New Researchers

On the 1st of July, two new researchers started here at the Icelandic Seal Centre. They will be led by Sandra Granquist, the head of our biological research department.

The researchers are Dr Alastair Baylis and Jóhann Garðar Þorbjörnsson.

Dr Alastair Baylis

Al gained his PhD in 2008 from the University of Adelaide (Australia) studying the foraging ecology of New Zealand fur seals in South Australia. His recent posts include the Pribilof Islands, Alaska, where he worked with the UBC Marine Mammal Research Unit on Northern fur seals and the Falkland Islands, where he has developed research projects on the little studied populations of southern sea lions and South American fur seals. His main interests in pinniped ecology include historical ecology, population dynamics, population genetics and foraging behaviour. Over the past decade he has also developed a keen interest in pinniped anaesthesia.

Jóhann Garðar Þorbjörnsson

Jóhann graduated with a B.Sc. degree in biology from the University of Iceland in 2013. In 2015, he finished his M.Sc. studies in freshwater ecology from the Hólar University College, where he researched the impacts of scuba divers on the Silfra groundwater fissure ecosystem. During his masters, he became an exchange student in Svalbard, focusing on Arctic biology. Jóhann is especially interested in the impacts of humans on biological systems.

 We are excited by these new additions to the team, and wish them all the best in their new roles.

 

Researcher Wanted

PLEASE NOTE: Applications for this position are now closed.

We are looking for a biologist that is interested in taking part in seal research at the Icelandic Seal Centre in NW Iceland.

The Research team at the Icelandic Seal Centre has been operating since 2009 and manages most of the seal related research conducted in Iceland, such as: population estimates of the two breeding seal populations in Iceland (harbour seals and grey seals), dietary studies, and studies on the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on the seal populations.

The starting date for the successful candidate is July 1, 2016 and the end date is December 31, 2016, with a view to making the post permanent. Accommodation at the Seal Centre can be arranged.

The successful candidate will assist with several projects; such as aerial population counts, land based counts, and behavioural studies. Some lab work may also be required.

Candidate Profile:

Required:

  • Legal right to work in Iceland.
  • Proven leadership skills.
  • Master’s or PhD in biology/ecology, and strong interest in marine mammal ecology and behaviour.
  • Good written and spoken English.
  • Good work ethic, independence, and a responsible attitude; good performance individually and as a member of a team.
  • Excellence in stressful conditions.
  • Enjoyment of long hours outdoors in hostile weather conditions.
  • The ability to go on long hikes through rough terrain.
  • The ability to manage challenging physical tasks independently.
  • A driver’s licence.

Desired:

  • Experience working within the field of marine mammal research.
  • Animal observation experience.
  • Experience working from boats and planes.

Please e-mail your application, including a CV and a cover letter detailing your education and relevant experience to: Sigurdur Lindal Thorisson, Managing Director of the Icelandic Seal Centre, at selasetur@selasetur.is. Early application is advised.

 

Second Master’s Thesis Presented

Wednesday the 27th of April Georgia Clack presented her Master’s Thesis at the University Centre of the Westfjords . Her thesis is entitled The impact of tourism on harbour seals and their distribution around Iceland.

Georgia’s supervisors are Sandra M. Granquist, head of the seal research department at the Icelandic Seal Center and seal specialist at the Institute of Freshwater Fisheries; and Erlingur Hauksson, marine biologist at Vör Marine Research Center at Breiðafjörður.

Masters Thesis Presented

Tomorrow, Tuesday the 19th of April, Elin Lilja Öqvist, is presenting her master’s thesis at Stockholm University. The name of her thesis is Whaling or watching, sealing or seeing? A study of interactions between marine mammal tourism and hunting in Iceland.

Elin’s supervisors are Sandra M. Granquist, head of the seal research department at the Icelandic Seal Center and seal specialist at the Institute of Freshwater Fisheries; and Anders Angerbjörn, professor at Stockholm University.

 

 

 

Quadruple March

Following a record-breaking February, where the amount of visitors tripled between 2015 and 2016, we have now had a March to surpass all expectations.

March saw a more than a quadruple year-on-year increase in visitors to the Seal Centre.

We are very excited to see what the summer will bring!

Summer Jobs at the Seal Centre

Applications for summer jobs at the Seal Centre need to be in by the 18th of March.

