Lead Biological Support Member (Plovers) – Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge

American Conservation Experience

Chatham, Massachusetts

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $650/week
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

American Conservation Experience (ACE), a non-profit conservation corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is seeking TWO Biological Support Members to contribute to the biology program alongside Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge Staff. 

For more information about ACE, please visit: www.usaconservation.org.

Start Date: April, 2024
Estimated End Date: September 2024
*24 week commitment is required - start date may have 1 to 2 week flexibility*

Location Details/Description: Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge; Chatham, MA

The refuge provides important resting, nesting and feeding habitat for migratory birds, including the federally protected piping plover, roseate tern, and red knot. At least 25 species of seabird, shorebird, waterfowl, and colonial waterbird nest on three offshore islands. The refuge also supports the largest nesting colony of common terns on the Atlantic seaboard, exceeding 14,000 pairs.

Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge’s mission is to protect the habitats critical to migratory birds, spawning horseshoe crabs, and other wildlife while affording the public an opportunity to experience this unique wilderness refuge.

For more information about Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, please visit: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Monomoy/

Position Overview: During this term, the ACE member will contribute to management of nesting piping plovers. The member will provide support and assistance under the guidance and direction of FWS staff to:

  • spend 85% of the time focused on inventory, monitoring, and management of nesting piping plovers, common terns, roseate terns, least terns, and American oystercatchers (with an emphasis on plovers) including:  
    • Conducting annual censuses of all species with established protocols
    • Monitoring productivity through repeated nest visits, chick banding, and visual observations 
    • Lethal predator management including gull nest destruction
    • Posting areas closed to public use
  • spend the other 15% on helping with all other biological work possibly including horseshoe crab surveys, wading bird surveys, seal surveys, invasive species mapping and control, interacting with the public, entering data, maintaining facilities, and conducting routine office work.  These positions require living on a remote island, in either a lighthouse keepers house (electricity and running water may be available) or a field camp (no electricity or running water).

This individual placement is meant to facilitate professional development and promotes exposure to land management agencies and networking with professionals. This could include gaining experience in different conservation fields and shadowing different work groups.

Schedule: Duties will primarily be carried out between the hours of 6:00am and 6:00pm, typically 5 days/week (5-8s). Bi-weekly totals typically will not exceed 80 hours. A flexible work schedule is required, which will involve work performed outside of normal work hours including early mornings, late evenings, weekends and/or holidays. Time off may be granted and requests should be directed to ACE and the FWS for approval.

Position Benefits

Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute approximately 40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $650/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.

Public Land Corps Hiring Authority: Members serving under this agreement may be eligible for a federal hiring authority upon completion of their term of service. PLC projects also include specific eligibility requirements such as age and citizenship. Please contact ACE staff with questions about eligibility, or view general information online here

Housing: ACE members will be accommodated in provided housing at no cost for the duration of the term. ACE members will spend the majority of their time living and working on a remote wilderness island. Housing on the island will be split between a field camp with no electricity or running water and a lighthouse keeper’s house with electricity, propane stove for cooking, and hot water. Days off will be on the  island. ACE members will be provided the opportunity to refresh groceries and supplies every 10-14 days.

Provided Training/Orientation: ACE members will receive position specific training and an orientation outlining ACE policies and procedures, clear guidance on prohibited activities, and networks for support.



  • Members must be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident, as required byU.S. government contracts
  • Willing and able to represent ACE and the partner organization in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner. 
  • Ability to be both self-directed/work alone, and be a positive, contributing member of a group.
  • A valid driver's license and an insurable driving record (documentation to be provided upon request).
  • Willing to undergo and must pass the required three-part criminal history check.
  • Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • ACE Members must verify that they are fully vaccinated for Covid-19 or have requested and been granted a medical or religious exemption to vaccination by the time they start their term.
  • ACE Members will need to complete bi-weekly timesheets, beginning of term feedback forms, end of term evaluations and for longer terms, a mid-term evaluation. 
  • To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit our website here


  • Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a bachelor's degree in wildlife biology, botany, natural resource management, or other related discipline appropriate to this position
  • Knowledge of shorebird and seabird biology
  • Ability and willingness to walk 10 miles per day over sand, carrying gear
  • Ability and willingness to interact with the visiting public of all ages in a professional manner.
  • Deep interest in wildlife conservation and management 
  • Comfortable traveling to various island locations via boat.
  • Comfortable living and working in field camps with remote conditions.

Physical Demands, Work Environment and Working Conditions:

  • Physical Demands: Requires sitting, standing, walking, hiking, carrying, using hands to handle or feel, reaching with hands and arms, talking and hearing. Manual dexterity required for use of various tools, computer keyboard/mouse and other office equipment. Required to stoop, kneel, climb stairs, and/or crouch. Ability to hike over rough terrain, and camp overnight under field conditions.
  • Vision Requirements: Requires close, distance, peripheral and depth perception vision as well as the ability to focus. 
  • Weight Lifted or Force Exerted: Frequently moves up to 25 lbs., ability to move up to 50 pounds.
  • Environmental: Outdoor work environment conditions can change frequently; working under adverse weather conditions and in various climates. Indoor work  includes office environment conditions; indoor air quality is good and temperature is controlled.
  • Noise Environment: Moderate noise is to be expected such as in a business office with equipment and light traffic, or outside such as wildlife and effects from weather.
  • Travel: This position may require domestic travel.

Environmental Conditions/Hazards:  The ACE member(s) may encounter environmental conditions/hazards including extreme heat or cold, rocky terrain, swamp or wetland conditions, biting insects, and potentially dangerous wildlife. The member is expected to conduct duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to endanger self, fellow staff/members or resources.

Vehicle and Equipment Use/Safety: If a vehicle is required for the accomplishment of the duties, one will be provided by the FWS or ACE.  Any tools required for the accomplishment of the duties will be provided by the FWS. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE), typically provided by the FWS and/or ACE, will be mandatory for any activity that requires it.  Strict adherence to FWS and ACE equipment training, certification and safety protocols is required. 


To Apply: Please submit your resume, a cover letter demonstrating your interest and experience, and contact information for three professional/academic references to the online application page for this position here: https://usaconservation.applicantpool.com/jobs/. Early consideration will be given as resumes are received. This position may close at any time. If you have any questions regarding this position please feel free to contact ACE EPIC USFWS Member Manager, Claire Barnwell at cbarnwell@usaconservation.org or (585) 484-7626.

EEO: American Conservation Experience provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, American Conservation Experience complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Ecology, Wildlife
Tags Ornithology