Project Description: Rookery Bay Reserve is foraging ground to three species of sea turtle. Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) and Atlantic green (Chelonia mydas) turtles are both listed as Endangered species, and the loggerhead (Caretta caretta) is listed as a Threatened species. The loggerhead is the most common species of sea turtle that nests along Reserve beaches. Rookery Bay Reserve staff work in cooperation with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Collier County Natural Resources, and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida to preserve this threatened species. Reserve staff and volunteers patrol the beaches to locate and cage nests, protecting them from predation by raccoons. They then document the number of hatched eggs to get a better understanding of nesting success.
Rookery Bay Reserve is seeking an intern to help staff monitor nesting activity and hatching success, contributing to a multi-year data set. The intern will be responsible for scheduling and supervising volunteers.The intern will also conduct and present the results of a project related to sea turtle nest monitoring at the Rookery Bay NERR Environmental Learning Center for the staff and volunteers.
Skills Required: Must be competent in basic boating skills including navigation in shallow estuarine/ocean tidal conditions, basic boat and engine maintenance, and boating safety. Must have a valid driver’s license, be able to swim, and have basic First-Aid skills. Good field observation and data gathering skills are required, as are good people skills. Must be physically able to work in summer outdoor conditions that include summer heat and humidity, biting insects, and rain. GIS and GPS skills are a plus but not required.
Location: Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Naples, FL
Internship Dates: Preferred- May 15- September 30.
Internship Schedule: Monday and Wednesday-Saturday from about 7:00 am- 3:00 pm. The times may vary depending on the daily climate and nesting conditions, therefore interns must be able to adjust to schedule changes.
Number of Intern Positions: One currently available