[Coral-List] Coastal Modelling Internship - American Samoa - great opportunity for recent graduate or similar

Lucy Jacob lucyjacob.mpa at gmail.com
Thu Mar 29 17:12:44 EDT 2012

Dear Coral Listers,

We have an opportunity for an enthusiastic individual with experience of
coastal hydrodynamic modelling (preferably using SMS - ADCIRC software).
 The project which is entitled 'connectivity of potential MPA locations in
American Samoa' is collecting real time drifter data and using it to
validate a coastal circulation model.  Additional experience of particle
tracking software, particularly with reference to reef fish larval
simulation would be a great advantage.

The opportunity is for three months and will be based in the Department of
Marine and Wildlife Resources, American Samoa.

The full details are below.

*Deadline for applications: Monday 9th April.*
Detailed information:
We are looking for a suitable applicant to carry out an ADCIRC Internship
with the Department of
Marine and Wildlife Resources within the American Samoa Government

The No-take Marine Protected Area Program has been working with an
oceanographer / modeler to establish a small scale connectivity model that
can provide accurate information regarding the localized currents patterns
on the island of Tutuila, American Samoa. American Samoa is the only
territory of the United States located in the Southern Hemisphere.  There
are seven islands, but the majority if the population live on the main
island of Tutuila which is 76mi2. The islands are steeply sided and
surrounded by fringing reef which provides an abundance of settlement
habitat for coral and fish larvae. The No-take MPA Program has been tasked
with creating a network of no-take areas that encompass 20% of American
Samoa’s coral reefs, and aims to create a network that is representative of
the habitat and ecologically connected. It is therefore vital that they
have some information on the connectivity of different areas. To date,
several ADCP surveys at key points around the island have been performed
and analysed.  GPS drifters have been constructed with waterproof housings
and real time data is being collected.  SMS Aquaveo and ADCIRC software has
been installed onto a high specification desktop computer   and the latest
multibeam bathymetry data has been used to create an ADCIRC grid. The model
has been run with basic tidal forcing.

This internship will be for a period of three months and will be housed
within the Fishery Division of the Department of Marine and Wildlife
Resources. The successful candidate will work largely autonomously but will
be required to update the Chief Fishery Biologist on a weekly basis as to
the progress made and the workplan for the following week. Technical
supervision and guidance will be provided from neighboring Independent
Samoa by Dr. Philip Wiles (Secretariat of the Pacific Regional
Environment Program) and Lucy Jacob (former MPA Program Leader).  The
intern will work closely with the MPA Program staff, Tafito Aitaoto and
Sione Lam Yuen and a
major part of her/his work will be to build their capacity in the field of
data collection, storage and visualization, modeling and larval tracking.
This internship is ideal for a recent graduate or current student who has
excellent modeling and particle tracking knowledge but lacks experience in
a working situation. It is suitable for someone who is interested in travel
and widening their experience to include conservation/management
applications (e.g. MPA network design and implementation in reality). MPA
design around oceanographic modeling is an emerging field and it
is anticipated that the intern will gain valuable experience that will
assist with their future career.

The internship would consist of some data collection, but would be based
primarily on model development and capacity building.
What needs to be done:
Data Collection:
- Assist local staff with collection of additional drifter data (primarily
assisting with technical
Model development:
- Add large scale currents into model and validate model against data
- Run the model for different seasons and tides
- Work with larval tracking software to identify larval pathways
- Train local staff to a basic level on the ADCIRC model and larval tracking

Ideally the candidate will have a background in oceanography, specifically
in the study of circulation and connectivity patterns. We are also looking
for someone who has an understanding of coral reef biology including the
biology and behavior of reef fish larvae.
Technical skills
• Experience using ADCIRC model with SMS software
• Working knowledge of particle tracking software.
• Experience downloading and analysing GPS data
• Good working knowledge of GIS to visualize and interpret data
Interpersonal skills
• An easygoing and friendly personality
• Knowledge of Pacific Island cultures and issues, or a willingness to learn
• Patience whilst training others and ability to explain complex ideas in
simplified terms
• Hard working and capable of setting own schedule and working to achieve
objectives with
minimal supervision

The department can reimburse return flights to American Samoa up to a value
of $2500. The Intern will be provided a monthly allowance of $1000-$1500
with which to pay for their own accommodation, transportation and food.
Accommodation varies between $300 and $800 per month but with enough
advance warning it should be possible to rent a room in house for 300 – 400 per
month. Bus fare to the office is $1-2 per day. The Internship is expected
to start in May or June 2012.

Please send your C.V or resume, covering letter and two letters of
recommendation to lucyjacob.mpa at gmail.com by no later than Monday 9th APRIL

Lucy Jacob

Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources
PO Box 3730 Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799

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