We seek cheerful, service orientated multi-lingual individuals with initiative to assist travelers, help customers in the souvenir shop, sell tickets to the museum, clean, and whatever else needs doing.

Those interested should send their letter of application and CV to Sigurður Líndal at selasetur@selasetur.is by the 18th of March.

Triple February

Last year a record number of guests visited the Seal Centre, and this year is off to a great start.

Year-on-year our February visitor numbers have more than tripled, and we are delighted with those results.

New Head of Tourism Research

 

 

 

Jessica Faustini Aquino is head of the tourism research department at the Icelandic Seal Center and faculty at Hólar University College (http://www.holar.is/).  She holds a Ph.D. in Community Resources and Development from Arizona State University, USA.  She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Conservation Biology and a Master of Science in Recreation and Tourism Studies.  Her research interests are in tourism experience from the perspective of residents and tourist; and the potential contribution that tourism has on community development and conservation of protected areas.

 

Publications

Refereed Journal Articles

 

Aquino, J., Phillips, R., & Sung, H. (2012). Tourism, culture, and the creative industries: Reviving distressed neighborhoods with arts-based community tourism. Tourism, Culture & Communication.

 

White, D. D., Aquino, J. F., Budruk, M., & Golub, A. (2011). Visitors’ experiences of traditional and alternative transportation in Yosemite National Park. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration.

 

Work in Progress

 

Aquino, J., & Andereck, K. (submitted). Sustainable tourism: A look at volunteer tourism in favela communities of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

 

Papers Published in Refereed Proceedings

 

White, D. D., & Aquino, J. F. (2015). Park-Related Tourism.  Presented at the 106th Arizona Town Hall, Tucson, Arizona. April 2015. In Spring 2015 Town Hall Background Report: jesTransportation and Arizona. Kuby, M. and Golub (eds.). Tempe, AZ: Arizona State University.  http://aztownhall.org/page-1863425

 

White, D. D., & Aquino, J. F. (2009). Transportation issues in national parks.  Presented at the 94th Arizona Town Hall, Tucson, Arizona. April 2009. In From here to there: Transportation opportunities for Arizona. Kuby, M. and Golub (eds.). Tempe, AZ: Arizona State University.  http://aztownhall.org/94

 

Refereed Conference Presentations

 

Aquino, J., & Andereck, K. (2012). NGOs and volunteer tourism: A look at volunteer tourism in favela (slum) communities of Rio de Janeiro.  Presentation at Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, Indianapolis, IN, USA.

 

Aquino, J., Andereck, K., & Costa, H. A. (2012) Perceived impacts of volunteer tourism in favelas of Rio de Janeiro (RJ): Through the eyes of the tourists.  Presentation at the IX Seminário da Associação Nacional Pesquisa e Pós-Graduação em Turismo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.

 

Aquino, J., & Andereck, K. (2012). Sustainable tourism: A look at volunteer tourism in favela communities of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Presentation at Travel and Tourism Research Association Annual Student Research Symposium (and 8th Symposium for TTRA), Virginia Beach, VA, USA.

 

Aquino, J., Phillips, R., & Sung, H. (2012). Tourism, culture, and the creative industries: Reviving distressed neighborhoods with arts-based community tourism. Paper presented by co-authors Rhonda Phillips and Erika Sung at the University of the West Indies 2nd International Tourism Conference, St. Augustine, Trinidad.

 

Aquino, J., & Andereck, K. (2011). Perceived effects of volunteer tourism in Rio de Janeiro’s favela community of Rocinha:  Working toward best practice in sustainable tourism. Presentation at Travel and Tourism Research Association Annual Student Research Symposium (and 7th Symposium for TTRA), London, Ontario, Canada.

 

Aquino, J. F., White, D. D., & Meldrum, B. (2008). The Freedom to Stay in My Car: Visitors Experience and the Transportation System in Yosemite National Park. Presentation at the International Symposium on Society and Resource Management, Burlington, VT, USA.

