Friday, May 3, 2019

Sea Turtle and Shorebird Monitoring –2019

 Ecological Associates, Inc. is seeking qualified applicants to fill 1-2 positions based in Biloxi, Mississippi in 2019

Sea Turtle and Shorebird Monitoring –2019

Ecological Associates, Inc. (EAI) is an environmental consulting firm specializing in protected species surveys, biological and ecological studies, environmental impact assessments, natural resource inventories, habitat conservation planning, and water quality monitoring. Please visit our website at to learn more about us. 

EAI is seeking biologists to assist in the documentation of sea turtle nesting and reproductive success as well as breeding and non-breeding shorebird use of a barrier island (currently undergoing nourishment) offshore of Biloxi, Mississippi. This monitoring involves daily early morning field surveys using all-terrain vehicles (ATVs or UTVs) or on foot, marking and monitoring of nest sites, and excavation of marked sea turtle nests to determine reproductive success. Daily coordination with construction crews and occasional coordination with state/federal wildlife agencies will be required. Daytime surveys will be conducted 7 days per week and begin at sunrise each day. The number of work hours will vary, ranging from 4-8 hours per day. Applicants must be available for training immediately.

Job requirements and compensation are listed below. EAI prefers to hire those with science degrees or on track for a career in the biological sciences. Preference will be given to those with prior relevant experience. These positions do not include compensation for travel, per diem, or housing. This is a part-time job opening.

Job Responsibilities: 

Depart dock by boat and travel approximately 12 miles to the island (seas are occasionally rough). Conduct early morning beach surveys on an ATV/UTV or on foot. Identify and record all sea turtle crawls and nesting/non-breeding shorebirds by species. Enter data into a project-specific mobile application using a tablet (ArcGIS Collector). Obtain GPS readings of all crawls and nests. Locate eggs, mark sea turtle nests and relocate eggs if necessary. Monitor sea turtle nests to determine nest fates and dates of hatchling emergence. Evaluate hatchling tracks to ensure they reached the ocean and record hatchling disorientation events on standard forms. Excavate nests and interpret contents. Collect data from stranded sea turtles and/or marine mammals. Conduct biweekly shorebird surveys during the overwintering period (July to May); identify all shorebirds, document behavior and note bands/flags. Download GPS data and submit daily monitoring results to EAI management.

Job Requirements: 

Candidates must have prior related field survey experience. Sea turtle nest relocation experience is also required. Excellent field data collection and data entry skills (i.e., attention to detail) are essential.  Applicants should be self-motivated and conscientious with a strong work ethic. Must be able to follow complex instructions and work well independently, but also with team members, construction crews and state/federal agency personnel. Should be in good physical condition (i.e., able to lift, dig, work in the heat, swim etc.) and able to work under adverse field conditions (e.g., heat, inclement weather, biting insects, occasionally unpredictable work schedules, etc.). Applicants must be available to begin work each day between 5:30 and 6:00 AM. Familiarity with Microsoft Word, Access, and Excel as well as hand-held GPS is desirable. Experience operating an ATV/UTV is also desirable.


Compensation rate dependent on qualifications and experience. Salary range $14-18/hour.

Application:  A letter of interest, resume, and names, email addresses and daytime telephone numbers of three references should be emailed to Samantha Pessolano at  The deadline for submittal is May 16, 2019.


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