* WHAT * Volunteer research assistants are required to assist with the long term research and monitoring program of the ‘UAE Shark Monitoring Project’. The project is part of a PhD study on the shark fishery in the UAE with a focus on species diversity, distribution and abundance, feeding ecology and the fin trade.
* WHERE * The research is focused on four of the seven Emirates in the UAE and all field work will be conducted from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah. All laboratory work will be carried out at the Marine Biology Lab at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) in Al Ain. * WHEN * Until December 2011. This is a long term project and volunteers are expected to commit to the project for at least 5 days of field work during the whole period. * BENEFITS FOR THE VOLUNTEER ASSISTANT *
This is an excellent opportunity to gain experience in shark identification, landing sites and market surveying, dissections, analyzing stomach contents, staging reproductive systems, fishing gear configuration and general data collection skills that can be obtained from participating in marine fieldwork. * DUTIES * Research assistants will be responsible for assisting the project leader in all aspects of research and associated tasks for land-based, boat-based and laboratory activities. Duties include, but are not limited to: *Land-based activities* - Weekly field work at one of the landing sites across the UAE (4:30 am in Abu Dhabi; 4 pm in Dubai; 7 pm in Sharjah; 6:30 am 1:30 pm and 7 pm in Ras Al Khaimah) - Volunteers will be required to spend 2 to 3 hours with the project leader at these sites to collect data on landed sharks (species id, measurements, DNA samples, stomach contents) - Volunteers can also assist in the processing and data analysis of shark stomach contents at the UAEU in Al Ain. - Data entry, equipment cleaning and maintenance and other lab task may sometimes be required.
*Boat-based activities* - Conducted 2-3 days a month at various locations (weather permitting). - Volunteers must be comfortable on a small fiberglass boat (up to 10m in length) in moderate sea states. Daily trips will be up to 12 hours long. - Assistants will help deploy fishing lines and nets as well as sample and tag sharks using a catch and release method. Data collected will include species identification, measurements, stomach contents and DNA samples. - Equipment cleaning duties will be shared.
* CONDITIONS * This is a volunteer position and is unpaid. Applicants must organize and pay for their own way to the study sites. Alternatively, they can join the project leader and depart from Dubai Marina prior to each survey.
* IMPORTANT SKILLS / QUALIFICATIONS* - Reliable, good attitude, work ethic and able to get on well with other in a small team; - Ability and willingness to work long hours outdoors, in often hot weather and smelly fish markets; - Interest in ecology and marine science; - Competent swimmers and proof of medical insurance are a MUST for volunteering on the boat activities; - Previous field work experience specifically with fisheries is preferred but no prior research experience is required and full training will be provided.
* HOW TO APPLY * Applicants should send an email introducing themselves to the project leader Rima Jabado at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org . The email should include a brief outline of why they would like to participate in this project, which activities they are interested in, their availability (in terms of locations, days of the week, and time) and any other relevant details.