Audubon's Seabird Restoration Program manages seven island research stations off the coast of Maine that include active and former restoration sites for 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, productivity, and growth; conducting seabird diet studies; banding and resighting birds; removing invasive vegetation; educating island visitors; and assisting with predator management.
Positions require primitive camping and working on offshore islands. All participants live in or near the bird colonies in rustic conditions (limited solar electricity, no running water; composting toilet only) and work 7 days/week, weather permitting. At each island, a cabin or wall tent serves as the base of field operations, and staff sleep in their own tents. Research Assistants and Full-season Volunteers will work on one of 5 field teams: Stratton Island, Eastern Egg Rock, Matinicus Rock, Seal Island, or Casco Bay area Islands (includes Jenny, Pond, and Outer Green Islands). Short-term volunteers should be available for a minimum of two weeks, and may work on one or more islands, depending on interest and dates of availability. Island research teams are comprised of 2 to 6 people, led by the Island Supervisor, and are determined by island size, seabird colony composition, and workload. Days can be long (0600 to 2000 hrs) and include one to two 3-hour observation stints each day in a small wooden blind. All staff participate in seabird research and camp maintenance duties. Pay of $262.50/week, plus food and worker’s compensation insurance are provided for Research Assistants. Food is provided for volunteers, but they are responsible for their own insurance.
At offshore field stations, Research Assistants will spend the entire season on island. At inshore field stations there will be periodic access to the mainland via small boat (about every 1-2 weeks). Research Assistants and Volunteers will participate in all aspects of seabird research, monitoring, and management. Most positions begin on May 26 and end on August 15 (two or more Research Assistants are needed beginning in early or mid May).
Qualifications: Applicants for Research Assistant positions should have a B.S. (or be an upper level undergraduate) in biology or a related field, and have at least one full season of previous field experience. Previous field experience is not required for Volunteers, but applicants should have a desire to participate in seabird research and learn new field skills. Applicants must be in excellent physical condition (capable of climbing over rugged terrain and able to lift approximately 50 lbs.), have wilderness camping experience, be able to work independently and as part of a team, be capable of working long hours outdoors in variable weather conditions, and be able to work well with people of diverse backgrounds. Must be able to sit in a small blind for three hours and maintain focus on data collection. A sense of humor, willingness to learn, dedication to wildlife conservation, and interest in seabirds and isolated islands are basic requirements.
To Apply: Applications must be submitted on-line. For Research Assistant positions visit www.audubon.org/audubon-career-center for further details and to apply (search words: seabirds; Maine). Applications must include a resume, cover letter, and a minimum of three references. Please indicate in your cover letter if you would like to be considered for a volunteer position if not selected for a paid position. Applications for Research Assistants are accepted through Feb 15, 2014. Details and applications for volunteering can be found at http://projectpuffin.audubon.org/volunteer-8 and Volunteer applications are accepted through March 15, 2014. For questions regarding the positions contact Paula Shannon (EM: pshannon AT audubon.org). For further information on the Seabird Restoration Program and research islands, visit http://projectpuffin.audubon.org/island-research-program.