Monday, January 16, 2012

Gray Whale Count

2012: coming to the Channel near you ... whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, and the occasional sea otters. This is your opportunity to be something special ... to Count!

We have scheduled an exceptional presentation on campus: Tuesday evening, January 17, 2012 @ 7 PM Marine Science Institute Auditorium, UCSB Scott Simon, Manager of MSI's Research Experience and Education Facility (REEF) will talk about opportunities for students and the university community in the the new building going up adjacent to MSI, the Outreach Center for Teaching Ocean Sciences (OCTOS). Michael Smith will then detail immediate opportunities for students to participate in Gray Whales Count 2012 as interns — sponsored by the Coastal Fund — training to supervise the survey from Counter Point or as volunteer observers, monitoring whales, dolphins, otters, and pinnipeds just off our shore.

Gray Whales Count conducts an annual survey of the northbound migration of Gray whales through the nearshore of the Santa Barbara Channel. From February through mid-May, the fifteen-week survey is conducted from land at Counter Point (above Devereux and Sands) in the Coal Oil Point Reserve by community volunteers, including students from UCSB. Since 2006, UCSB's Coastal Fund has supported the project with funding for student internships and special equipment needs. There are three choices for UCSB students. Most participate as volunteer observers with a scheduled two-hour shift, ideally each week through the Count. Interns make a much bigger commitment, training to be supervisors or the research and education. Interns will learn to identify and distinguish marine mammals in the Santa Barbara Channel with one of the most abundant and diverse populations of marine mammals in the world. Interns commit to a four-hour shift a week through the Count, fifteen weeks. Most first-year interns are volunteers, but there are a few stipends available for need and exceptional qualifications. Experienced interns returning to the Count are eligible for a stipend. All stipends are funded by the Coastal Fund. We are very grateful for their dedication and support. To learn more about these opportunities please visit our web site: www.GrayWhalesCount.org.

Get to the Point in 2012.

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