Ocean Career: Dolphin Research Assistant at Galveston Bay Foundation

The Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF) is a nonprofit organization located on the Upper Texas Coast that has worked for 35 years to preserve and enhance one of the world’s most productive estuaries—Galveston Bay—as a healthy and productive place for generations to come. We have diverse programs in land preservation, habitat restoration, water quality and quantity, youth education, and advocacy. Our office is located in Kemah, Texas.

The Galveston Bay Foundation is seeking a part-time, temporary research assistant for the Galveston Bay Dolphin Research Program (GDRP). The GDRP is a collaboration between the Galveston Bay Foundation and the Environmental Institute of Houston at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. The Research Assistant will help with the collection, entry and analysis of bottlenose dolphin population data in Galveston Bay, Texas. The position will entail a combination of field and office work (both in-person and remote). Marine mammal field and photo-identification experience are highly desirable, as well as familiarity with ArcPro GIS, FinBase and R. This is an internship-type position and is an ideal role for a recent undergraduate seeking research experience in marine mammal science before continuing to graduate school.

Specific Duties

  • Assist in the collection of photo-identification survey data of bottlenose dolphins in Galveston Bay
  • Assist in managing a database of dolphin survey photos and associated data
  • Perform photo-analysis of dolphin data
  • Assist in a variety of data analyses tasks (primarily utilizing ArcPro GIS, FinBase, Excel, and/or R)
  • Assist with the development and preparation of program maps, reports, newsletters, etc.



  • Bachelor’s degree in biology, zoology, marine science, wildlife studies, or related field
  • Knowledge of marine mammal ecology, behavior, and/or health
  • Ability to carefully follow instructions, work independently on sometimes tedious and/or repetitive tasks, and pay close attention to detail
  • Ability to work long field days on a small boat in Texas heat, often in inclement or challenging conditions (must have availability Monday-Friday for field work and secure their own housing near Kemah, TX)
  • Experienced and competent using word, data and image processing software including Microsoft Office
  • Be an excellent team member with the ability to communicate and work with others both in person and remotely
  • Successfully pass a criminal background check prior to hiring


  • Previous experience with marine mammal field research
  • Prior completion of college-level statistic courses
  • Skills in small vessel handling
  • Skills in performing photo-identification of marine mammals
  • Skills in data management and use of software for population studies, specifically Microsoft Excel, ArcPro GIS, Finbase, and R

To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references to Dr. Vanessa Mintzer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 5pm EST on Friday, September 16. Please contact her directly with any inquiries about the position.

Classification: Part-time Temporary – average 20 hours/week
Pay Rate: $15.00/hour
Start Date: October 2022 to July 2023 (exact dates are negotiable)

The Galveston Bay Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and actively works to ensure fair and equal treatment of its employees and constituents regardless of differences based on an individual’s race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, disability, political affiliation, or any other protected characteristic.

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