SeaSeal Volunteer


Initiated in 2014, the SeaSeal project aims to create a catalogue of individual Atlantic grey seals photographed in Cardigan Bay to learn more about their travelling habits and areas that are important to them. We are looking for a SeaSeal Volunteer to join our volunteer team from 27th March to 30th October 2017.

 What You Will Gain

Volunteering for the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales at CBMWC is a fantastic opportunity for you to make a positive contribution to marine wildlife conservation and meet new people who share your interests. You will be involved in all aspects of a new CBMWC research project and will learn about the species and habitats in Cardigan Bay, gain experience in field work, wildlife photography, photo ID, data entry and much more. Past volunteers have gone on to further education, work as Marine Mammal Observers and to work for other conservation or Government organisations.

 Overall purpose of the role:

Assist with the delivery of our Living Seas research objectives focused on Atlantic grey seals in Cardigan Bay and the Irish Sea.

 Tasks include (but are not limited to):

  • Conducting land based seal surveys (weather dependent sometimes daily during the summer)
  • Photographing Atlantic grey seals and other marine megafauna
  • Assisting with the annual seal pup survey (October)
  • Analysing photographs of seals taken a long the Cardigan Bay Coast
  • Sorting and matching images using ExtractCompare
  • Providing regular updates for our Facebook and Twitter feeds
  • Liaising with outside organisations
  • Writing a project report to be submitted at the end of their volunteering period
  • Provide regular updates to the CBMWC Science Officer
  • There may also be an opportunity to assist with the further development of the project
  • Assisting with other aspects of our work, such as field surveys, data entry, manning our visitor centre and community engagement.

Important: The previous project volunteers have worked up to 6-8 hours a day 6 days a week, to ensure surveys can be conducted during periods of good weather and volunteers gain the most out of the experience. Some training and activities may take place outside of normal office hours. Field work can involve long periods outdoors and in inclement weather, wet weather gear is provided. All volunteers are required to attend training and to contribute to all CBMWC activities, tasks and field work.

 We are looking for volunteers with the following skills/qualities:

  • Self-motivated with the ability to work independently and unsupervised
  • Mature and responsible attitude as you will be using expensive camera and computer equipment
  • Flexible approach to work as you will be required to work outside of normal office hours
  • IT skills, including Microsoft Office
  • Ability to work and live closely with others as part of a small team
  • Experience using digital SLR cameras
  • Previous experience of photo-identification (not necessarily with seals)
  • Experience of report writing
  • Experience using GIS programs
  • Experience of statistical analysis
  • An interest in marine conservation
  • A background in biology/marine biology/environmental science

Volunteering Dates:

The successful applicants must be available to start on 27th March and volunteer for the entire field season until 30th October.

Volunteer fee

An administration fee of £45 will be required from all successful applicants.

Accommodation Arrangements

Shared accommodation in a comfortable and fully equipped house will be arranged for successful volunteers (where required) at a cost of £55 per week (includes bills) and a £50 refundable deposit. Deposits will be refunded if the accommodation is left in the same condition it was found in. Please be aware that volunteers share same sex bedrooms. Volunteers are responsible for their own food, travel and accommodation costs.

Due to payment arrangements with the house owners, accommodation costs are required in advance to cover the cost of each block so before applying please ensure that you can cover this and all other expenses.

How to apply

Download a Long Term Volunteer Application Form and email it along with a CV and covering letter (no more than one side of A4) outlining relevant skills and experience as well as your motivations for applying to with ‘SeaSeal Volunteer 2017’ in your subject line.

You may also apply for the other long term roles of ShoreFin Volunteer and Research Assistant in the same application form.

Incomplete applications will not be assessed so please make sure you complete the form fully, including availability and be sure to attach your CV and covering letter.

The closing date for applications is 23:59pm on Sunday 19th February 2017


2016 SeaSeal Project Volunteer – Rhiannon