The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking four (4) volunteers beginning May 1, 2018 and continuing through mid-December 2018 to join the 16th expedition to Johnston Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument) as a part of the Crazy Ant Strike Team (CAST). The primary mission is to continue working towards eradication of the Yellow Crazy Ant (YCA), Anoplolepis gracilipes. Johnston Atoll is located in the central Pacific Ocean, 720 nautical miles west-southwest of Honolulu, and is uninhabited, except for the four volunteers and one crew leader. Volunteers will have the rare opportunity to live in this remote setting surrounded by abundant birds and sea life.
Duties and Responsibilities:
Volunteers will be expected to work at least 48 hours/week, 6 days/week for their 6 months on island. Some projects will necessitate working evenings or consecutive days, including weekends. An additional month will be spent in Honolulu, HI, prior to deployment, where volunteers will pack and prepare gear, food, and all items necessary for field camp. While on Johnston Island, responsibilities include:
• Ant monitoring and pesticide application
• Entomological surveys including ant species identification
• Invasive plant management (mechanical and chemical)
• Seabird, shorebird, and sea turtle surveys
• Habitat restoration
• Data collection and management
• Weekly and summary reporting
• Camp maintenance and chores
Special Considerations: Johnston Island is an extremely remote site, where all but emergency access is by ship, which takes 3-5 days from Honolulu. No re-supply or ship visits during the 6-month camp are anticipated. On the island, transportation will primarily be by foot or bicycle with 1-mile daily commutes to the work site. Living conditions are primitive and consist of 10’x14’x6’ personal sleeping tents and a bunker that is used for communal/food storage/kitchen and office areas. Weather conditions can be harsh with strong winds, tropical storms, and hot sun. Bathing is done in the ocean and washing is done with salt water. Communication with the island has proven to be reliable but is limited to a DeLorme InReach, satellite phones, and slow internet access. Internet access is not guaranteed and team members must be prepared for the possibility of communication being limited to text-only e-mail via the satellite phone with no internet browsing capability. Direct medical attention is a minimum of 1-3 days away. As such, safety is of primary concern.
Volunteers must be willing and able to work 48 hours per week and must be physically and mentally fit. Must be able to walk 10 miles a day over variable terrain, lift and carry 50 lbs, ride a bicycle, swim, and be able to perform repetitive stooping and bending motions. Strong, healthy bodies are critical. Must be able to perform all duties in various weather conditions including high heat and humidity, strong winds, and rain. Must have strong interpersonal skills and be able to work well independently as well as closely in a small group, be easy-going with a good sense of humor, and flexible to changing conditions. The ability to communicate safely and effectively amongst the crew and especially with the crew lead and Honolulu support team is also imperative. All CAST members must follow rigorous pesticide and safety protocols. Qualified applicants must possess a valid U.S. passport that will not expire before June 2019. Possession of a valid U.S. driver’s license is preferred.
Prior experience in the following is preferred, but not required: Remote long term camping, invasive species control, shorebird and seabird identification and monitoring, bird handling, entomological surveying, use of microscopes, familiarity with GIS tools and software, data management, pesticide application and habitat restoration.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will provide: Airfare to and from Honolulu, housing and a modest per diem for food costs while in Honolulu, transportation between Honolulu and Johnston, clothes for use on island, and food and housing on Johnston. The Honolulu per diem will not be paid up front so volunteers will need to have sufficient finances to provide for their own food during the one-month preparation period in Honolulu. Hawaii is expensive and candidates are encouraged to research cost-of-living in Honolulu prior to their arrival.
Applications will be evaluated as they arrive and the positions will remain open until filled, rolling interviews will begin in late-February, so candidates are encouraged to apply early.
Please include “CAST 16 Volunteer Application” in the e-mail subject line.
Submit a cover letter, CV or resume, and at least 3 professional references to