Seabird Ecology and Conservation Internship


Project Overview

Shoals Marine Laboratory seeks motivated undergraduate researchers to investigate questions of seabird ecology and conservation as part of the Isles of Shoals Seabird Ecology and Conservation Program. Seabirds are valuable indicators of ecosystem processes and ocean health, as they can inform us about a diversity of aspects of the marine environment upon which they rely. Shoals Marine Laboratory is located amidst a diverse community of nesting seabirds (including gulls, terns, wading birds and alcids), providing an ideal environment to study seabirds and their interactions with the marine environment. Seabird Ecology and Conservation Undergraduate Researchers work closely with Shoals Marine Laboratory and external mentors to conduct field research on a specific project. 2024 topics include:

  • Diet and breeding behavior of Black Guillemots
  • Diet analysis of the Roseate Tern
  • Effects of GPS tagging on tern behavior

Each researcher will gain hands-on experience in a range of field collection and observational methods by working as part of the field team for all seabird research topics. The researcher will also be a part of the larger Shoals Undergraduate Research Group cohort and will participate in weekly discussions and lectures.


Appropriate coursework in wildlife ecology and/or ornithology preferred. Previous experience at SML is preferred, but not required. Relevant SML courses include: Field Ornithology, Field Animal Behavior, and the Shoals Research Apprenticeship.

Project Mentors

Dr. Liz Craig (Director of Seabird Research, SML)
Dr. Gemma Clucas (Postdoctoral Fellow, Cornell University)

Dates: June 3 - August 11, 2024

SML Research Symposium: Saturday, August 10, 2024

Stipend: $2100

Includes room & board for 10 weeks, and roundtrip vessel transportation from Portsmouth, NH to Appledore Island. Researchers are responsible for their own transportation to/from Portsmouth, NH at the beginning and end of the internship.

2  undergraduate researchers will be selected.


To Apply

  • Application Deadline: The application deadline for this internship has passed. Please consider applying for next year!
  • Applicants should be prepared to upload (as separate files): cover letter, resume/CV, and unofficial transcripts. Please use the following naming convention for all files: Last_First Name_file title (example: Smith_John_resume).
  • Request two letters of recommendation. At least one letter must be from a professor/faculty member. The second can be from a graduate student TA or employer. Letters must be submitted by the February 9 deadline.
  • Undergraduates in all majors may apply.
  • Prior relevant field/lab experience preferred but not required.
  • All applicants will be notified of their application status by email no later than March 15, 2024.

Note for international students: International students studying in the United States under an F-1 visa are eligible to work as a research intern at SML. Before applying, we encourage students to confirm with their academic institution about their eligibility for off-campus employment through a Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or other comparable program. Students not currently studying in the United States can also apply for a research internship but will be required to secure their own J-1 visa. Information on third-party assistance for J-1 applications can be found at the following website:




Learn more about the Isles of Shoals Seabird Ecology and Conservation Program.