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  • Seabird Island Supervisors, Research Assistants, and Interns

    Guest Paula Shannon
    • Employer: Audubon Seabird Institute
      Location: Maine coast islands
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 02/20/2023
      Open Until Filled: No

    Audubon Seabird Institute is hiring multiple Seabird Island Supervisors, Research Assistants, and Interns for the 2023 seabird breeding season.  Positions begin between May 1 and May 25 and end between August 15 and September 15, depending on site.  Some flexibility on start and end dates may be possible.

    Job Description: The Seabird Institute manages seven island research stations off the coast of Maine, each of which is led by an Island Supervisor and staffed by Research Assistants, Interns, and short-term volunteers. Study species vary by island, but may include Arctic, Common, Roseate, and Least Terns, Atlantic Puffins, Black Guillemots, Razorbills, Laughing Gulls, Common Eiders, Leach’s Storm-Petrels, and wading birds. Work includes, but is not limited to, monitoring seabird populations and productivity; measuring chick growth; conducting observations from bird blinds for up to three hours at a time; conducting seabird diet studies; banding and resighting birds; removing invasive vegetation; educating island visitors; conducting predator management; data entry and proofing; and camp maintenance; 

    Island field teams consist of 2 to 5 people (depending on island and time of year). All field team members participate in seabird research and camp maintenance duties.  Living conditions on the islands are rustic; at each island, a cabin or wall tent serves as the base of field operations, and field team members sleep in their own tents. Island field stations have limited electricity (solar panels power research needs), propane stoves, composting toilets, and no running water.

    After a brief orientation program on the mainland, field teams will spend the entire field season living on-island. Those working on inshore islands (3 of the 7 islands) may have the ability to go ashore (about every 2-3 weeks) to procure food and supplies for the field station. On offshore islands, food and supplies will be delivered approximately every three weeks.

    Island Supervisor responsibilities, in addition to participating in the studies listed above, include managing multiple concurrent seabird research projects; training Research Assistants, Interns, and volunteers on essential field skills and computer data entry; creating daily work schedules; coordinating logistics with mainland staff; and preparing a final season report. Operation of motorboats is required at some sites.

    Compensation Island Supervisors $640-680/week (depending on site assignment and experience), Research Assistants $560/week, and Interns $483/week.  Food is provided, as well as shared housing when not camping at the field site.

    Qualifications:  For all positions, applicants should be capable of living and working on remote islands with limited amenities; in excellent physical condition (capable of climbing over rugged terrain and slippery rocks and able to lift approximately 50 lbs.); able to work independently and as part of a team and to get along with people of diverse backgrounds; capable of working long hours outdoors in variable weather conditions; interested in seabirds and wildlife conservation; and comfortable on the water in small boats. Rowing experience is helpful, as is experience with wilderness camping, predator control and/or hunting/trapping, use of basic hand tools (hammer, drill driver, etc.), and operating small motorboats. Island supervisors should have several seasons of experience with avian fieldwork, including experience banding birds.  Prior experience leading field crews or volunteers is helpful.  Research Assistants should have at least one prior season of avian field experience, and experience banding birds and working in remote environments is helpful.  Interns should be recent graduates or upper-level undergraduates in Biology or a related field with an interest in avian conservation and a desire to learn new field skills and live in a remote environment; prior field experience is helpful but not required.

    To Apply: Submit a cover letter, resume, and list of 3 references with contact information to paula.shannon@audubon.org and include position(s) applying for in the subject line.

    Contact Paula Shannon (paula.shannon@audubon.org) with any questions.

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