Dewees Island is a privately developed ferry access barrier island south of the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge and north of Charleston, SC. The Dewees community has a strong environmental focus, with approximately 64 homes, native landscaping, sand roads, and golf cart transportation. There are no commercial interests such as stores or restaurants on this isolated barrier island. Dewees Island is home to an abundance of wildlife including white tailed deer, American alligators, wading birds and shorebirds.
Cape Island, SC is an undeveloped remote barrier island in the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge which averages well over 1,000 loggerhead sea turtle nests each season. Sea turtle activity accounts for almost 1/3 of all nests in South Carolina. The lack of access to the remote island makes it challenging for federal biologists and volunteers to do beach patrols, nest relocation, nursery maintenance, predator removal, nest inventories, and nesting turtle research. Early morning small boat access is required during the summer nesting season.
A Naturalist / Sea Turtle Technician Internship funded by the Dewees Island Conservancy helps meet the needs of Dewees Island & Cape Romain Wildlife Refuge. Two-three days per week on Dewees Island is required to assist in leading interpretative education programs, shorebird and wading bird surveys, trail camera surveys, wildlife surveys, sea turtle beach patrol, animal husbandry, creating educational publications and other projects as needed. Ferry access from the Isle of Palms, dormitory housing and golf cart transportation will be provided while on Dewees Island by Dewees Island POA.
The Intern will also spend 2-3 days per week helping the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge conduct sea turtle beach patrols, nest relocation, and nest inventories; dormitory housing is provided on the mainland (Awendaw, SC). Boat access to the Islands with Refuge Biologist and seasonal staff is provided. Transportation is not provided between the Isle of Palms and Awendaw.
The intern shall report directly to both the Dewees Island Conservancy Program Director on Dewees Island and the US Fish & Wildlife Chief Biologist on the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge.
• Lead interpretative barrier island ecology programs to guests and residents on Dewees Island.
• Conduct early morning or late evening beach patrols on assigned day to identify sea turtle nests and/or stranded sea turtles.
• Conduct early morning or late evening wildlife surveys.
• Provide care and maintenance of animals and displays in the Dewees Island Nature Center.
• Create educational publications and displays relating to conservation and post information in the Nature Center and on the Dewees Island Conservancy web site and Facebook page.
• Promote and practice stewardship of the all barrier island facilities, properties, and research equipment.
• Assist in facilitation of research projects by visiting scientists as directed by the Refuge Biologist or the Dewees Island Conservancy Program Director.
• Understand and agree to dormitory and shared housing regulations. Housing at both locations is a shared co-ed living space and personal effects are NOT provided (linens, toiletries, etc.).
• Ability to provide your own transportation between Awendaw, SC and the Dewees Island Ferry Landing on Isle of Palms (approximately 20 miles). Remote locations; public transportation is not available.
• Minimum three years undergraduate work in resource management, marine biology, wildlife ecology or related science.
• Minimum 9 months of experience leading interpretative or environmental educational programs.
• Outgoing, self-motivated and independent personality; strong communication and leadership skills required.
• Prior sea turtle nesting management experience preferred (additional training provided).
• Basic knowledge of shorebird and wading bird identification strongly desired.
• Basic knowledge of South Carolina flora and fauna; knowledge of barrier island ecology strongly desired.
• Ability to work a non-standard work day, including weekends, holidays and night shifts.
• Ability to endure extreme summer and outdoor conditions (heat, bugs, salt, sand, etc.).
• Ability to carry heavy equipment (up to 50 lbs.)
• Ability to operate an ATV vehicle (training provided).
• Ability to work and live independently in an extremely remote island lifestyle.
• Boating experience preferred.
• Ability to provide own transportation between remote work sites.
HOW TO APPLY:
Email cover letter, resume, and names/phone numbers/email of three references to:
Dewees Island Conservancy at email@example.com
Please list Naturalist/Sea Turtle Internship in the subject line.