Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife

This opportunity is a Miller Worley MHConnect internship and is available to Mount Holyoke students only. Lynk funding required.

Location: Buzzards Bay, MA

Position title: Tern Colony Intern

Duration: Full summer term


The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife is looking for Tern Colony Interns to help restore rare and endangered terns to Bird, Ram, and Penikese Islands in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. These islands support nearly half the North American population of the federally endangered Roseate Tern; active management to protect the population is critical to recovery. Activities include censusing of Common, Roseate, and Arctic Terns; monitoring tern growth and productivity; trapping and banding adults and chicks; participating in studies of terns carrying transmitters; reading bands on adults through spotting scopes; monitoring productivity of American Oystercatchers; discouragement, censusing, and monitoring productivity of Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls; habitat management; maintaining field notebooks; and data management.

Interns will be an integral part of a team of field personnel. RAM/BIRD ISLANDS: Crew will travel to islands on a daily basis in a small boat on an irregular 5 day/week schedule. Mainland crew house will be provided. PENIKESE ISLAND: Crew will live in a field camp on the island and work on an irregular 5-7 day/week schedule depending on weather conditions and on an irregular boat schedule to the island; interns must be comfortable living in a remote island setting with limited facilities for up to 2-3 weeks at a time. Mainland housing available for days off.

Interns should have a strong work ethic, be enthusiastic, be able to live and work cooperatively with others, and be in good physical condition. Having a vehicle is helpful. Great opportunity for an undergraduate to gain field skills and contribute to conservation actions!

For additional information, see:


Flexibility, patience, ability to deal with last-minute changes, and being comfortable in the outdoors are essential for all staff. Good communication is critical on a project occurring on multiple sites with several personnel.  Occasionally, targeted control of predatory wildlife may be conducted by licensed, experienced MassWildlife staff, so interns should be very safety-conscious, willing to work around firearms, and willing to adhere to strict project protocols regarding firearms.  Interns must be highly-attentive and able to handle the noise, the mess, and the pecking from many shrieking terns, all while carefully collecting data.

Application Instructions

Students must apply to this position through Handshake by March 6, 2020, but must complete Step 1 of the Lynk UAF application by February 21, 2020 at 5pm.

In your cover letter, please discuss both the experience you bring to the internship and the skills and experience you hope to gain (in no more than a page). Please also list contact information for two references that can speak to your work or school experience.