Loggerhead Sea Turtle Project Intern

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Loggerhead turtle hatchling

Deadline to Apply:

Friday, May 22, 2020, 11:00pm


Awendaw, SC
United States

Job Category:


Job Type:



About Cape Romain NWR: Although the refuge spans only 22 miles of the South Carolina coast it is some of the most critical habitat along the southeast Atlantic coast for loggerhead sea turtles and countless species of shorebirds. The refuge consists of 66,287 acres that include barrier islands, salt marshes, intricate coastal waterways, long sandy beaches, fresh and brackish water impoundments, and maritime forest. Over 29,000 acres of the refuge are designated as Class 1 Wilderness. Aiding the recovery of the threatened loggerhead sea turtle is one of the refuge’s highest priorities.

About Friends of Coastal South Carolina:  Dedicated to preserving the ecosystems and wildlife of the South Carolina coast for future generations; we support our national forest and wildlife refuges through our education programs, species and habitat management support, advocacy work, and by engaging citizens in stewardship of these critical resources. Friends of Coastal South Carolina has supported the refuge’s sea turtle recovery program for over 17 years. Learn more about Friends of Coastal South Carolina and Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge at www.sccoastalfriends.org

Daily activities working in the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge loggerhead sea turtle nest protection program will include:

  • Assisting with the transport of equipment to and from the sea turtle nesting island.
  • Preparing supplies and materials needed for sea turtle nesting season.
  • Daily surveys of nesting beaches.
  • Conducting data collection.
  • Locating and translocating sea turtle nests in erosional areas.
  • Installing predator guards around nests, inventorying nests for hatch success, and disassembling hatcheries and predator guards at the end of the nesting season.
  • Additional assistance with monitoring shorebird nesting areas may be required 1-2 days a week.

The ideal applicant should:

  • Have an interest in resource conservation and habitat and wildlife management.
  • Have the ability to do physically demanding work for extended periods of time: heavy lifting (up to 50 lbs), walking in uneven terrain, shoveling sand, post hole digging, digging holes by hand, and stooping and bending are required.
  • Have the ability to work in adverse weather and harsh conditions of the barrier islands of the refuge: extremely hot temperatures, biting insects, prickly vegetation, thunderstorms, and no access to facilities on the islands.
  • Be willing to travel via boat to and from the island every day, rough wave action is encountered frequently.
  • Have the willingness to complete any necessary training provided by staff.
  • Have a commitment to report for work on dates schedules.
  • Possess a valid state driver’s license
  • Be creative, flexible, and self-motivated.
  • Be willing to work occasional weekends and/or evenings.

**Preference will be given to applicants who have current USFWS MOCC and ATV training**


  • Potential to develop a thesis or project for college or graduate school credit if needed.
  • Gain knowledge about the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge ecosystems and become familiar with refuge resource management programs.
  • Gain tremendous hands-on experience with loggerhead sea turtles nest management on South Carolina’s most active nesting beach.
  • Work and develop relationships with US Fish and Wildlife Service’s top biologists.

Time-frame, Compensation, and Additional Details:

  • The internship is fulltime; May/June through August (anticipated start date no later than June 3). The start date is dependent on the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. End date flexible.
  • Field crew housing is available at Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge in Awendaw, SC.
  • A small monthly stipend is available. 

Job Duration:


How to Apply:

Send brief cover letter (one page maximum), resume (no more than three pages, two preferred), and three professional references to Grace Gasper at grace@sccoastalfriends.org. Please submit all requested information together in a single Word or PDF document labeled first name.last name.

Job Compensation: