• Fish/Wildlife • Back Country/Wilderness
Photo Courtesy of NPS
Hawksbill Turtle Recovery Project Intern Position
Since 1989, volunteers have assisted project biologists with monitoring, protecting, and collecting baseline data on nesting hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata). For the 2020 season, the monitoring team will consist of eight Interns at a time from May to December (possibly later). Interns must commit to the entire term period requested on the application (12 week minimum). Preference is given to those who are flexible with their availability.
Applicants are not required to have prior experience working with sea turtles. Successful applicants must be self-motivated, conservation-minded, and work well with others. A positive attitude, diligent work ethic, and a love for the outdoors are a must.
Turtle Interns must:
Commit to the project for the entire term period requested on application.
Be at least 18 years of age.
Possess a valid U.S. driver's license.
Be First Aid and CPR certified.
Be able to hike daily up to 12 miles over rugged lava terrain with a 30+ pound backpack.
Be able to hike/work in vog (Sulphur dioxide emitted from the nearby volcano, which can be problematic for people with respiratory concerns).
Be a team player and work well with others.
Be positive in adverse or challenging situations.
Be able to stay awake late at night.
Be able to work on little sleep.
Turtle Intern duties include:
Camping6+ consecutive nights at remote beaches with a project technician or other trained interns.
Conducting nightly watches (from 5 p.m. until at least 2 a.m.) to observe nesting turtles and emerging hatchlings.
Hiking daily up to 12 miles over rugged lava terrain with a 30+ pound backpack to reach remote field sites.
4-wheel driving on long, rough roads to reach remote field sites.
Day-checking other nesting beaches daily to look for signs of turtle activity by hiking up to 12 miles or four-wheel driving.
Handling adult turtles (i.e., restraining, measuring, applying flipper tags, and checking for injuries).
Ensuring that hatchlings reach the ocean by monitoring nests, rescuing stranded hatchlings, and conducting nest excavations.
Recording data by using a daily field notebook and data sheets.
• Controlling non-native predator populations by baiting and checking live-traps on a daily basis and by euthanizing mongooses, feral cats, and rats using carbon dioxide gas.
• Interacting with the public regarding sea turtle conservation.
• Assisting with logistics (e.g., equipment and camp maintenance, vehicle inspections, and office work).
Shared, dorm-style housing is provided at Hawai?i Volcanoes National Park. Park housing is located within walking distance of both the visitor center and our office, in a rainforest environment at an elevation of 4,000 feet. Bedrooms are shared by multiple interns.
A $10 per workday food reimbursement will be provided. However, it can take approximately three months to receive payment. Additional funds are needed to supplement this stipend for basic needs and entertainment. Furthermore, a vehicle will not be provided for personal transportation.