Seabird GPS Tracking Research Assistant

Job Locations
Seasonal, Full-Time
Job Category


The National Audubon Society is a nonprofit conservation organization that protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. We work throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon’s state, regional, national, and international programs, nature centers, and chapters have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. As a sentinel species, we recognize that the fate of birds is inextricably tied to the fate of us all.


Audubon has more than 700 staff working across the United States and seven countries in 17 state and regional offices, 41 nature centers, and 23 wildlife sanctuaries. Together as one Audubon, we aspire to alter the course of climate change and habitat loss, leading to healthier bird populations and reversing current trends in biodiversity loss.


Audubon is committed to a culture of workplace excellence, where our talented and diverse staff are deeply engaged, with a strong sense of belonging. The birds Audubon pledges to protect differ in color, size, behavior, geographical preference, and countless other ways. By honoring and celebrating the equally remarkable diversity of the human species, Audubon will bring new creativity, effectiveness, and leadership to our work throughout the hemisphere.

Position Summary

Position starts mid-May, and ends late-September, exact dates flexible.


Audubon's Seabird Institute is conducting a study on the movement ecology of terns and storm-petrels in the Gulf of Maine. The project is using miniature GPS devices attached to seabirds to record foraging tracks during the nesting season, as well as movements during the staging, migration and wintering periods. This study will occur alongside Audubon’s Seabird Institute’s long-term seabird monitoring work.


Primitive camping and working on offshore islands is required. Food is provided, as well as housing on the mainland when moving between field sites. The island field stations will have limited electricity (solar panels power research needs), propane stoves, composting toilet, and no running water (rainwater is collected for washing; drinking water is brought from the mainland). Communications with the mainland are via cell or VOIP phone, with VHF radios as back-up.


From mid-May until August, the seabird GPS tracking research assistant will assist with the recapture of previously tagged birds, deployment of new tags, monitoring of breeding birds, and data management on several different islands in Maine. From August through September they will relocate to Cape Cod, Massachusetts to track staging Common and Roseate Terns (food and housing provided). Applicants with access to a vehicle preferred (work mileage reimbursed), but those without access to a personal vehicle will be considered. Much of this work will be conducted under minimal supervision and the technician must be comfortable working independently.



$15.00-$19.00 / hour dependent on experience.

Essential Functions

  • Capture seabirds at nests, attach tags, band, and take basic measurements;
  • Recapture tagged birds, remove tags, download data, and reprogram tags as needed;
  • Conduct observations from blinds to compare behavior of tagged and untagged birds and to capture/recapture birds;
  • Enter and proof data in computer databases;
  • Coordinate activities with Island Supervisor to ensure all island research and monitoring projects are completed;
  • Use binoculars and spotting scopes to aid in the collection of data;
  • Perform observation stints in small wooden observation blinds overlooking seabird nests;
  • Accurately and neatly record data on specified data sheets;
  • Perform camp maintenance duties in coordination with the long-term monitoring team;
  • Assist with landing of equipment and new personnel on the island as needed;
  • Maintain and properly care for NAS-issued equipment, including spotting scopes, cameras, GPS, cell phones, radios, and other research equipment;
  • When on the mainland: procure supplies; pack groceries, research supplies, and mail in waterproof island transport bags; clean and fill water jugs for supplying research stations; assist with cleaning and storing equipment at the end of the season; assist mainland-based staff as needed;

Qualifications and Experience

  • Experience with bird capture, handling, and banding. Experience with data-logging telemetry tags and tag attachment techniques is a plus;
  • Comfortable living and working with others on remote islands with limited amenities;
  • Excellent physical condition (capable of climbing over rugged terrain and slippery rocks and able to lift approximately 50 lbs.);
  • Wilderness camping experience;
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team, and to get along with people of diverse backgrounds;
  • Capable of working long hours outdoors in variable weather conditions;
  • Must be able to sit in a small blind for extended portions of the day and maintain focus on data collection;
  • Comfortable on the water in small boats
  • Having access to a personal vehicle is preferable (work mileage reimbursed)

EEO Statement

The National Audubon Society is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. We are committed to a policy of nondiscrimination, inclusion and equal opportunity and actively seek a diverse pool of candidates in this search.

Accessibility Statement

The National Audubon Society endeavors to keep our careers site accessible to any and all users.  If you would like to contact us regarding the accessibility of our website or need assistance completing the application process, please contact This contact information is for accommodation requests only and cannot be used to inquire about the status of applications.

COVID Policy

All new hires must be fully vaccinated prior to their start of employment unless they are pre-qualified by HR for exemption.


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