The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales is looking for dedicated and enthusiastic individuals to join our Living Seas volunteer team at Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre (CBMWC) for set periods from 12th March – 5th November 2018. Volunteers will gain valuable experience whilst helping us to collect data on the marine wildlife of Cardigan Bay, man our visitor centre and inspire visitors and the public through community engagement activities.
The Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre is a non-profit organisation based in New Quay, west Wales, UK. Since 1996 we have been dedicated to raising awareness of the local marine environment through education and research. Using boat-based and land-based surveys, photo-ID and acoustic studies we monitor bottlenose dolphin, harbour porpoise and Atlantic grey seal populations in the Cardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and wider Irish Sea. We also run a busy visitor centre as well as our Discovery Room which offers marine educational and awareness raising activities for families, schools and groups. In April 2015 we became part of the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (WTSWW) and we deliver the Trusts Living Seas programme.
What You Will Gain
Volunteering for the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales at CBMWC is a fantastic opportunity for you to make a positive contribution to marine conservation and meet new people who share your interests. You will learn about the species and habitats in Cardigan Bay, gain experience in field work, research methods, data processing, public awareness and education programmes. The data you collect will contribute to long running research studies on bottlenose dolphin site usage, abundance, photo-identification and acoustic studies. Past volunteers have gone on to further education, work as Marine Mammal Observers and to work for other conservation or Government organisations.
The volunteer programme at CBMWC has received national recognition after achieving the Investing in Volunteers Award (IiV), the UK’s quality standard for volunteer management, in January 2017. We provide a fantastic volunteer experience!
Overall Purpose of the Role:
Living Seas Volunteers will assist with the delivery of our Living Seas research and engagement objectives and are required for specific periods from 12th March to 5th November 2018.
Tasks include (but are not limited to):
- Land-based surveys in conjunction with Ceredigion County Council (daily)
- Boat-based surveys*
- Manning our visitor centre, providing interpretation for visitors, selling merchandise and taking boat bookings
- Community engagement inspiring the public through events and activities
- Data entry and checking
- Updating daily sightings information
- Beach cleans
- Maintenance and up-keep of our salt water aquarium
- Assisting with up-keep and maintenance of CBMWC premises
- There may also be the opportunity to assist with various projects e.g. acoustic analysis, writing articles for publication on social media and in newsletters
* Boat trips are run by an external company who we collaborate with. They are weather dependent and volunteers take turns to join trips to act as onboard researcher. During times of bad weather, you will spend more time carrying out shore-based activities.
Important: In the past volunteers have worked up to 6-8 hours a day 6 days a week, to ensure surveys can be conducted during periods of good weather and volunteers gain the most out of the experience.
Living Seas volunteers will receive training in marine species identification, survey techniques, data entry, running a visitor centre and community engagement.
We are looking for volunteers with the following skills/qualities:
- Fluency in English
- A commitment to volunteering
- Research and surveying experience (not essential as training provided)
- IT skills, including Microsoft Office
- Confident in dealing with the public both face to face and over the telephone
- Interest and/or experience of working with the public
- Positive, reliable, responsible, conscientious and mature attitude
- Ability to work and live closely with others as part of a small team
- Strong work ethic with an ability to work unsupervised
- Adaptable and patient (particularly as boat work is weather dependent)
Please note that enthusiasm and passion for our work and the marine environment is as valued as experience, since full training is provided.
Volunteer positions are available from 12th March until 5th November 2018. You must be able to volunteer for an entire block and priority will be given to those who can volunteer for more than one block.
Block A – 12th March – 16th April (5 weeks)
Block B – 16th April – 14th May (4 weeks)
Block C – 14th May – 9th July (8 weeks)
Block D – 9th July – 3rd September (8 weeks)
Block E – 3rd September – 5th November (9 weeks)