are you meant for something extraordinary?
ready to make some waves? are you a self starter, able to work both independently and as a team? live on o`ahu, or already have a place to stay and transportation? the wild dolphin foundation's boat and land-based volunteer opportunities are
open to a wide variety of participants who feel conservation and environmental
protection of dolphins, whales, turtles, coral reefs and ocean habitats may be part of their life mission.
marine research is difficult and challenging work, and not for everyone! those wishing to participate must be in good physical health, especially free of back and leg injuries, as field hours can be long - though very satisfying! this is an experience that delivers a unique opportunity for education, development of field ecology research skills, travel, and enjoyment of hawaii's marine wildlife.
skills include ability to work in a
conscientious, responsible and reliable manner, enthusiasitic, interest in wildlife and conservation, background in biology helpful-
particularly marine biology/environmental science, enjoy working with
the public, good verbal and written communication skills, and literate in computer
skills. all volunteers must be self-directed and self-motivated, willing to work both alone and within a team, and have the ability to follow printed directions.
if you do not fit criteria in the 2nd to last paragraph below, or give us the needed information, we probably wont answer your email. we not only just plain don't have the time - you have just failed the preceding bolded sentence.
unless participants have a well-grounded understanding of research methods,
volunteers interested in field research must commit to a minimum 8 week period and be available at least two days each week. college credit internships are available, however "lay people"
are both wanted and needed, as long as they are enthusiastic, committed and can follow printed directions for independently-geared tasks.
volunteers must be able to commit to one or more of the projects described
below. there is neither compensation nor a charge for the program, but we emphasize that accepted applicants must treat the position with the same dedication they would a paid job.
- photo ids processed and cataloged
- videos scanned for whale and dolphin photo id's (100's
of hours of above and underwater footage)
- videos scanned for whale and dolphin behavior patterns
- diversify, add to, and strengthen our board of directors
- broaden the vessel-based program to a state-wide effort, gathering information from all marine-mammal focused boats. our online database allows volunteers to enter data
from any location. we will need cameras/photo editing software for volunteers, and creative ideas about how to implement state-wide
program. we need identify willing operators and recruit/train volunteers
- perform shore-based observations. watching from shore is priceless and can be done anywhere there are dolphins, but the waianae coast is preferred to get baseline data before and after visitation to the dolphins by tour boats.
- design, facilitate, and/or present awareness programs at
hotels. volunteer will need to identify target hotels and may need to contact/ find other volunteers to help implement
- design, facilitation, and presentation of educational programs in local
- design and facilitate multi-day camps: dolphin research, turtle treks, underwater photography, etc. for different user groups – teens, single women, seniors, etc.
vessel-based research takes place opportunistically on a dolphin and whale-watching tour boats. participation in field research includes:
- assisting the researcher by photographing dolphin dorsal
fins to aid with individual identifications
recording environmental data at the dock, hourly, and
in the vicinity of dolphins recording of all sighting information including location
name, latitude and longitude, total number of animals, number
of calves, initial behavior, field times and direct dolphin
determining and recording of latitude and longitude by
using a global positioning system (gps) receiver and keeping
track of all relevant times
recording of group activity patterns during behavioral
assisting in unloading and cleaning of all equipment,
as well as transcribing and analyzing data, reviewing dorsal
fin photos and data entry at the field station
- contributing to all aspects of the research program, including
the upkeep of materials, house or boat-keeping, cooking,
cleaning, acting as naturalists while onboard vessel, etc.
participants will gain valuable education throughout the program and will meet potential role models who work in the fields of resource management and conservation biology. in addition they will gain career experience, improve in intrapersonal skills, gain knowledge in conservation, and develop professional skills necessary for advancement in conservation and other fields. volunteers help to preserve some of the most precious natural resources in hawai‘i.
individuals interested in becoming volunteers
should apply for the program by writing a letter of interest.
please include a brief sketch of personal goals (what you
hope to gain), special skills, experiences, and interests
you think would assist us. it is very useful to be informed about the
wild dolphin foundation's background and interests
and point out ways that your interests interface. please be specific about your availability; days, hours, length of commitment, and that you have both lodging and transportation on o`ahu in place. please note that we do not provide monetary compensation for related costs, nor assist you to find transportation or lodging. being short-staffed and busy, we usually scan for the phrase "i will be on o`ahu x amount of time and have transportation". if this is not included, we will probably not get around to answering letter. letters of interest should be sent to us by e-mail.
any data or media gathered, analyzed
or disseminated in any fashion while interning or volunteering
under the wild dolphin foundation are solely the property of
the wild dolphin foundation, unless otherwise cleared in writing
by the program director.