Interns are needed to assist the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife with data collection and management for rare and endangered terns nesting on Bird, Ram, and Penikese Islands in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. These islands support nearly half the North American population of the federally endangered Roseate Tern; active management to protect the population is critical to recovery.
Terns are small, ground-nesting seabirds that are highly charismatic. The species we are working with nest in dense colonies and are very aggressive. They protect their nests and young by diving at, pecking, and defecating on intruders, including researchers, and vocalizing loudly.
Interns may work entirely remotely, entirely in the field, or a combination of field and remote. Remote interns will support field efforts on Bird and Ram Islands by planning daily field tasks and recording, entering, and managing data, which are critical skills for biologists to develop. Remote interns will “visit” the Bird and Ram colonies in three-way calls with on-site MassWildlife staff. They will record data online, simultaneous to the on-site data collection in traditional notebooks, and transfer the data to spreadsheets to be used for analysis. In-person field interns will participate in fieldwork on Bird, Ram, and Penikese Islands. Interns will gain hands-on field skills through activities such as censusing of Common, Roseate, and Arctic Terns; monitoring tern growth and productivity; possibly trapping and banding; reading bands on adults through spotting scopes; monitoring productivity of American Oystercatchers; and discouragement, censusing, and monitoring of nesting gulls.
QUALIFICATIONS – Previous experience with biological data collection looked upon favorably, but enthusiasm and strong work ethic are more important. Candidates should be organized, detail-oriented, self-motivated, reliable, and strong communicators. They must be able to work cooperatively with others and maintain a positive attitude. Flexibility, patience, and a sense of humor are essential for all staff. Additionally:
· Remote interns must have a computer (laptop or desktop) and a telephone with a reliable connection. It helps (but isn’t required) to have a back-up phone line in case of a bad connection on one. A telephone headset with mic may be helpful (not required).
· Because the colonies are extremely noisy, remote interns must have a workspace where they can raise their voice so on-site biologists can hear them over the din of thousands of terns.
· Field interns must have a vehicle to travel to meeting sites, unless they can commit to full time (or close to full time) work and be stationed at the crew house or at the Penikese field camp, or they live on the way the field sites and easily can be picked up/dropped off by other staff.
· Field interns must be in good physical condition and comfortable being outdoors.
· Field interns interested in visiting Penikese must be comfortable living in a primitive field camp for at least a week at a time; poison ivy and pollen could be bothersome to those with allergies.
SCHEDULE AND DATES – Early mornings, occasional long days, and changes in plans with little advance notice are normal for field-based work and should be expected. Interns can expect the workload to vary through the season, to work around the weather and the tides, and perhaps occasionally to work on weekends and holidays. Dates are flexible to accommodate college calendars. Our greatest need is from early May through mid-July, with June being our busiest time. Part time (a minimum of 1 day/week) or short-term opportunities are possible.
COMPENSATION –You may be eligible for credit or a monetary stipend through your college; however, MassWildlife does not provide financial compensation.
TO APPLY – Please email the following to Carolyn Mostello (firstname.lastname@example.org):
(1) A cover letter. This should state your interest in remote vs. field work or both. If you need an internship for college, describe the internship program and requirements (number of hours needed, reports, presentations, etc.). Also provide information on your available dates and dates of any vacations you plan to take during the spring/summer.
(2) A resume detailing your education, experience (paid or volunteer), and any special skills.
(3) Names, email addresses, and phone numbers of three references.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
For additional information, see: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/buzzards-bay-tern-restoration-project