Position Title: Stranding Apprentice
IFAW is an international non-profit organization with its International Operations Center located in Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, USA. IFAW’s Marine Mammal Rescue and Research Program is a federally-authorized response program dedicated to marine mammal stranding response on Cape Cod and southeastern Massachusetts. Our mission is to promote the conservation of marine mammal species and their habitat by improving the rescue and humane care of stranded marine mammals, advancing stranding science, and increasing public awareness through education. This area averages about 260 strandings per year of live and dead seals, whales, porpoises and dolphins, and is a known “hot spot” for live dolphin mass strandings.
This position is a temporary (12 month) paid internship with IFAW’s Marine Mammal Rescue & Research Program located at IFAW’s International Operations Center in Yarmouth Port, MA. This position is designed to afford candidates new to the marine mammal field, the opportunity to work full-time alongside experienced marine mammal stranding responders. The apprentice will train directly with IFAW’s marine mammal rescue staff and veterinarians and will likely also have opportunities to network and learn from other marine mammal professionals who collaborate with IFAW. Through practical experience, the apprentice will develop skills and knowledge in marine mammal rescue, health assessment, supportive and clinical care, necropsy, data and sample collection and management, and other related responsibilities. The Stranding Apprentice will report directly to the Assistant Coordinator - Necropsy, but will also take direction from other staff who will provide guidance and oversight on day–to-day responses, tasks, and projects as needed.
The apprentice is scheduled 5 days per week for 8 hours each day (40 scheduled hours per week). This will include at least one weekend day per week and some scheduled holidays. Additional hours may be required, and overtime pay will be provided. The proposed dates for this position are November 2022 – November 2023.
Pay Rate and Benefits
Regular pay rate is $18/hour. Health insurance is offered after 3 months of employment. This position is eligible for paid holidays, workers’ compensation, and paid sick leave, as accrued.
- Participate in live animal stranding events, including health assessment, capture, supportive and clinical care, data and sample collection, transport, tagging, and release
- Participate in dead animal response, including carcass recovery, and field and laboratory post-mortem examinations
- Provide coverage for IFAW’s marine mammal stranding hotline, and coordinate initial responses and dispatch team members
- Assist with case data entry and tracking, including stranding event information, health assessments, post-mortem exams, and samples collected and results received
- Ensure response and necropsy equipment is maintained and ready for use
- Assist with intern training and leading in daily activities and during responses
- Manage, inventory, and order consumable response and necropsy supplies
- A Bachelor’s degree in the field of biology, zoology, ecology, or marine/environmental/animal science (or a related field), or a veterinary technician degree or equivalent experience
- Demonstrate a serious interest in pursuing a career in marine or veterinary science
- Must be self‐motivated and able to work as part of a team and independently
- Must be able to follow directions and protocols effectively and efficiently, and have strong oral and written communication skills
- Working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
- Must be at least 18 years old and legally eligible to work in the U.S.
- Must possess a valid driver’s license and must be able to pass DOT medical exam upon hiring
- Experience with or willingness to learn driving large trucks, trailers, and boats
- Must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to starting position
- New to the marine mammal stranding field (ideally not more than 5 years post-graduation and have not previously held full time/permanent paid positions in the marine mammal stranding field)
- Marine mammal handling/care or necropsy experience
- Experience working in a field setting or demonstrated ability to work long hours outdoors in various weather conditions
- Experience handling hotline calls
- Experience working with volunteers and interacting with the public
In lieu of a cover letter, answers to the below questions are required to be submitted with your application package. The hiring committee will be using the answers to these questions as part of a “blind” evaluation prior to having access to your resume or references. As much as possible, please avoid regional references, use of your gender pronouns, demographic information, or discussing any identifying physical characteristics. If your response includes descriptions of activities at a current or past employer, please do not use the name of the organization or person(s) involved. Do not include your name within the document.
- What specifically makes you a good candidate for this position?
- Tell us about a time in which you were able to be persistent in order to overcome a challenge and accomplish a task or project. Be specific.
- How would you manage an encounter (either on the phone or in-person) with a local resident who is concerned about a live seal resting on the beach and who has admitted to pouring water on the animal and is threatening to pick it up and collect it?
- If you were sent out into the field to lead a response with a few interns to collect a dead dolphin to be brought back to the lab for necropsy, what would you do to prepare for the response and what types of things would you be paying attention to during the response?
To apply, send the below listed items to email@example.com. Applications are due by September 30, 2022.
- Resume or CV
- A separate document with answers to the above 4 questions
- Names and contact information for 2 professional references