Habitat and Avian Volunteers, Kamole and Kapou Islands within Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

US Fish & Wildlife Service
Kamole (Laysan) and Kapou (Lisianski) Islands within Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge
Job Category
Volunteer Openings
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
US Fish and Wildlife is seeking 2-3 volunteers for the summer field season on Kamole (Laysan) and Kapou (Lisianski) Islands within Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Kamole (Laysan) Island is a 1000 acre coralline island located about 900 miles northwest of O'ahu. The island frequently referred to as the “jewel” of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. It hosts ~ 1 million seabirds and the following six endangered species: ‘ainohu kauo (laysan finch), koloa maoli (laysan duck), honu (Hawaiian green sea turtle), `Ilio holo I ka uaua (Hawaiian monk seal), Cyperus pennatiformis var. bryanii (an endemic sedge), and Pritchardia remota (a fan palm). It is considered to be among the most intact terrestrial ecosystems in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and the only island with an inland lake. For more information on Kamole visit: https://www.papahanaumokuakea.gov/visit/laysan.html Kapou (Lisianski) Island is a 400 acre coralline island located approximately 1,000 miles northwest of O'ahu. It’s the third largest island within the Monument. The island hosts large nunulu (bonin petrel) and ʻewaʻewa (sooty tern) colonies, as well as a variety of other seabirds. The island also has the only grove of Pisonia grandis trees in the entire Hawaiian Archipelago. Both honu (Hawaiian green sea turtle) and `Ilio holo I ka uaua (Hawaiian monk seal) make Kapou their home. For more information on Kapou visit: https://www.papahanaumokuakea.gov/visit/lis.html As a volunteer you will have the opportunity to live in a remote setting. You will be surrounded by birds, sea life, and native vegetation. Both Kamole and Kapou are remote sites, only accessible by ship. It is a four day ship ride from Oahu to Kamole and another day to Kapou. On island, all transportation is by foot. Living conditions consist of a tent for personal use, and tents for communal/food storage and prep/working. Personal communications from the field site are limited to “text only” e-mail (no internet). Additionally, in an effort to prevent the introduction of non-native species, the USFWS enforces a gear quarantine on all islands within Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. As part of this gear quarantine, all “soft” (clothing, shoes, straps, etc.) must be purchased new and frozen for at least 48 hours prior to departure to Kamole/Kapou. All “hard” items (cameras, musical instruments, snorkeling equipment, etc.) must be either inspected and cleaned thoroughly and frozen or bug bombed prior to departure. Volunteers are expected to work 40 hours/week. However, this does not necessarily mean 8-5 M-F. Certain projects must be completed in the evening or in consecutive days. Primary responsibilities include the following: • Invasive plant monitoring and removal (~50% of time) • Vegetation surveys • Bird surveys (including seabird, endemic passerine, shorebird and Laysan Duck monitoring) • Green sea turtle nest monitoring • Support NMFS Hawaiian monk seal monitoring • Entomological surveys • Data collection and management • Weekly and summary reporting • Camp maintenance
Bachelor’s Degree in wildlife biology or a related field; previous volunteer or job experience with wildlife fieldwork, preferably with birds; an ability and willingness to work in a remote field situation conducting repetitive surveys, and assisting with a wide variety of non-wildlife tasks such as camp maintenance; must be able to swim well in ocean conditions and pass required swim test; comfortable with herbicide use; 18 years of age or older only; must be relatively fit and able to work long days including considerable amounts of walking (10 miles/day) and standing on uneven ground in a hot, humid climate; ability to lift and carry moderate loads up to 50 pounds. More important is the ability to function in a remote and communal living environment. Critical skills include the ability to work as part of team, to communicate effectively, and to proactively address any issues that may arise. Because of the risk of exposure to COVID-19 during your volunteer duties, everyone must follow protective measures implemented by the Service and the CDC. We currently require all personnel to be fully vaccinated against COVID and to wear face masks and practice social distancing in government facilities. Volunteers and staff will be required to have a negative COVID PCR test prior to departing on ship. This will provided by FWS. The US Fish and Wildlife Service will provide: housing in Honolulu, transportation between Honolulu and Kamole/Kapou, a stipend for quarantine clothes, and food on Kamole/Kapou. The flight to Honolulu is not paid for. Please e-mail, as one document, a cover letter and your resume/cv with at least three references to Amanda Boyd at amanda_j_boyd@fws.gov.
Contact Person
Amanda Boyd
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