January 11, 2017

2021 Volunteer Positions Available

Florida Leatherbacks Inc. is looking for volunteers for the upcoming research season to conduct nightly tagging surveys and assist with the deployment and recovery of satellite transmitters.
April 1 – June 30, 2021
Martin County, Florida, USA
Background Information
Florida Leatherbacks Inc. is a volunteer-based, non-profit organization located in southeast Florida dedicated to researching local nesting populations of leatherback sea turtles. Our work helps characterize critical biological parameters crucial to the conservation of the species. Nightly surveys are conducted during leatherback nesting season and each individual is identified, tagged, measured, and sampled. Our survey area covers approximately 40 km of beach and each night a team of 3-4 volunteers is responsible for documenting all leatherback nesting activity.
  • Conduct nightly surveys by ATV to identify nesting leatherbacks along approximately 10 km of beach (3-4 independent surveyors cover ~40 km of beach)
  • Nightly surveys are conducted from 9:30pm – 4:30am and interns will work 4-5 nights/week (2-3 night positions may be available)
  • Tag (flipper and PIT tags), measure, and sample nesting females
  • Identify the presence of nesting loggerhead and green sea turtles to eliminate disturbance
  • Assist with satellite transmitter deployment and recovery
  • Collect morphometric and behavioral data independently
  • Engage with and educate the general public on the nesting beach
Work is conducted overnight and qualified candidates must be able to remain awake and alert while operating an all-terrain vehicle in harsh conditions (heat, bugs, rain). Current students or recent graduates in the biological fields are preferred. Volunteers must be comfortable working alone on remote beaches after receiving proper training. Must possess a valid driver’s license, a working smart phone, and be available for the duration of the research season. Prior experience with sea turtles and ATVs is preferred but not required. Must be able to work independently and with a team. Strong organizational and communication skills are essential. The job requires a fair amount of physical exertion so qualified candidates should be able to sit/stand for extended periods, be in good physical health, and be able to tolerate the heat and humidity of south Florida.

Florida Leatherbacks Inc. is an entirely volunteer-based organization. There is no compensation for this position and housing is not provided although assistance with room rental is possible. Field work is based in Martin County, Florida with a need for candidates around the Hutchinson Island and Hobe Sound areas.

Additional Contact Information
Please submit a letter of interest and resume to Kelly Martin ([email protected]). Application deadline is March 1, 2021.