The Audubon Mississippi Coastal Bird Stewardship Program is a comprehensive conservation and research program based in southern Mississippi that promotes the safeguarding of coastal birds and their habitats through volunteer engagement, community science and outreach, and strategic partnerships with federal, state, and local agencies, local academic institutions and community organizations. Home to the last undammed major river in the lower 48 states – the Pascagoula River – south Mississippi also has many miles of white sand beaches, coastal wetlands, bottomland hardwood forest, pine savanna and the many species that come along with those threatened habitats.
The intern will receive training for conducting bird monitoring initiatives that inform the adaptive management of nesting birds and their habitats. The Intern will assist Audubon Mississippi staff with stewardship and monitoring of Least Terns and other breeding bird species on the sandy beaches of mainland and nearshore islands in coastal Mississippi. Interns will be responsible for collecting data relating to nesting, disturbance, predation, and other threats. Interns will also be expected to interact with beach visitors and assist with stewardship as needed. This is a full-time, 40-hour per week position that runs from early to mid-May through early August, 2021. Pay is $12/hr. Occasional weekend and holiday work will be required, including stewardship of tern colonies leading up to and during Independence Day. Housing is not provided, but assistance finding housing may be available. It is recommended that the intern live in the Jackson, Harrison, or Hancock County areas or be willing to relocate there for the duration of the internship at their own expense.
Please submit a cover letter, resume, and three references to: https://careers-audubon.icims.com/jobs/4564/field-technician-intern%2c-bird-monitoring/job
- Assist in setting up study areas. This may include roping and posting off an area, setting out decoys, setting up camera traps, and placing audio playback system.
- Conduct surveys of predators and human disturbance daily at assigned sites.
- Conduct surveys to count adults, nests, and chicks at tern and skimmer colonies.
- Assist staff with finding and monitoring nests of colonial breeders and plovers.
- Assist with management of volunteer crews and scheduling across multiple survey locations as needed.
- Proof and enter data into Audubon systems.
- Sort and categorize camera trap photos.
Qualifications and Experience
- Currently enrolled in a higher learning institution and have completed some college level coursework in wildlife biology, ecology, environmental studies, or natural resources.
- The ability to identify common gull and tern species of coastal Mississippi is required.
- Ability to perform tasks requiring physical exertion, outdoors, in all weather conditions and on difficult terrain.
- Ability to lift and carry up to 50 pounds of equipment (e.g. wood posts, rope, etc.), while walking on sand.
- Experience in bird monitoring including point counts and nest searches is a plus.
- Working knowledge of coastal and estuarine habitats including coastal wetlands, dredge-spoil islands, sandy beaches, etc. on the Northern Gulf Coast is a plus.
- Willingness to work long hours in harsh field conditions (sun, heat, biting insects).
- Flexibility in varying schedule that accommodates weather conditions, with ability to work occasional weekends or holidays.
- Interact with beach visitors and assist with stewardship as needed.
- Willingness and ability to travel routinely to and from assigned beach sites as well as the Audubon office in Moss Point, as required. Reliable transportation is required.