*Buck Island Sea Turtle Research Program Research Assistant Vacancy
Announcement 2018*

Buck Island Reef National Monument (BIRNM), located on the island of St.
Croix, US Virgin Islands, is seeking applicants for the position of Sea
Turtle Research Assistant (intern) to conduct sea turtle research and
monitoring. This will be the 31st year of the Buck Island Sea Turtle
Research Program (BISTRP), a long-term monitoring, research, and
conservation project supported by the National Park Service (NPS), Buck
Island Reef National Monument. BIRNM is a nesting beach for hawksbill
imbricata*), green (*Chelonia mydas*), leatherback (*Dermochelys coriacea*),
and loggerhead (*Caretta caretta*) sea turtles.

This project will be begin in mid-July and extend for 12 weeks into early
October 2018 (applicants must state availability in their cover letter). If
selected, interns are expected to stay the length of the project. This is a
highly competitive project that is *physically and mentally intense*, aimed
at individuals who want to make ecology/resource management their career.
Access to the island is by boat only, where there are minimal facilities.
Ability to navigate rugged terrain, work in adverse weather conditions, and
amongst biting insects and poisonous and spiny plants is essential. Shifts
last up to 12 hours and require interns to work effectively on a nocturnal
schedule. Interns work equally effectively as a team and individually.

Interns will provide assistance to the NPS staff in the collection and
processing of field data. A mixture of methods will be used: night duty and
day patrols. Night duty focuses on working with animals during the laying
process. During this time, all nesting turtles will be encountered;
biometric data will be collected on turtles, physical data will be
collected on nest locations, and animals will be tagged (inconel and PIT).
Imperiled nests will be relocated to mitigate risk and increase hatch
success. Nests will be excavated to determine hatch success. Night work
will last in shifts up to 12 hours and will be labor intensive. Day patrols
will be conducted in the early morning and require accurate assessment of
the previous night’s nesting activities from tracks left in the sand alone.
Nests that hatch will be excavated to estimate hatching success and beach
productivity. Throughout the project interns will be required to perform
equipment maintenance, data entry, and quality assurance/quality control on
the long-term dataset.

Interns are also responsible for weekly daytime monitoring of beaches at
The Buccaneer Hotel, their residence, recording activities using GPS.
Interns will also conduct outreach to hotel guests on a daily basis as well
as during scheduled beach walks discussing the BISTRP program and sea
turtle ecology. In addition to BISTRP objectives, interns will provide
assistance to NPS staff and collaborators with a wide-variety of ongoing
projects including forest restoration, deployment of acoustic and satellite
tags, and a sea turtle nest temperature study. In addition, interns may
have the opportunity to conduct snorkel surveys for foraging sea turtles
and/or assist in sea turtle stranding response incidents.

Interns will receive two meals/day and lodging from The Buccaneer Hotel at
no cost to the interns. A small weekly stipend will be allotted to each
intern ($100), and travel costs will be covered by the NPS. Interns need to
seriously consider their finances before applying to these openings; it
will not be possible to work locally while conducting intern duties.

*Qualifications Required* - Must:

·        Communicate effectively in English, orally and in writing
·        *Have biology training/background*
·        Collect data and maintain records precisely according to
standardized protocol
·        Have previous field work experience lasting at least one month
·        Enter and analyze data (written and computer database format)
·        *Be in excellent physical shape*
·        Be able to persevere under stressful conditions
·        Work outdoors, day and night in isolated conditions, and in
adverse weather.
·        Walk in the sand up to 10 kilometers/night; climb rocks; stoop,
kneel and stand on soft substrate and in cramped conditions.
·       * Have a strong work ethic*
·        Be able to work all night and on weekends
·        Be able to lift and move heavy objects
·        Operate and maintain communications equipment properly (cell
phone, hand-held VHS radio, marine radio)
·        Be able to swim; crew a boat in open water conditions
·        *Have a valid US driver’s license*

*Desired Qualifications*- Please comment on applicable skills and
experience in your cover letter:

·        Experience working with Microsoft Access and Excel
·        Familiarity with statistics and competency in statistical software
·        Experience using GPS information to create maps in ArcGIS
·        Communicate conservation and science objectives to the public
·        Interest in documenting science and research for social media and
public awareness posts
·        Previous experience conducting nesting sea turtle saturation
tagging and monitoring

To apply, send a cover letter stating your interest in and qualifications
for the project, a resume or CV summarizing your experience, and contact
information for three references to the email address below. The
document(s) you submit should include your last name and document type in
the file name. Email is preferred, but postal mail/fax is accepted.
Deadline for application: *2 March 2018, no applicants will be considered
after this date.*  If selected for interview you will be contacted in
mid-March, *please do not make follow up inquiries*.

*Email: tessa_c...@nps.gov <tessa_c...@nps.gov>*

Buck Island Reef National Monument
BISTRP c/o Tessa Code
2100 Church Street, #100
Christiansted, St. Croix, Virgin Islands 00820

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