Each year the Sea Watch Foundation seeks National Whale and Dolphin Watch Assistants for the upcoming season. This position will suit volunteers who have a strong interest in marine conservation and recognise the importance of educating and raising awareness by involving the public.
The assistants will be responsible in aiding the Sightings Officer with the following duties:
- Promoting, organising and running the National Whale and Dolphin Watch event (dates to be confirmed for 2024 but usually the last week of July/first week of August)
- Creating promotional materials (flyers) for dissemination around the UK
- Social networking (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, website) before and during the event
- Interacting with the media (radio, TV and newspapers), including preparing press releases
- Using initiative and creativity to reach out to wider audience
- Keeping records of planned events
- Updating webpage with events
- Posting observer packs to participants in a timely manner
- Encouraging data submission and website updates during the event
- Collating data and imagery from the event
- Entering event data on to database template
The National Whale and Dolphin Watch Assistants will also have some opportunity to be involved in land-based and boat-based watches. However, this will be dependent on workload and will be decided by the Sightings Officer each time the opportunity arises.
The chosen National Whale and Dolphin Watch Assistant(s) can work on-site, remotely or a combination of both. Dates for 2024 are yet to be confirmed but it is likely that successful applicant(s) will need to be available from mid July to the end of August.
- a strong interest in marine conservation and education
- strong commitment to volunteering work
- excellent verbal and writing skills
- an ability to work in an organised and reliable manner and to manage a variable workload, including appropriate delegation
- good IT skills (Office package)
- a careful, meticulous worker comfortable with entering quantities of sightings data accurately
- outgoing personality with confidence to interact with the public
- experience of events organising
- experience with postings on social media
- prior experience in public speaking
- a strong interest and some knowledge of British cetaceans
- willingness to work outdoors in often very changeable Welsh weather
With this position we offer:
- the experience working with the general public organizing local events
- the experience delivering flexible interactive online or face-to-face presentations to adults as part of our online training programme
- chances to learn and develop effective communication skills
- training in marine education & conservation and in identifying coastal marine species
- the experience of working for a charity in a busy office environment
- training in survey techniques (land- and boat-based)
- the experience in scientific report writing
- the experience in preparing and disseminating news releases for the media on major stories of environmental interest and writing articles for specialist magazines
- the experience of how to get event sponsorship
We expect to open the window for applications for the 2024 season by mid November so please check back here or keep an eye on our social media channels to find out when we are welcoming applications and how to apply.
Find out more about National Whale and Dolphin Watch: www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/nwdw
If you want to download a copy of our previous National Whale and Dolphin Watch reports: https://www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/nwdw-reports/
About Sea Watch Foundation
For the past 30 years, Sea Watch Foundation (http://www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/) has been monitoring the dolphins, porpoises and whales around the UK, documenting abundance trends, identifying conservation threats, and advising on the best ways to protect regional populations. 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.
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 Evans, P.G.H. (2019) European Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises. Marine Mammal Conservation in Practice. Academic Press, London & San Diego. 306pp.