Environmental Trainee

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Mass Audubon

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Head of Westport, MA, United States

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30+ days ago

Location: Westport, MA

Sanctuary: Allens Pond

About Mass Audubon

Mass Audubon is the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England. Founded in 1896 by two women who fought for the protection of birds, Mass Audubon carries on their legacy by focusing on the greatest challenges facing the environment today: the loss of biodiversity, inequitable access to nature, and climate change. With the help of our 140,000 members and supporters, we protect wildlife, conserve and restore resilient land, advocate for impactful environmental policies, offer nationally recognized education programs for adults and children, and provide endless opportunities to experience the outdoors at our wildlife sanctuaries.

About This Position

Mass Audubon is hiring two pre-professionals as Trainees who will contribute to wildlife conservation projects at Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary in Dartmouth, MA and nearby locations for the summer of 2022. The Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary encompasses a barrier beach, a coastal salt pond, grasslands, shrublands, and forested uplands at a rural location in southeastern Massachusetts.

The Allens Pond Traineeship Program will offer hands-on experience, mentoring from professional scientists, and career development opportunities. Trainees will gain experience and skills in endangered species management, nesting bird ecology, field research, data management, and environmental education. Trainees will assist Mass Audubon staff and volunteers in the monitoring and management of locally breeding bird and turtle species. Activities will include construction and maintenance of protective fencing, wildlife tracking, predator monitoring, data collection, and educating the public about endangered species conservation. Trainees will further engage in one of four potential focal projects for their 10-week program, while also having the opportunity to experience a variety of coastal habitats and projects.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • learn to identify birds by sight and sound
  • conduct breeding bird surveys
  • install and monitor equipment such as game cameras and nest boxes
  • collect and test water quality samples
  • collect and digitally enter field data
  • monitor turtle, rare plant, and other study subjects
  • participate in volunteer work days focusing on efforts such as removing invasive plants and maintaining trails
  • assist with public programs and greet sanctuary visitors
  • develop an individual project to present at the end of the program
  • contribute to office support, equipment care, and custodial tasks as a member of the team


At Mass Audubon, our highest priority is finding the best candidate for the job. Research has shown that people of color and women are less likely to apply for jobs if they don’t believe they meet every one of the qualifications described in a job description. We encourage you to apply, even if you don't believe you meet every one of our described qualifications or you have a less traditional background. We are looking for applicants with the following qualifications:

Must Have’s:

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age with demonstrated:

  • ability to work in physically demanding settings and weather conditions while walking considerable distances across varied and sandy terrain
  • self-motivation and ability to work both cooperatively and independently
  • ability to interact with project partners and the public in a professional manner
  • ability to conduct traineeship duties with a positive attitude, enthusiasm, and curiosity
  • reliable and flexible work ethic
  • ability to prepare and carry personal equipment for long days in the field as well as occasionally lift and move up to 40lbs of project equipment

Nice to Have’s:

Qualified candidates have:

  • strong interests in wildlife conservation, nature education, outdoor recreation, landscape management, and/ or related subjects
  • good communication (oral, written) and interpersonal skills
  • availability and willingness to work weekends, holidays, and irregular hours (dependent upon wildlife and weather)
  • access to a vehicle for daily transportation between field sites
  • access to means of communication by phone, text, virtual meeting, and/or email

Preference will be given to applicants pursuing a career/degree in natural resource management, environmental science, biology, botany, wildlife ecology, or related field, however, all are encouraged to apply. Students seeking an opportunity to develop a project to support their area of academic study also are encouraged to apply.

Compensation & Benefits

This is a paid Traineeship.

Rate of Pay: $14.25 per hour. Mileage reimbursement will be provided for travel between field sites. Opportunity to receive school credit may be possible. Housing may be available.

This is a 14 week assignment, start date is 5/13/2022 and end date is 8/20/2022

This is not a benefits eligible position.

Additional Information

Work Schedule:

Traineeship commitment is 30 hours per week for 10 weeks (including most weekends and the 4th of July holiday), beginning no later than May 31, 2022. An earlier start date is preferable. Mandatory professional development opportunities will be scheduled every other Friday to include science presentations and professional networking events.

The Traineeship will consist of both remote and in-person activities.

Other Requirements:

Employees must successfully complete a CORI and SORI Background Check and a Motor Vehicle Record (if applicable) is required.

COVID-19 Considerations

Mass Audubon requires that all staff, regardless of their work location, disclose their vaccination status. Proof of vaccination status will be required immediately upon hire. This should also include a booster shot if it has been 5 months since you were initially vaccinated.

Mass Audubon's Commitment To Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Justice

Mass Audubon's mission is to "protect the nature of Massachusetts for people and for wildlife" by building a strong coalition of employees, volunteers, and community members. We recognize that the environmental movement and field of conservation have been affected by societal systems that have limited opportunity and access for many people. As a result, Mass Audubon is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees and applicants. We are engaged in an ongoing process of organizational assessment and change, designed to remove barriers and create a workplace where all forms of diversity are recognized and valued.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

Mass Audubon is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees and applicants. Mass Audubon prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

How To Apply

Please send a resume, cover letter and three references to the email address above. Please label your materials with your first and last name. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as interviews will begin in February.

Gina Purtell, Community Science & Coastal Resilience Manger

Job# 3613