Volunteer opportunity

Original post on Ornithology Exchange.

2 – 3 volunteer field assistants are needed to help with field research on nesting seabirds. Fieldwork will occur at Burgess Island, New Zealand. Rats were removed from Burgess in 1990, and since, seven Procellariiform seabirds have established breeding colonies at Burgess (White-faced Storm-petrel, Black-winged Petrel, Grey-faced Petrel, Sooty Shearwater, Fluttering Shearwater, Little Shearwater, and Common Diving Petrel).

Dates: roughly 13 September – 12 October, 13 October – 10 November, 8 – 22 December 2017, with one volunteer per period. There may be some flexibility around start/end dates. Exact dates are weather-dependent.

Overall duties include: 
-Monitoring nesting burrows of 7 species
-Capturing birds at nesting burrows and collecting data
-Assisting in blood collection from adult seabirds
-Vegetation surveys
-Assistance packing food/gear, camp chores, data entry, and site/gear clean-up
Work schedules will vary. Nesting chronology will dictate diurnal/nocturnal work, and field activities are weather-dependent.

Compensation for travel to/from New Zealand is not available, so ideal applicants will be New Zealand residents from the Auckland area. Food and housing during fieldwork will be provided. Burgess is a small but rugged island, so applicants should be comfortable working in a steep, hot, and wet environment. We will stay in a small, rustic cabin at Burgess that has shared sleeping quarters, a kitchen with LPG stove, common area, and outdoor drop-toilet. There is limited cell service at Burgess. More information about Burgess can be found here.

Applicants must be comfortable living at an isolated island with small research teams and be able to keep a positive attitude through long work days with challenging conditions. Previous field experience is highly desired. Experience handling and working with birds is preferred, but not required.

To apply, please send a cover letter indicating which period(s) you are available, CV/resume highlighting previous relevant field research experience (2 page max), and contact information for two references to Christy Wails (wailscn@gmail.com) by 31 July 2017. Please include “Burgess volunteer application” in the subject line.

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