Maine Coastal Islands NWR

2024 SEABIRD TECHNICIANS (8 positions)

Petit Manan NWR
Photo by Kirk Rogers

Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge needs several field researchers (island supervisors and technicians) to monitor seabird colonies on islands along the Maine coast. Seabird species to be studied include common, Arctic, and roseate terns, common eider, laughing gulls, black guillemot, Leach’s storm-petrel, Atlantic puffin, and razorbills. This is an incredible opportunity for students considering a career in wildlife management or related fields to gain valuable field work experience. Island researchers work hands-on with seabirds that most people are lucky to see from a distance.


While living on the islands, researchers will: conduct an annual census of all nesting seabird species, monitor productivity, observe chick feedings, trap and band adult seabirds, band chicks, read adult bands, and monitor predators and competitors. Researchers will be living on the island for the entire 10 to 14-week period. Housing provided (lighthouse keepers’ house or cabins), with propane refrigerators, limited solar electricity for lights and computers, but no running water. Candidates must be at least 18 years old, a US Citizen, have a Social Security Number, and a US Bank account for electronic payments.


We are looking for people who are willing to learn new techniques, have a solid work ethic, can function well independently, yet are comfortable working/living with other researchers on remote islands with limited amenities. Applicants will work outdoors in variable weather conditions, and need to be able to hike over rugged, uneven terrain and lift and carry 50 pounds. Prior experience with bird identification, seabird ecology and a valid hunter safety certificate preferred, but not required; self-motivation, a strong work ethic, enthusiasm for science, and ability to tackle the rigors of fieldwork (long hours).


May 6 - July 26, 2024 (two positions), May 20 - July 26, 2024 (one positions), May 20 - August 9, 2024 (one positions) and May 6 - August 9, 2024 (four positions).

Researchers will be living on the island for the entire 10 to 14-week period.


Housing is provided in lighthouse keepers’ houses or cabins, with propane lights and refrigerators, limited solar electricity for computers, and no running water. Salary: $566 to $674 per week (depending on site assignment and experience)

Application Instructions:

Interested applicants should email the following materials to cover letter with availability (start and end dates), resume and contact information for three references (name, phone number and email address). Please have all materials in one worddoc. or pdf. format titled (first name_last name_application). Consideration of candidates will begin on January 15th and continue until all positions are filled. For more information, call Maine Coastal Islands NWR at 207-594-0600 ext. 5113 or check out our website at and the island research video and blog describing the experiences of previous island researchers at our Friends of Maine Coastal Islands (FOMCI) website

Application Deadline

Apply early! We will start filling positions on January 15th. Final deadline for applications is February 10, 2024.