Friends of Coastal South Carolina is seeking a full-time Loggerhead Sea Turtle Project Intern for Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. Position description and application instructions are provided below.
About Cape Romain NWR:
The refuge spans only 22 miles of the South Carolina coast, but it is some of the most critical habitat for loggerhead sea turtles and countless species of shorebirds. The refuge is 66,287 acres of barrier islands, salt marshes, intricate coastal waterways, long sandy beaches, fresh and brackish water impoundments, and maritime forest. Over 29,000 acres of the refuge are designated as Class 1 Wilderness. Aiding the recovery of the threatened loggerhead sea turtle is one of the refuge’s highest priorities.
About Friends of Coastal SC:
Dedicated to preserving the ecosystems and wildlife of the South Carolina coast for future generations; we support our national forest and wildlife refuges through education programs, species and habitat management support, advocacy work, and by engaging citizens in stewardship of these critical resources. Friends of Coastal South Carolina has supported the Refuge’s sea turtle recovery program for over 17 years. Learn more on our website and social media pages.
Loggerhead Sea Turtle Project Intern
We are seeking a full time field intern to assist with sea turtle season on Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. This is your opportunity to directly impact the conservation of loggerhead sea turtles at South Carolina’s most active nesting sites (in a peak nesting year the refuge may receive over 3,000 nests), while also getting great experience with sea turtle nest management and general national wildlife refuge operations.
Daily activities working in the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge loggerhead sea turtle nest protection program will include:
• Assisting with transport of equipment to and from the sea turtle nesting island.
• Preparing supplies and materials needed for sea turtle nesting season.
• Daily surveys of nesting beaches.
• Data collection and management.
• Locating and translocating sea turtle nests in erosional areas.
• Installing predator guards around nests, inventorying nests for hatch success, and disassembling hatcheries and predator guards at the end of the nesting season.
• Assistance monitoring shorebird nesting areas may also be required 1-2 days a week.
• Communications: documenting the season through photos and video to help us tell the story of the work being done on the refuge.
• Other administrative tasks as needed.
• Potential to develop a thesis or project for college or graduate school credit if needed.
• Gain knowledge about the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge ecosystems and become familiar with refuge resource management programs.
• Gain tremendous hands on experience with loggerhead sea turtles nest management on South Carolina’s most active nesting beach.
• Work and develop relationships with US Fish and Wildlife Service’s top biologists.
Time-frame, Compensation, and Additional Details:
• Internship is fulltime; mid-May (early June) through mid-August. End date flexible.
• Field crew housing is available at Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge in Awendaw, SC.
• A small monthly stipend is available.
Send brief cover letter (one page maximum), resume (1-2 pages), and three professional references to Grace Gasper at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please submit all requested information together in a single Word or PDF document labeled first name.last name. Please also put turtle intern in the email subject line.
The ideal applicant should:
• Experience boating in Southeastern estuaries strong preferred.
• Have a passion for natural resource conservation and habitat and wildlife management.
• Have the ability to do physically demanding work for extended periods of time: heavy lifting (up to 50 lbs), walking in uneven terrain, shoveling sand, post hole digging, digging holes by hand, and stooping and bending are required.
• Have the ability to work in adverse weather and harsh conditions of the barrier islands of the refuge: extremely hot temperatures, biting insects, prickly vegetation, thunderstorms, and no access to facilities on the islands.
• Be willing to travel via boat to and from the island every day, rough wave action is encountered frequently.
• Have the willingness to complete any necessary training provided by staff.
• Possess a valid state driver’s license
• Be creative, flexible, and self-motivated.
• Be willing to work occasional weekends and/or evenings.
Current USFWS MOCC and ATV training highly desirable.