This role is based in Aberdeen, Scotland, AB11 9QA : Peterborough, Eastern, PE1 1JY.
The UK is host to internationally important seabird populations. Monitoring of and research on their distribution and abundance have been conducted by JNCC for over 30 years and the drivers of our work have broadened in line with increasing use of, pressures on, and concern for the marine environment.
UK breeding seabird monitoring is currently delivered by the Seabird Monitoring Programme (SMP – https://jncc.gov.uk/our-work/seabird-monitoring-programme/), and monitoring of seabirds at sea though the Volunteer Seabirds at Sea programme (VSAS – https://jncc.gov.uk/our-work/volunteer-seabirds-at-sea-surveys/).
Currently there are limited wide scale contemporary data to inform trends in relative abundance, spatial distribution, population structures, or behaviour of seabird at sea. To address this knowledge gap, JNCC launched VSAS in 2018, with a pilot study to test the feasibility of implementing a low cost, volunteer-based, seabirds at sea monitoring programme. The pilot was delivered in partnership with CalMac Ferries and formed part of their Marine Awareness Programme. It involved the development and delivery of volunteer training courses in European Seabirds at Sea (ESAS) survey methods; and a series of surveys from CalMac ferries. During the pilot, JNCC developed a data capture application, with in built validation, that was successfully used on tablets during surveys. These innovations allowed high quality data to be processed and uploaded to the UK seabirds at sea database within two days of their capture, reducing processing time and ensuring they were rapidly available to stakeholders.
The pilot was a success and additional training courses to build volunteer surveyor numbers and allow route expansion in Scotland will take place in F2021/22, with further expansion of the VSAS monitoring programme and survey network into all UK waters also planned.
JNCC is seeking a Marine Ornithologist to manage the VSAS programme and to contribute to other seabird monitoring and technical advice needs in the Marine Species Team.
Please use the link above for the full details and applications for the role.