG to engage people with nature conservation.
  • Experience working as part of a team and ability to use your own initiative and work independently.
  • Ability to live and work alongside others, in a shared cabin for extended periods of time.
  • Eagerness for working with a diversity of different people, of all ages and backgrounds.

Terms of Employment:

Salary: This position is part time and will be compensated with a gross daily rate of €120 (€60 for half day) for a minimum of 66 days.

Contract:  This is a part time role running from May – September with an average of 14 days a month. You will be required to work weekends and bank holidays. Full details on the working hours and schedule will be provided before starting the role.

Place of Work:  IWDG is based in Kilrush, Co. Clare. However, after initial training the role will take place onboard IWDG’s research vessel Celtic Mist which will sail from various locations along the coast of Ireland. This will involve staying onboard with other members of the IWDG crew as well as IWDG members for seven days at a time. Travel to and from each departure and arrival ports will be required although expenses will be provided.

Application procedure:

Send a CV and letter of interest to rebecca.dudley@iwdg.ie. Enquires can also be made to Rebecca Dudley at (+353) 659051763. Your letter of interest should be in pdf format and a maximum of one page in length. In your letter, please outline your motivation for this position and why you feel you have the skills and experience to succeed in the role. Please put ‘Celtic Mist Field Biologist’ in the email subject line.

Closing date for applications: 5pm on 24th April 2023. Interviews will take place online the following week. Please note the successful candidate will be required to start by 5th May 2023, although a later start date would be negotiated for the right candidate. Please note that candidates will only be contacted if short-listed.

Further information about Celtic Mist and the work of the IWDG can be found at www.iwdg.ie