Elding Whale Watching Research Assistant Opportunity


Elding Whale Watching Reykjavik is a family owned company and has been running since 2000. We are the original operator in Reykjavik, strict in abiding by IceWhale’s (www.icewhale.is) guidelines in vessel behaviour around wildlife and work with IFAW to stop Whaling in Iceland. We are also well known for our environmental policy. Elding also provides a platform for marine biologists to study the cetaceans we encounter to help build our knowledge and understanding. Elding also has ties with Whale Safari (www.whalesafari.is), a RIB whale watching company and developing a new whale watching company in Akureyri (North Iceland) this up and coming summer. For further information please visit our website at www.elding.is.

Elding Whale Watching Reykjavik is looking for two voluntary research assistants with a passport from an EEA country (https://www.gov.uk/eu-eea) to assist for 5 months (1st May to the 31st September 2015). Assistants will assist in the long-tern data set that has been collected since 2007. Research is conducted in co-operation with the University of Iceland’s research center in Húsavik and it comprises of photo identification and behavioral studies mainly of minke whales and white-beaked dolphins but occasionally also humpback whales, orca, fin whales and basking sharks.

Research will be conducted on the whale watching tours (3 hours, 3 times a day). There will always be two assistants on board taking data and one on land processing, cropping, ID matching and uploading onto an online database. Each researcher will have four days at sea and two days on land processing. Working day averages at about 12-14 hours for those at sea and 6-8 hours those on land.  You will have every Sunday off work as well as bad weather days when tours are cancelled.

We are looking for assistant that;

  • Have a strong interest and education in marine science specifically cetaceans and marine birds.
  • Good spotting skills
  • Have experience on boats preferably above 17m and not acceptable to seasickness easily.
  • Be able to work calmly and politely under pressure and sometimes in stressful situations.
  • Must be a quick learner, adaptive, have a very good sense of humour, hard working, outgoing and generally a very positive person.
  • Willingness to work long hours outdoors in sometimes unfavorable weathers.
  • A Team Player
  • Physically fit - there may be some heavy lifting. i.e. moving cases of drinks or working with heavy ropes, being on your feet for most the day.
  • Don’t mind cleaning – lots of cleaning needs to be done on a daily basis, between and after tours and yes it also means cleaning up vomit and toilets.
  • Bar work – Each vessel has a bar where light refreshments are sold
  • Have their own equipment and good at using them e.g. DSLR camera and computer.

Assistants will be responsible for their own travel costs, travel insurance and personal expenses but accommodation is provided throughout the working period as well as an afternoon hot meal.

Further information on living and working in Iceland can be found at http://www.mcc.is/media/frettir/Living_and_working_in_Iceland.pdf and www.iceland.is



You will be living on an old converted capelin fishing boat that now acts as a permanently stationed gift shop/ waiting area/ small museum for our passengers in the heart of Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik. You will get your own small bedroom but the living area, shower room, kitchen and toilet, with all essentials, will be communal with the other researchers and maybe the occasional crewmember. All facilities are provided including wifi, fridge, cooker, bedding, towels etc.

Elding prides itself on teamwork, no job is too small or too big for any of our staff members. We work together to make sure everything is finished for the following day. So being a team player is also very important.


How to apply:

Please email your C.V. and introduction of yourself in English specifying any relevant experience and languages you have, also why you would be good for the job with the contact details of one reference to Megan (megan@elding.is).

Deadline for applications is the 15th April and those that are successful will be contacted no later than the 20th. Due to the late notice we will look at all applications but will prioritise those that can stay the longest.


Kind Regards

Megan Whittaker
Head Naturalist and Research co-ordinator
Elding Adventures at Sea
Ægisgarður 5, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Tel. (+354) 519 5090


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