Seabird Ecology and Conservation Internship

Seabird Ecology INternship Application is closed for 2023. Please check back in January 2024.

Project Overview

Shoals Marine Laboratory seeks a motivated undergraduate researcher to investigate questions of seabird ecology and conservation on the Isles of Shoals. 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. 2023 topics include:

  • Diet and breeding behavior of Black Guillemots
  • Use of UAVs in seabird monitoring and research
  • Evaluating camera technologies to study breeding behavior of long-legged wading birds (egrets, ibis, and herons)
  • Diet analysis of the Roseate Tern

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 5 - August 14, 2023

SML Research Symposium: Saturday, August 12, 2023

Stipend: $210/week

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 -3 undergraduate researchers will be selected.

To Apply

  • 2023 Applications are closed.
  • Application Deadline: March 1, 2023
  • Applicants should be prepared to upload (as separate files): cover letter, resume/CV, and unofficial transcripts.
  • 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.
  • Undergraduates in all majors may apply.
  • Prior relevant field/lab experience preferred but not required.


Email Dr. David Buck

Tern Conservation Program Overview