Volunteer Shorebird Field Assistant with Scholarship- Bahamas Live-Aboard
Conservian is seeking a few enthusiastic volunteer field assistants for our Bahamas shorebird habitat conservation project in April & May 2017 aboard our 75ft research schooner. Field assistants will assist project director with daily project activities. The focus of the work is surveying for beach-nesting bird breeding pairs, nests, and young, and working with local volunteers to implement protective measures in the field. Focal species include Wilson’s Plovers, American Oystercatchers, Least Terns and other colonial nesting species. Assistants will record data on breeding pairs, habitat assessment, and human-created disturbance. Assistants will complete various data forms, perform data entry, and help director supervise field crew and local volunteers. Assistants will also assist director with daily planning/prep duties onboard the research schooner. This is an excellent opportunity to gain field experience and shorebird ID skills.
Trip cost for one week is $1,250 and includes your bunk, onboard meals, water, and ground transportation associated with project. Participants will fly to the Bahamas to designated airports for shuttle transport to schooner. A valid passport is required. Airfare and insurance are not included. NOTE: Scholarships are available for qualifying applicants to cover part of above live-aboard costs.
Conservian and partners will continue on-the-ground protective and restorative measures to limit human-caused disturbance, and control invasive Australian pine at key Piping Plover, shorebird, and seabird sites in the Bahamas. Field volunteers will participate in collecting new data on shorebirds and seabirds of the Bahamas. Selected sites include globally and locally Important Bird Areas and national parks of the Bahamas, such as Lucaya National Park IBA, Peterson Cay National Park IBA, Joulter Cays National Park IBA, and the Berry Islands, as well as additional key shorebird sites on Grand Bahama Island and Great Abaco.
Project partners include: BirdsCaribbean, Bahamas National Trust, International Conservation Fund of Canada, USFWS/NMBCA, LightHawk, Dow AgroSciences, Grand Bahama Nature Tours, Optics for the Tropics, Grand Bahama Port Authority, Bahamas Public Parks & Beaches Authority, Bahamas Environment, Science & Technology Commission, Rand Nature Center, Abaco Friends of the Environment, Treasure Cay Community Center, Royal Bahamas Police Force/Marine Support.
Volunteer Field Assistants will work closely with project director to accomplish the below activities.
• Protect, post & sign shorebird & seabird sites
• Collect new data on nesting shorebirds & habitat
• Observe/assist with bird banding (conditions permitting)
• Control invasive Australian pine on beach habitats
• Work with local volunteers to accomplish the above goals
Our days will be filled with much adventure. We will work in both populated and remote areas, sail blue Caribbean waters, visit white sandy beaches, boat to little islands, conduct ground surveys for beach-nesting birds, nests, and downy chicks, and meet new people. We will work with local volunteers to post and sign shorebird sites and control invasive Australian pine. Crews will assist with shipboard duties; sailing, cooking and cleaning. There will be time to fish, snorkel, and visit local island towns.
Qualifications: Applicants must be responsible, adventurous, in good physical condition, enjoy working in teams and capable of walking several miles during warm weather in the Caribbean. Applicants must be comfortable living communally onboard a schooner and riding in small boats to access survey sites. Prior field experience and leadership skills are required for trip scholarship consideration.
April/May expedition schedule and locations
Assist for one week or more:
Week 1: Grand Bahama Island- April 23-30 (Freeport GBI Int. Airport)
Week 2: Great Abaco, west- Apr/May 30-7 (Freeport/Marsh Harbour Airport)
Week 3: Great Abaco, east- May 7-14 (Marsh Harbour Airport)
Week 4: Berry Islands & Joulter Cays-May 14-21 (Marsh Harbour/Nassau Int.Airport)
If you would like to join our conservation crew for a week or more as a Volunteer Field Assistant:
Please send 1) letter of interest 2) resume 3) names, email addresses and phone numbers of 2 references to Margo Zdravkovic: MargoZ@Coastalbird.org Please label all attachments with your name. The review of applicants is ongoing and will continue until positions are filled.
See link to article on 2016 project from our supporters at LightHawk http://www.lighthawk.org/what-we-do/blog/saving-bahamas-beaches-birds
Follow link for story of our successful 2016 expedition http://www.birdscaribbean.org/2016/06/conserving-bahamas-beach-nesting-birds-and-habitats/
Go to our website Coastalbird.org for more information about our 2017 expedition.
Go to https://www.facebook.com/CoastalBirdConservation on Facebook for more information on Conservian’s coastal bird conservation work.