Seasonal Shorebird Monitor and Invasives Field Assistant

Job Description: The Nantucket Conservation Foundation, Inc. (, Department of Science and Stewardship is seeking a motivated, enthusiastic, self-reliant, independent field assistant. For the first 4 months, the field assistant will work independently and focus intensively on monitoring and protecting rare beach-nesting shorebirds. For the last 2 months, the field assistant will work as part of a team, participating in invasive species monitoring and management and various field work tasks. Previous shorebird monitoring and nest searching experience is required for this position.

Shorebird Monitoring Responsibilities:
1. Locating nests, monitoring populations and documenting nest success of shorebirds including American Oystercatchers, Least and Common Terns and Piping Plovers at multiple locations on Nantucket;
2. Accurately recording sightings of color-banded birds, locating and monitoring nests and unfledged chicks to determine breeding success, and documenting causes of nest failure where possible;
3. Protecting populations of shorebirds through placement of fencing and educational signs and public education in the field;
4. Resighting banded American Oystercatchers and maintaining of online report databases;
5. Recording occurrences of non-breeding shorebirds that utilize nesting beaches as feeding and resting areas during migration;
6. Participating in local and regional shorebird monitoring meetings throughout the season;
7. Collecting detailed field notes, data entry, quality control, and proof-reading;

Additional Field Assistant Responsibilities:
1. Inventory, monitoring, and management of invasive plant species including hand digging and pulling and assisting a certified herbicide applicator in invasive species management by cutting stems, bagging and hauling away treated material;
2. Assisting in seed collection of native species for propagation;
3. Outplanting native species for habitat and property restoration projects;
4. Monitoring and tagging horseshoe crab populations;
5. Monitoring plant communities related to various research projects;
6. Assisting in field work on other projects as time and resources allow;

Required Qualifications: B.S. or B.A. in Ecology, Zoology, Natural Resource Management, Wildlife Biology, or a related biological/ecological field. Candidate must have at least one season of field experience monitoring shorebird populations. Strong observational, critical thinking and organizational skills are essential, as is the ability keep accurate and up to date field notes. Experience using GPS units in the field. Ability to work both independently and as part of a team. A valid driver’s license is required.

Physical Demands and Work Environment: This is a field intensive position and applicants must be able to tolerate adverse field conditions. Field work includes the possibility for inclement weather and variable terrain, potential exposure to herbicides, poisonous ivy and biting insects such as mosquitoes, greenhead flies and deer ticks. Nantucket is an area with a high abundance of tick borne disease although we do take many precautions. The work involves hiking extensive distances over sand while hauling/installing fencing and signs and standing, bending and kneeling on a routine basis.

Desired Qualifications: Preference will be give to applications with previous experience working with American oystercatchers, piping plovers and/or least terns. Experience driving on sand is useful. An interest in plant ID or botany experience is desired as well as an experience with or interest in invasive species management and willingness to assist a certified herbicide applicator through stem cutting and hauling away of cut materials.

Dates/Hours: This is a full-time, temporary position beginning in mid-April and ending in mid-October; exact ending date can be flexible. Hours are generally Monday through Friday, averaging eight hours per day, although shorebird monitoring will be required on holidays and some weekends (particularly Memorial Day and July 4th). Work schedule may also vary depending on weather, tides, etc.

Wages/Benefits: Housing and work-related transportation is provided. Wage is commensurate with experience. Medical and unemployment insurance and paid sick days are not available to seasonal employees. Transportation is not provided after working hours.

Location: The Nantucket Conservation Foundation is located on Nantucket Island, MA ~ 33 miles south of Cape Cod. Nantucket is dominated by sandplain grasslands, coastal healthlands, and scrub oak shrublands (all rare habitats in the Northeast) as well as coastal plain ponds and tidal marshes. For more information on our mission and research projects, please see the Foundation’s website (

Application: Application deadline is Friday January 17, 2014 by 5pm. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

For a complete application, please submit ONE DOCUMENT which includes a cover letter, resume and contact information for three professional references and a copy of your college transcripts (an unofficial copy is acceptable).

All applications must be submitted online at:

1) Select the job you are interested in
2) On the application page, Click the I’m Interested button.
3) On the popup window – click Apply with Resume
4) When prompted to upload your Resume – please upload ONE DOCUMENT with a cover letter, resume, contact information for three professional references and a copy of your college transcripts (an unofficial copy is acceptable!).

For more information, contact Dr. Jennifer Karberg:

The Nantucket Conservation Foundation is an equal opportunity employer

Nantucket, Massachusetts
Nantucket Conservation Foundation
Jennifer Karberg
118 Cliff Rd
Nantucket, Massachusetts 02554
United States