We’re always looking for motivated volunteers to join our lab. Check out the current opportunities below:
PISCO KELP FOREST MONITORING
PISCO is an interdisciplinary research program that has been conducting large-scale long-term ecological and oceanographic monitoring along the west coast of North America since 1999. A key aspect of the PISCO program is monitoring kelp forest communities to understand their dynamics and how they are changing in response to recently implemented marine protected areas (MPAs) on California’s central coast. To learn more about PISCO and our interdisciplinary approach to understanding coastal ecosystems and informing coastal resource management and policy, visit www.piscoweb.org.
We are looking for motivated AAUS certified scientific divers to help us conduct kelp forest community surveys around the Monterey peninsula next summer. This is a great opportunity hone your kelp forest species identification skills and get experience conducting underwater research. For more information about volunteering for PISCO, contact Emily Saarman at email@example.com, and fill out this volunteer application to tell us a little about yourself (the form is the same as the one for the rockfish dispersal, and otter sea star projects, so no need to fill it out multiple times). To get added to the RClab volunteer e-mail list, please sign up at this link and please make sure to fill out your full name (first and last) as your display name, and select “Notify me for every new message” in the email preferences section. We will be conducting dive survey training the week of June 26th 2017.
LARVAL DISPERSAL AND CONNECTIVITY OF NEARSHORE ROCKFISHES
Many nearshore reef fishes in California have a bipartite life history, which means that after their eggs hatch, larvae spend weeks or months drifting on the ocean currents before settling down to a more sedentary lifestyle as juveniles and adults. But exactly how far these larvae travel during their pelagic stage is one of the great remaining mysteries of marine ecology. Using cutting-edge genetic techniques that allow us to match parents with newly settled juveniles, we will be investigating the larval dispersal patterns of kelp rockfish in Carmel Bay and around the Monterey peninsula.
We have a number of volunteer opportunities associated with this project, including opportunities for AAUS certified scientific divers and non-divers who are interested in getting out in the field. Volunteers will assist in collecting juvenile and adult rockfish, taking fin clips for genetic analysis, and maintaining and deploying collection devices for juvenile fishes. To volunteer or learn more about this project, contact Emily Saarman at firstname.lastname@example.org, and fill out this volunteer application to tell us a little about yourself (the form is the same as the one for the PISCO kelp forest monitoring, so no need to fill it out twice). To get added to the RC lab volunteer e-mail list as quickly as possible, please sign up at this link and please make sure to fill out your full name (first and last) as your display name, and select “Notify me for every new message” in the email preferences section.
OTTERS, SEA STARS, AND KELP FOREST RESILIENCE
A key goal of ecology is to understand how species interactions—competition, predation, mutualism—influence the structure and function of ecological communities and the stability and resilience of ecosystems. In west coast kelp forests, some studies have shown that predators (sea otters, sea stars, and fishes) can be important in controlling sea urchins that otherwise overgraze forests and create alternative “barrens” states, devoid of kelp. However, other examples suggest that disease and disturbance, not predators, suppress urchin overgrazing. We will employ experiments and surveys to determine whether and how sea otters and sea stars act separately and in combination to control the rapid growth of sea urchin populations that is occurring in concert with a sea star wasting epidemic along the west coast. The results of this work will (i) advance our understanding of how multiple predators interact to influence community structure, stability and resilience, and (ii) shed light on how species interactions contribute to the stability of these forests that are the foundation of productive commercial and recreational fisheries.
We have a number of volunteer opportunities for AAUS certified scientific divers associated with this project. Volunteers will assist in building, deploying, and monitoring experimental enclosures and conducting ecological surveys along the Monterey peninsula. To volunteer or learn more about this project, contact Emily Saarman at email@example.com, and fill out this volunteer application to tell us a little about yourself (the form is the same as the one for the PISCO kelp forest monitoring and rockfish dispersal projects, so no need to fill it out twice). To get added to the RC lab volunteer e-mail list as quickly as possible, please sign up at this link and please make sure to fill out your full name (first and last) as your display name, and select “Notify me for every new message” in the email preferences section.
SMALL-SCALE SUSTAINABLE FISHERIES
The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) alongside of RARE and the Sustainable Fish Group out of UC Santa Barbara are working together in the Caribbean and Coral Triangle. We have several projects through the Fish Forever that involve working with local fisherman; this collaborative effort is aiming to restore near-shore fisheries in the developing tropic. We combine three important tools for ocean sustainability – rights-based management reform, marine protected areas, and demand-side incentives – into novel solutions for the world’s fisheries challenges. Currently we are looking for volunteers to help facilitate the the research and development side of these projects. So if you are interested in sustainable fisheries, coral reefs, marine protected areas, area based management, spatial planning, ecology and biology of reef fish and new method to assess fisheries with limited data; please feel free to contact Kendra Karr for volunteer possibilities, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
KELP FOREST DATABASE
We are currently looking for motivated volunteers to help us develop a kelp forest online database. The aim of this database is to provide an unprecedented source of information about the species and species interactions that occur in the kelp forest. The project is an extraordinary effort that will help us advance the knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of this complex system, which consists in gathering and synthesizing all the available information published about the kelp forest ecosystem, and in turn making it available for the general public. If you are interested in working in this project please contact Emily Saarman at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the CAMEO kelpforest database.
SALMON INTERNSHIPS AT THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE
Internships are available to work with the National Marine Fisheries Service in Santa Cruz. Students will play a key role in conducting ecological research on central coast steelhead and coho salmon. Research and monitoring efforts are conducted primarily in Scott Creek (northern Santa Cruz County). Intern’s time will be split between field and lab work, which includes monitoring juvenile and adult salmon traps in Scott Creek, learning salmon species identification, PIT-tagging salmon, data recording and entry, and gear maintenance. Email a paragraph stating your background and interest in this internship to Ann-Marie Osterback at email@example.com