First let me say thank you to all of the intern candidates who’ve already sent in applications. It’s been exciting to start reading over them. For those of you who’ve expressed interest in applying but haven’t completed everything yet you do still have some time, but thanks for keeping in touch.
I’ve gotten a few questions from applicants that I thought other might benefit from as well. I’ll update this list as more questions come in.
- Q: “I’m a vegetarian, will that work with the 3 meals a day provided?”
- A: Absolutely. We eat very well at the lighthouse and can accommodate most diets (I mentioned before, but I don’t think we could accommodate a raw food diet… we’re simply too remote for that). Vegetarianism, however, is a piece of cake. Last year we handled vegan diets, vegetarian diets, and peanut allergies without breaking a sweat. I’ve been a vegetarian for 5 years myself and last year I did most of the cooking at the lighthouse (with no complaints from non-vegetarians I might add). We do try to supplement store bought food with sustainably caught seafood from around the lighthouse (caught by the interns) whenever possible. Last year one of our interns caught a halibut large enough to feed the crew for weeks. We bring LOTS of vegetables with us from Petersburg when we come out, and are still working through possible delivery systems with boats in the area.
- Q: “Will there be any photo identification?”
- A: No. Our project is not contingent of identifying individual whales. Part of the beauty of using the lighthouse as a research platform is that we get to observe the whales relatively unaffected by human presence (i.e. a large vessels). We are looking for contrasts in behavior in the presence and absence of vessels. A photo identification scheme that necessitates approaching whales on the water nullifies this goal.
- Q: “How often will we be on the water?”
- A: Daily, weather permitting. We hope to have a hydrophone in the water as much as possible (12 hours a day ideally). This requires an intern to be in the skiff operating it. All interns will have the opportunity (and the responsibility) to handle the skiff.
- Q: “Do whales ever approach the skiff?”
- A: I don’t know what the whales will do in the future, but in the past? Yes. As did 700 lb sea lions, harbor seals, and Dall’s porpoise.
- Q: “Are there other marine mammals in the area other than humpback whales?”
- A: Yes! See above for a short list. Additionally we did see killer whales last year. There is a harbor seal that regularly hauls out at the south end of the island to visit with.
- Q: “Are there kayaks on the island?”
- A: Yes there are. We have 2 kayaks on the island currently, and there is the possibility of getting a third, and possibly a 4th for the summer.
- Q: “What’s the easiest way to get to Petersburg, AK from ___(fill in the blank)____?”
- A: Alaska airlines services Petersburg, AK multiple times daily. Most flights are routed through either Seattle, WA or Anchorage, AK. Check their website (www.alaskaair.com) for more specific information on flights.
- Q: “Is it possible to stay for 3 weeks instead of 4?” Or “is it possible to come at the beginning of the month instead of the middle?”
- A: Unfortunately, no. There is no public transportation to or from the lighthouse, and it is approximately 30 miles away from the nearest town. We will be chartering a boat to bring interns to the light from Petersburg, AK, but unless it’s an emergency we will not be traveling back and forth to town otherwise. Thus ducking out early, or coming late can’t realistically be accommodated.
- Q: “What are the exact dates of the internship?”
- A: I don’t know yet. We’re still working out the details with the Juneau Lighthouse Association. I’ll post dates (and likely email them out as well) as soon as I have them!
Hope this is helpful. Feel free to send me other questions as they arise.