[Coral-List] non-commercial Patagonia field guide project: internship possibilities and we are searching translater English-Spanish

Vreni Haeussermann vreni_haeussermann at yahoo.de
Mon May 5 19:43:59 EDT 2008

  Job announcement: volunteers to help in finishing chapters of a taxonomic field guide in Chilean fjords, start of internship: asap, not later then June 
  We are a private Foundation (www.huinay.cl) that is operating a biological field station in Chilean Patagonia. Huinay Scientific Field Station was inaugurated in 2001 and is situated 100 km south of Puerto Montt, in the fjord Comau; it is the only biological station in a Chilean fjord. The surroundings are characterized by steep mountains and volcanoes. Almost 6000 mm annual precipitation gives rise to extremely lush vegetation characterized by extra-tropical rain forests. 
  The small village Huinay with its approx. 25 inhabitants can only be accessed by a 1 hour boat-trip (speed boat) from Hornopiren. Most infrastructure - except some small shops and a rural hospital in Hornopiren - is located in Puerto Montt, a 3 to 4 h drive or bus trip from Hornopiren. 
  We have started working on a non-profit taxonomic field guide project in 1997 ("Benthic fauna of the Chilean fjord region"), and have collected thousands of specimens from all over the fjord region which have all been photographed in their habitat. We are working in cooperation with more than 40 renowned taxonomic specialists from 13 countries who have been identifying the material and writing the chapters. The book will be published in English and Spanish. The first edition of the book will include the 500 most common shallow-water species. Most chapters have already been submitted, the rest will be submitted by the end of this year. More than half of the English chapters have already been revised. 
  We are looking for :
  1) volunteers to help finish the remaining English and Spanish chapters for 6-12 weeks. 
  We can offer free food and lodging in Huinay. 
  2) a biologist with experience in taxonomy who can translate our English chapters into Spanish (presence in Huinay not needed).
  We can offer: 6000 Pesos per page (13 US$), or 10 Pesos (2,1c) per word (this is what we pay the Spanish-English translator).
  Contact: please send your CV and cover letter to Vreni Häussermann, v.haussermann at huinay.cl, and cc to huinayresearch at gmail.com
  Some background of the field guide project 
  Of all South American countries, Chile, with 4200 km of straight measured coastline, has the longest coast with the South East Pacific Ocean. More than one third of its geographical length is taken up by the highly structured Patagonian fjord region; stretched out this would translate into more than 80,000 km of coastline. For technical and historical reasons, and the difficulty of access in the past, this region possesses some of the least studied marine environments in the world; even the Antarctic shelf and many deep-sea areas are better known. Only recently studies revealed that the Patagonian fjord region is a biodiversity hot spot and is inhabited by very unique and fragile marine benthic communities such as the cold-water coral banks found in shallow waters. 
  Valuable natural resources and favourable conditions for aquaculture provided an incentive to 'open-up' the region for development resulting in an unparalleled economic boom during the last 15 years. Fish farming is still increasing exponentially, with last years production of Chilean farmed salmon surpassing 400.000 t. Lately, authorities have recognized that this development requires coastal management plans, legal regulations and compensatory conservation efforts. But data on marine environments in the fjord region are so poor that these goals can't be accomplished satisfactorily with the available information. For example, due to the lack of biological information, a recent project for a coastal management plan in the 11 th region was solely developed to “harmonize” economic interests. 
  It is obvious, and increasingly accepted, that there is an urgent need for biological inventories and ecological studies to bring zoning projects, management plans, environmental laws and protection efforts on a sound base. But these basic studies often fail because expertise and the literature are too fragmentary. Patagonian species of many taxonomic groups, especially those of minor or no commercial interest, are practically not identifiable in the field. This depressing situation goes hand in hand with the false belief held by a large proportion of the Chilean population; that the marine life along their coast is poor and of no interest. 
  The existing environmental laws demand that the benthic communities close to fish farms are monitored. Biological inventory studies are necessary for coastal zoning and management plans. The design and management of marine protected areas requires knowledge of the distribution and function of benthic communities. All these applications are not possible without reliable and practical (field-) identification tools for marine organisms. 
  At the moment in Southern Chile, there is only one marine multi-taxa field guide (bilingual), which includes 123 species of the exposed coast of Valdivia. Although illustrated with 1 colour image for each species, the short descriptions generally do not allow reliable identifications. And, for the entire fjord region (more than ¾ of the southern Chilean coastline), no multi-taxa field guide currently exists! Only 3 illustrated field guides include species from the fjord region (all are molluscs), and only 2 of them are available in English language. 
              An illustrated, bilingual (English and Spanish), scientifically rigorous, and multi-taxa identification field guide, will definitely improve the taxonomic knowledge and expertise of the marine diversity in the Patagonian fjords. It will promote sustainable management and conservation efforts and stimulate research interest and effort in this scientifically neglected region. The publication will also raise the awareness of the rich, unique, and fragile marine life of Patagonia amongst the Chilean and International public. 

Dr. Vreni Häussermann
Director of the Huinay Scientific Field Station
Websites: http://people.freenet.de/haeussermann, www.anthozoa.com, www.fjord-research.net 
Field of work: taxonomy and biogeography of Chilean Anthozoa, especially Chilean sea anemones
Present address: Universidad Austral de Chile, Departamento de Biología Marina, Campus Isla Teja, Casilla 567, Valdivia, Chile
Phone: 0056-63-249928, Fax: 0056-63-221455
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