Maine Coastal Islands NWR

2017 SEABIRD TECHNICIANS (8 positions)

Petit Manan NWR
Photo by Kirk Rogers

Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge is seeking 8 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 protect the nesting colonies from predators and monitor all aspects of nesting, including: conducting an annual census of all nesting seabird species, monitoring productivity, observing chick feedings, trapping and banding adult seabirds, banding chicks, re-sighting banded birds, and daily bird surveys. Researchers will be required to enter and proof data in several Microsoft Access databases and Excel spreadsheets. The crew leader(s) will be responsible for prioritizing daily tasks for the crew, leading field work, validating data, and summarizing data in an Annual Report. Predator control efforts primarily focus on removing mink, owls, and gulls that predate the seabird colony.


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 and seabird ecology is preferred, but not required; self-motivation, a strong work ethic, enthusiasm for science, and ability to tackle the rigors of field work (long hours) are a must.


May 15 - July 28, 2017 (six positions), and May 24 - August 11, 2017 (two positions).


Housing is provided in lighthouse keepers’ houses or cabins, with propane lights and refrigerators, limited solar electricity for computers, and no running water. Salary: $290 to $385 per week (varies with level of supervision)

To Apply:

Email the following materials to cover letter, resume, and three references with contact information (name, phone number and email address). Consideration of candidates will begin on January 15th and continue until all positions are filled. Application deadline is February 10, 2017. For more information, call Maine Coastal Islands NWR at 207-594-0600 ext. 3 or check out our website at
and the seabird island blog which describes the summer field season from a technician's perspective at

Application Deadline

Apply early! We will start filling positions on January 15th. Final deadline for applications is February 10, 2017.