with the ReefQuest Marine Projects are not the same as field experience.
Most of our internships consist entirely of assisting me one-on-one
with dissections, library research, and computer analysis of data
toward production of a planned scientific paper (on which the
intern and I share full authorship). As such, they are not glamorous
and the work is often painstakingly dull. But they are a terrific
way for students to develop skills for working with shark specimens,
advance or enhance their academic training, and to get a real
'leg up' on breaking into shark research as a career by getting
their name on a published paper. Only occasionally do internships
include field research experience, and then only locally (Pacific
Interns are expected to pay their own expenses
(travel, accommodations and food) and commit to volunteering at
the ReefQuest Marine Projects for not less than one month. Interns
who impress me are first-in-line for more exciting research opportunities,
including financially assisted participation in field research
and even the possibility of eventual employment with the Centre.
The Centre does not offer regular student internships
at this time. We are a small research institution, with a staff
of five and two graduate students at present. However, we maintain
a waiting list of students with whom we are willing to work on
a one-on-one basis at the Centre and possibly in the field locally.
What About Field Research?
The Centre does conduct regular field research expeditions and
we often allow select individuals to join us on specific projects.
Most field research involves joining a small group of hand-picked
individuals, travel to remote (and often exotic) locations, topside
or -- preferably -- underwater observation of free-swimming sharks,
and data collection. This work is often augmented with specimen
collection and in situ dissections. Much of this work is glamorous
and a lot of fun, but it, too, is not without its unavoidable
drudgery (equipment maintenance, data entry, weather days, etc.).
Participants will gain invaluable experience working with living
sharks and share adventures/camaraderie with like-minded people,
many of whom will become life-long friends and/or colleagues.
Everyone who participates in field research is acknowledged an
all papers accruing from that work; those who add significantly
to the methodology, findings, or analysis of the research will
share full authorship on all papers to derive directly from their
Experience our on-going field
How are Applicants Selected?
Time in the field is very precious and those who are accepted
are not simply those who can afford to cover their expenses (travel,
boat time, accommodations, and food). Competition for the very
limited spaces on field research expeditions is intense. Applicants
are selected based on special skills they bring to a specific
research project (such as boat handling, fishing, diving, photography
or videography) and their attitude (we're looking for people who
are serious-minded but fun, able to adapt methodologies 'on the
fly' and roll with the inevitable frustrations and disappointments
of working at sea).
If this sounds like you, then I'd love to hear from you. If you'd
like to be considered as a participant in one of our field research
me your CV. If I'm suitably impressed,
we can discuss your specific interests and career goals as well
as which specific skills you can offer a research project. Then
it's simply a matter of matching your interests and abilities
with a specific research project.
I hope this clarifies the differences between internships and
field research opportunities with ReefQuest Marine Projects, what's
involved in each, and how we select participants.
R. Aidan Martin