Tern Colony Interns: Buzzards Bay, MA

Massachusetts Div. Fisheries and Wildlife
Buzzards Bay, MA
Job Category
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
Interns are needed to assist the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife with protection, research, and management of rare and endangered terns nesting on Bird, Ram, and Penikese Islands in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. These islands support half the North American population of the federally endangered Roseate Tern; active management to protect the population is critical to recovery. Terns are small, ground-nesting seabirds that are highly charismatic. The species we are working with nest in dense colonies and are very aggressive. They protect their nests and young by diving at, pecking, and defecating on intruders, including researchers, and vocalizing loudly. Interns will gain hands-on field skills through activities such as censusing of Common, Roseate, and Arctic Terns; monitoring tern growth and productivity; trapping and banding; reading bands on adults through spotting scopes; monitoring productivity of American Oystercatchers; and discouragement, censusing, and monitoring of nesting gulls. SCHEDULE AND DATES – Early mornings, occasional long days, and changes in plans with little advance notice are normal for field-based work and should be expected. Interns can expect the workload to vary through the season, to work around the weather and the tides, and occasionally to work on weekends and holidays. Dates are flexible to accommodate college calendars. Our greatest need is from early May through mid-July, with June being our busiest time. Shorter-term opportunities are possible. COMPENSATION –You may be eligible for credit or a monetary stipend through your college; however, MassWildlife does not provide financial compensation.
Previous experience with biological data collection looked upon favorably, but enthusiasm and strong work ethic are more important. Candidates should be organized, detail-oriented, self-motivated, reliable, and strong communicators. They must be able to work cooperatively with others and maintain a positive attitude. Flexibility, patience, and a sense of humor are essential for all staff. Additionally: • Interns may work part time (a minimum of 1 day/week) or full time. Part time interns must have a vehicle to travel from their homes to meeting sites. Full time interns may live at the crew house or the Penikese field camp and can carpool with other staff to meeting sites. • Interns must be in good physical condition and comfortable being outdoors. • Interns interested in visiting Penikese must be comfortable living in a primitive field camp for at least a week at a time; poison ivy and pollen could be bothersome to those with allergies. TO APPLY – Please email the following to Carolyn Mostello (carolyn.mostello@mass.gov): (1) A cover letter stating your interest in the internship and summarizing your background. Provide your available dates and dates of any vacations you plan to take during the spring/summer. If you plan on using this experience for a college internship, describe the program and requirements (number of hours needed, reports, presentations, etc.). (2) A resume detailing your education, experience (paid or volunteer), and any special skills. (3) Names, email addresses, and phone numbers of three references. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
Contact Person
Carolyn Mostello
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