Americorps - Research Member

Jekyll Island Authority Jekyll Island , GA 31527

Posted 1 week ago

Duration of Program: September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021

Application closing date: Open Until Filled. Note: This position is subject to close at any time once a satisfactory applicant pool has been identified

  • Resume, Cover letter, and 3 letters of recommendations MUST be submitted with application, applications received without supporting documents will NOT be considered. Letters of recommendation may be uploaded in "Other" or can be submitted as one package with Cover Letter.

AmeriCorps: AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs, made up of three primary programs that each take a different approach to improving lives and fostering civic engagement. Members commit their time to address critical community needs like increasing academic achievement, mentoring youth, fighting poverty, sustaining national parks, preparing for disasters, and more. More than 75,000 Americans across the country participate in AmeriCorps each year. All of them are tackle different community needs in different ways to make our people safer, stronger and healthier; to strengthen our communities; and to Get Things Done for America. For information, please visit

The Georgia Sea Turtle Center: The Jekyll Island Authority's Georgia Sea Turtle Center (GSTC) opened on June 16, 2007 and is a state-of-the-art facility focused on sea turtle rehabilitation, research and education. The GSTC is located on beautiful Jekyll Island - a barrier island along Georgia's southeastern coast - and includes an interactive exhibit gallery, a viewing window into the veterinary care area, an elevated walkway through the rehabilitation pavilion, and a gift shop. Visitors take a self-guided tour through the Center, which is enhanced by daily educational programs. The GSTC offers in-house and outreach programs to schools, tour groups and community organizations while also participating in various environmental events in the region.

The Research Department at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center works to better understand the ecology and conservation of turtles on Jekyll Island and in the region while collaborating with other individuals and organizations to study a wide variety of wildlife. Our flagship project is our sea turtle monitoring program, which for many years has generated important data about the Loggerhead Sea Turtles nesting on Jekyll Island. Our research also focuses on implementing Jekyll Island's Conservation Plan. The strategy presented in the Plan includes a mission to preserve, maintain, manage, and restore Jekyll Island's natural communities and species diversity while providing nature-based educational and recreational opportunities for the general public.

Position Description and Essential Functions: The GSTC Research Member focuses on conducting research and educational programming related to freshwater, box, and marine turtles and marine debris/pollution. In addition, and in collaboration with the other departments of the GSTC, this member will contribute to other initiatives that advance our mission.

  • Freshwater and Box Turtle Research and Monitoring

  • Use radio telemetry to track 10-20 box turtles each week in densely vegetated maritime forest and residential neighborhoods.

  • Capture, notch/drill ID codes, and collect morphometric data on all freshwater and box turtle species to assist with ongoing species abundance and distribution monitoring.

  • Enter and proof detailed telemetry and mark-recapture data in Microsoft Excel, Access, and/or ESRI Survey123.

  • Be on-call to assist with island-wide wildlife response calls as needed (injured/sick/displaced birds, stranded sea turtles, freshwater/box turtle captures, etc.).

  • Marine Debris Citizen Engagement and Research

  • Assist in coordination of marine-debris-collection surveys and service projects with GSTC volunteers, the general public, and collaborating agencies.

  • Conduct analysis of citizen science data and prepare reports, presentations and publications as needed.

  • Remove and discard marine debris found on sea turtle and other beach patrols (described below) and recycle or donate beach plastics.

  • Develop, design, continue and/or collaborate on research pertaining to marine debris and pollution with an emphasis on relationships to marine turtles. Research could include field-based studies collecting biological data, lab-based work to process samples, and/or human-dimensions surveys.

  • Public Education and Awareness

  • Develop, design, continue and/or collaborate on educational programming pertaining to marine debris and pollution with an emphasis on relationships to marine turtles.

  • Member may be responsible for a regular educational program that takes place in the Learning Center of the GSTC.

  • Educate the public incidentally about conservation and wildlife-related Jekyll Island Ordinances to promote good environmental stewardship behavior.

