Subject to Covid-19 restrictions, the Sea Watch Foundation is seeking an Education and Outreach Assistant for the 2021 season at its field office in Cardigan Bay.
This position will suit a volunteer who has a strong interest in marine conservation and recognises the importance of educating and raising awareness by involving the public from all age groups. This position can be very busy, so applicants will need to demonstrate their ability to deal with varied and heavy workloads, and to multi-task. They will be encouraged to take initiatives with education & outreach activities in the region which due to its natural beauty and accessible dolphin population receives large numbers of visitors during the summer.
Important Note: We have a wide-ranging Education & Outreach Programme beyond Cardigan Bay which we are continually trying to improve and develop. For that, we welcome remote-working volunteers from the education sector and related interests.
For the past 20 years, Sea Watch Foundation (http://www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/) has been monitoring the dolphins, porpoises and whales that inhabit Cardigan Bay in West Wales, documenting abundance trends, identifying conservation threats, and advising on the best ways to protect the populations both within and outside the Special Areas of Conservation. Alongside its own scientific surveys and research, Sea Watch has for more than a quarter of a century pioneered citizen science as well as run a range of education and outreach programmes.
The assistant will be responsible for the following duties:
- Running the Visitor Centre/Education Hub. This is your workspace (your domain); you will be based here during your time with us, and will need to keep it clean and presentable for the public. Become familiar with it, the content, displays, merchandise etc. so you can talk easily to the public about what goes on here
- Raising Sea Watch Foundation’s profile locally (organising events, organising & manning the Sea Watch stand on the pier, liaising with local boat operators to produce educational materials)
- Working closely with our main boat operator in New Quay, Dolphin Spotting Boat Trips, on occasions presenting our Boat Talk on their 1 & 2hr trips, and otherwise organising interns to do so, and visiting their office regularly to check that our leaflets and cards are displayed properly and stocked up
- Promoting and organising the National Whale and Dolphin Watch education and outreach activities in New Quay (24th July – 1st August 2021)
- Participating in presentations and creating activities to take to local schools/groups, as well as using our specialised talks within the Visitors Centre and within schools/groups
- Creating educational/promotional materials (posters, displays, flyers), and maintaining external signage and a daily sightings board
- Social networking (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, website) on a routine basis
- Interacting with the media (radio, TV and newspapers), including preparing press releases
- Participating in training courses in New Quay
- Representing Sea Watch at public events in New Quay
- Liaising with the Sightings Officer, Chiara, and Adopt a Dolphin Coordinator, Kirsten, for the promotion of NWDW and our Adopt a Dolphin scheme, respectively. Kirsten and Chiara will provide training and supervise the chosen EA for the duration of their stay.
The field season will run from April to October 2021 and for Research Interns it has been split into four periods of seven weeks. Our Education and Outreach Assistant is required to stay for at least half of the season (choosing Period 1-2 or 3-4) but can also choose to stay the whole season. The assistant will be based in New Quay, West Wales. Accommodation can be provided in a house shared with the Research Interns (in those circumstances, cost of accommodation for the Education & Outreach Assistant will be subsidised by Sea Watch). The assistant is responsible for their own travel and other living expenses. However, local volunteers with an interest in education and outreach are strongly encouraged to apply, particularly given the possibility of the covid-19 situation extending through 2021.
Education & Outreach Assistant periods for summer 2021:
Period 1 & 2: 12/04 – 18/07
Periods 3 & 4: 19/07 – 24/10
- a strong interest in marine conservation and education
- outgoing personality, confidence and experience in public awareness
- some experience of working with children/young people
- excellent verbal and writing skills and some experience of public speaking
- experience with postings on social media
- must have initiative, motivation, the ability to bring their own ideas and personality to the position and be able to think on your feet
- strong commitment to volunteering work
- work independently, in an organised and reliable manner and to manage a variable workload.
- the ability to delegate, get on well with others in a small team and within shared accommodation
- should always represent SWF and AAD professionally, always wear branded clothing when at work (in the centre and when involved in outreach work)
- a background in marine biology/environmental science or similar
- a strong interest and some knowledge of British marine mammals
- good IT skills (Office package)
- willingness to work long hours, sometimes outdoors in very changeable Welsh weather
Please send your CV and a cover letter reporting any relevant experience you have, specifying the period(s) for which you would prefer to volunteer, as well as contact details of two referees, to:
Deadline: 1st February 2021.
Please specify “EDUCATION AND OUTREACH ASSISTANT APPLICATION” in your subject title.
Applicants must be available for interview via Skype between the 8th and 12th February and will be notified of the outcomes by the 15th February 2021.
The Sea Watch Foundation
The Sea Watch Foundation is a national marine environmental research charity that aims to achieve better conservation of whales and dolphins in the seas around Britain and Ireland, by involving the public in scientific monitoring of populations and the threats they face. It is the longest-running research charity in the UK focusing upon cetaceans around the British Isles, and maintains a national sightings database, the largest in Europe. It works closely with all the UK statutory conservation agencies, and has provided advice to the UK government, the UNEP Regional inter-governmental Conservation Agreement – ASCOBANS, and the European Commission, as well as the major conservation charities and marine industries operating in the UK.
We aim to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of the marine wildlife and the habitats supporting them, to encourage respect and conservation of the marine environment for future generations. We also run training courses for the public in cetacean identification and survey methods.
A list of some science, awareness and education achievements is given below:
- Sea Watch Director, Dr Peter Evans, received the European Cetacean Society Conservation Award, 2012
- Sea Watch Foundation was recipient of the UNEP/ASCOBANS Outreach and Education Award, 2009
- Sea Watch Foundation was voted best UK animal adoption scheme by BBC Wildlife, December 2008
- Publication of European Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises. Marine Mammal Conservation in Practice, in 2020 by Academic Press, London & San Diego. 306pp.