 

Technical Research Reports (*denotes authors in alphabetical order and who worked equally)

 

Phillips, R., Aquino, J., Lee, S., Plunkett, D. (2010). 2010 Hatcher Road Economic Development Plan. Report for the Desert Mission Neighborhood Renewal and the Hatcher Road Subcommittee. Phoenix, AZ: Arizona State University

*Aquino, J. & Biaett, V. (2010). Working Together: A qualitative analysis of the Arizona Be Outdoors Movement. Report for the Be Outdoors Arizona. Phoenix, AZ: Arizona State University

 

Knopf, R. Aquino, J., Lee, S.and Plunkett, D. (2009). Valley of the Sun United Way: Improving the Health and Safety of Valley Neighborhoods.  Report for the Valley of the Sun United Way. Phoenix, AZ: Arizona State University

 

White, D. D. & Aquino, J. F. (2008). Visitor perspectives toward transportation issues in Yosemite National Park. Report for Yosemite National Park. Phoenix, AZ: Arizona State University

 

White, D. D., van Riper, C. J., Wodrich, J., Aquino, J., & McKinney C. (2007). Canyon de Chelly National Monument Visitor Study Final Technical Report. (Prepared for the National Park Service). Phoenix, AZ: Arizona State University

 

Johnson, J., Rice, K., & Aquino, J. (2007). Subcontract for USFWS Section 6 Status Report on Muhlenbergia xerophila and Muhlenbergia dubioides. Report for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Phoenix, AZ: Desert Botanical Garden

 

Other Publications

 

Aquino, J., & Andereck, K. (2014). The Role that Volunteer Tourism in Favela Communities of Rio de Janeiro Play on Community Pride and Self-esteem. Favelas@LSE: A dialogue Between the UK and Brazil. Retrieved from http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/favelasatlse/2014/08/21/the-psychosocial-impact-of-volunteer-tourism-in-the-favelas-of-rio-de-janeiro/

 

Aquino, J., & Andereck, K. (2012). Sustainable tourism and volunteer tourism in favela (slum) communities of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The VolunTourist™ Newsletter, 8(2). Retrieved from http://www.voluntourism.org/news-studyandresearch82.htm

 

Other Presentations

 

Aquino, J. (2012). Turismo Sustentável: Turismo voluntário nas favelas de Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. Presentation for the research group do Laboratório de Estudos em Turismo e Sustentabilidade, Centro de Excelência em Turismo. Universidade de Brasília, DF, Brasil

 

Aquino, J. (2011). Volunteer Tourism: A Debate. Presentation at the lecture series at Fundação Getulio Vargas com o Laboratório de Estudos do Turismo, Esporte e Lazer; do Centro de Pesquisa e Documentação de História Contemporânea do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.

Aquino, J. (2011). Volunteer Tourism in Rio de Janeiro: Voluntários Sejam Bem-Vindos! Presentation at the 3rd Annual School of Community Resource and Development Graduate Research Symposium, Phoenix, AZ.

Aquino, J. (2011). NGOs, Volunteer Tourism, and Community Development: A case study of the favela community of Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Presentation at the College of Public Programs Doctoral Student Research Conference, Phoenix, AZ.

Aquino, J., & Andereck, K. (2011). Efeitos Percebidos do Turismo e do Voluntariado na Favela da Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro: Trabalhar para as melhores práticas em turismo sustentável.  Guest Presentation at the University of Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil 

Aquino, J. F. (2009). Has risk management killed free play? Presentation at the 1st Annual School of Community Resource and Development Graduate Research Symposium, Phoenix, AZ.

Lee, S., Aquino, J. F., Plunkett, D., Knopf, R., & Paris, C. (2009). Living united: from classroom to community. Presentation at the 1st Annual School of Community Resource and Development Graduate Research Symposium, Phoenix, AZ.

Aquino, J. F., White, D. D., Bacon, J., & Meldrum, B. (2007). Determining visitor attitudes toward alternative transportation in Yosemite National Park: Implications for indicators and standards.  Poster presentation at the International Symposium on Society and Resource Management, Park City, Utah.

 

 

NAMMCO Conference

Sandra Granquist attended the scientific conference Impacts of Human Disturbance on Arctic Marine Mammals that was held by NAMMCO the 13th-15th of October in Copenhagen. She gave a presentation there, with the title “Effects of wildlife watching tourism on Arctic marine mammals, with a special note on harbour seal watching in Iceland”. Sandra and her team have for several years conducted comprehensive research into the effects of tourism on wild animals, and the lecture, among other things, presented the findings of these studies.