  • Assist in strengthening existing relationships between the GSTC and local community while working to develop new partnerships and collaborations, for example: represent the GSTC at community events that are not standard education opportunities (e.g.: rotary meetings, Chamber of Commerce meetings, Business Appreciation Day, College job fairs, etc.)

  • Sea Turtle Tagging (May-July; approx. 1-3 times a month)

  • Conduct overnight survey transects from 2100-0600 via UTV (~90 km/night) and on foot (~15 km/night) in two teams each comprising at least two people.

  • Locate, identify, flipper tag, PIT tag, and collect morphometric and habitat data on adult nesting Loggerhead Sea Turtles.

  • Collect skin biopsies, eggs, and other biological samples from nesting sea turtles for research collaborators.

  • Mark sea turtle nests with survey flags, protective screens, rebar, and signs.

  • Sea Turtle Nest Monitoring (September, May-August; approx. one morning per week)

  • Conduct dawn surveys beginning at ~0600: identify new turtle tracks and nests, locate egg chambers, search for hatchling tracks, and inventory nest contents post-emergence.

  • Operate, maintain, and routinely clean UTVs, GPS units, PIT tag scanners, and other expensive scientific equipment.

  • Enter and proof large amounts of detailed data in Microsoft Excel and Access on a daily basis.

  • Assist with additional sea turtle research collaborations.

  • Additional Responsibilities

  • Interface with the GSTC Education Department, GSTC Rehabilitation Department, Jekyll Island Conservation Department, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and other local collaborators as assigned. Potential but not guaranteed tasks include: assistance with off-island sea turtle and marine mammal stranding events and necropsies, participation in community service with local partners, learning about coastal ecology through participation in educational and team-building field trips, and surveying diamondback terrapins in nearby creeks and on the road.

General Requirements:

  • Commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion in all aspects of work.

  • Self-motivation and the ability to work both independently and with a team.

  • Positive attitude and a desire to learn.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, team ethic, and cooperation for living and working in a group setting.

  • Excellent and honest communication with colleagues and supervisors.

  • Excellent organization skills.

  • The ability to pay close attention to detail.

  • A flexible schedule that will include working long shifts (including both night and morning patrols), holidays, evenings, and weekends.

  • Tolerance of extreme heat, high humidity, precarious weather and tides, and biting insects.

  • Experience working in the field with wildlife, especially radio telemetry.

  • Strong public speaking skills for communicating with diverse audiences.

  • Proficient computer skills (e.g., Excel, Access, Publisher).

Minimum Requirements/Qualifications:

  • 18+ yrs of age.

  • U.S. Citizen.

  • Ability to obtain a U.S. driver's license.

  • Consent to a criminal history check and be cleared for service.

Preferred (but not required):

  • Bachelor's Degree.

  • Experience in mentoring others, including interns and volunteers.

  • Willingness and ability to provide excellent customer service to accommodate a variety of island and program guests.

  • Advanced writing experience, including proper use of grammar and spelling.

Salary and Benefits*: Living stipend ($15,701 for a minimum of 1,700 hours of service over 12 months), island amenity passes, Jekyll Island parking pass, education award ($6,195), and student loan forbearance.

Housing: Optional and partially-subsidized shared housing on Jekyll Island is available. If this option is selected, $200* per month rent surcharge (including utilities) will be automatically deducted from payroll, along with a $100* ($50* refundable) security deposit. Houses have limited-bandwidth internet and air-conditioning; they are also equipped with basic furniture and kitchen supplies. You must provide your own linens, towels, and food. Not provided but available: telephone and cable.

Travel and transportation costs will not be covered by GSTC.

  • All dollar values reported above are subject to change.

Essential functions need to be able to be performed with or without reasonable accommodations.

This position is subject to close at any time once a satisfactory applicant pool has been identified. Applicants who complete the online application process will receive an email receipt of submission to the email address provided. If email confirmation is not received, applicant may contact Human Resources at 912-635-4086 for confirmation, however, due to the volume of applicants received, we are unable to provide information on application status after receipt. All qualified applicants will be considered, but may not necessarily receive an interview. Selected applicants will be contacted for the next steps in the selection process.

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Americorps - Research Member

Jekyll Island Authority