Tropical Forest Ecology Internship – Mariana Islands

Position: Forest ecology interns with the Ecology of Bird Loss Project (3 positions)

Location: Mariana Islands (Guam, Saipan, Tinian, Rota)

Appointment: 9 months, starting date flexible, between March 1 and June 1, 2017

Project Description: Nearly all native seed dispersers have been extirpated from the island of Guam, largely due to predation by the invasive Brown Treesnake. The Ecology of Bird Loss Project ( aims to determine the full impact of seed disperser loss on Guam=92s forests =96 including impacts on individual species and to forest structure =96 and the potential for different dispersers, both native and non-native, to restore function. Our research examines the ecological role of seed dispersers through comparisons of dynamics on Guam to those on nearby islands (Rota, Tinian, and Saipan) where birds are present.

Duties of the interns: Interns will participate in a variety of field research endeavors including long-term seedling experiments, forest inventories in intact and degraded forest plots, and nursery experiments. Interns will be based on Saipan and Guam with travel to other islands. Specific duties may include: mapping and identifying trees (including seedlings), collecting seeds, propagating plants in a nursery, planting and monitoring seedlings, collecting tree phenology data, and entering data. Field crews work 8-10 hours a day, 5-6 days a week. Interns must be able to commit to working on the project for 9 months with a start date between March 1 and June 1, 2017.

Requirements: The successful applicant must be able to pay attention to detail, work well individually and as part of a group, and be flexible. Research in the Mariana Islands involves working in high heat and humidity, walking over rough terrain sometimes carrying heavy and awkward loads (i.e. rolls of chicken wire, flats of seedlings, water), and tolerating the tedious, and at times monotonous, work necessary for all scientific endeavors. Successful applicants must learn how to identify trees (including seedlings) quickly and accurately. If a candidate is allergic to bees, he/she must carry a bee sting kit and be trained in its use, as the chances of getting stung are high. Relevant field experience and prior independent research experience is desired. The intern must be a US citizen with a valid US driver’s license.=A0

Payment and benefits: Interns will receive valuable training and experience in the field of conservation biology and field ecology research =96 a great way to both determine whether graduate school in the life sciences is for you and to gain the necessary experience for a competitive application to graduate school. Successful applicants will also receive a round-trip ticket from any major airport in the US to Saipan or Guam, housing on all islands, transportation to and from field sites, and a monthly stipend of $650.

To apply: Email a single pdf document including a cover letter, resume, and contact information for 3 references to The subject line should read =93EBL Intern Position=94. The cover letter should describe your previous research experience, career goals, and why you are interested in this position. In addition, please specify your desired and potential start dates. Applications must be submitted by midnight EST on Saturday, January 28, 2017.

For more information, contact Courtenay Ray and Morgan Franke at