Position Title: Biology Assistant
Park Unit: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Location: Hawaii National Park, Hawaii
Number of positions available: 1
Can this position be fully remote: NO

Duration: 20 Weeks (not flexible)
Start Date: 11/04/2024
Flexible Start Date: YES

Weekly Stipend: $565.00
Relocation Allowance: $1,050.00

CURRENT NUMBER OF APPLICANTS: Under 75 (This posting will close after receiving 75 complete applications or at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Sunday, 16 June, whichever occurs first.)

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park (HAVO) Natural Resources Management (NRM) Division is recruiting an intern to assist with surveying and monitoring threatened Nēnē (Hawaiian Goose) populations. Major duties include 1) observing and identifying color banded Nēnē, 2) surveying for and monitoring Nēnē nests, 3) checking and processing data from wildlife cameras deployed at Nēnē nests and foraging grounds, 4) assisting with the capture and banding of adult and young Nēnē, 5) predator control activities for the protection of Nēnē, 6) recording detailed information on field or digital datasheets, and 7) entering data into project databases and checking the quality of the data entered. Internship duties will be approximately 80% field work, 20% office work.

The intern will work in the field with park staff, volunteers, and University of Hawai’i Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit collaborators. Once trained, the intern may be asked to complete some tasks independently. Field work may require strenuous physical exertion and walking for long time periods on uneven terrain, carrying a 20+ pound backpack. Important responsibilities of this position include ensuring a respectful working environment, safely conducting work in a physically challenging environment, collecting field data in a neat and complete manner, and communicating effectively with supervisors and crewmembers.

One of over 400 National Park Service sites across the country, HAVO protects a dynamic landscape with some of the most unique geological, biological, and cherished cultural landscapes in the world. Extending from sea level to 13,680 feet, the park encompasses the summits of two active volcanoes – Kīlauea and Mauna Loa – and is designated an International Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site. HAVO NRM program is comprised of native and non-native wildlife management, vegetation management, and restoration programs. For decades, the park NRM program has led research and innovation in terrestrial resource protection in Hawai'i. NRM staff manage endangered bird populations, control invasive plants, construct and check fences and traps to control nonnative animals, and conduct community outreach and service projects. These management actions represent decades of critical efforts to protect and preserve natural resources for future generations of visitors, residents and Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners alike.

The SIP intern will work with the native wildlife field crew to directly support Nēnē recovery efforts at the park. Through hands-on active management, park staff, volunteers, collaborators, and SIP participants work together to protect species like Nēnē which are in peril of extinction. HAVO has recently documented steep declines of Nēnē populations in the park, and intense monitoring and protection efforts are needed to help protect this threatened species. Data collected by the SIP intern will provide valuable information to park managers that is needed to guide resource management actions.


Deliverables the SIP intern will contribute to and help manage as a part of the native wildlife group effort include: 1) a database of color band resights of Nēnē based on surveys, 2) a catalogue of pictures from wildlife cameras deployed at Nēnē nests, and 3) a database of Nēnē nesting activity and outcomes based on visual and wildlife camera monitoring. Deliverables managed specifically by the intern will include a summary document detailing field efforts and preliminary findings related to the data collected, as well as a social media post and story map highlighting their work with the native wildlife group.


The intern should have a background in biology or ecology, demonstrated through relevant coursework, previous work experience, or related projects. In addition, they should have a desire to learn about natural resource stewardship at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and conduct hard work on physically challenging wildlife monitoring projects. The work does not require experience with birds. However, a strong work ethic and positive, problem-solving attitude, as well as a love of the outdoors are a must. Some basic experience with natural resources fieldwork, hiking, and/or physical outdoor work would be helpful so that the applicant understands the physical and mental demands that fieldwork can require. Training for specialized work, i.e., color band resighting, will be provided. A high school degree is required, and the incumbent must be able to work outdoors in hot, cold, wet, muddy, and uneven terrain, and have a valid driver’s license to drive government vehicles.

The applicant must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. legal permanent resident (“Green Card holder”). Prior to starting this position, a government security background clearance will be required. The applicant must be available to participate for 20 Weeks in order to be considered and participate.

The Natural Resource Management office is located at 4,000 ft elevation within the park. Internship duties will be approximately 80% field work, 20% office work. Field environments range from hot and humid at the coast to temperate and sunny on the slopes of MaunaLoa to cold and wet at the summit of Kīlauea. Typical field work involves working on a variety of terrains including pavement, trails, beaches, lava flows, and off-trail hiking through the forest. Office space is shared in buildings without climate control, but typical indoor temperatures are 60-75 degrees.

At Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, the resident community within the park is small and located in a remote area. Volcano Village, a small community with limited services, is located 5 miles away. The nearest large city of Hilo (population 40,000) is located 30 miles from the park. Government vehicles are available for work duties and obtaining groceries/necessities but are not available for personal recreation (e.g., site-seeing). The county bus has a stop at the park visitor center - however the bus schedule is very limited, so a personal vehicle is recommended for general recreation outside of the park housing area.


  • Applicant must have a valid driver's license to drive a government vehicle.
  • A personal vehicle is recommended for this position.

Park housing is available and will be provided at no cost to the participant. Shared housing within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park is located within walking distance of scenic views of Kīlauea Caldera, project offices, and the Kīlauea Visitor Center. The elevation at park housing is 4,000 feet. The climate is variable but can be cool with frequent rains year-round. Interns would be provided private or shared rooms in a 3-bedroom house with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. Housing is co-ed but any shared rooms are with same gender. Housing has basic furnishings, kitchen appliances, cookware, plates, utensils, towels, and linens. Wifi is available via provided cellular Verizon hotspot. Interns will need to bring all personal items including toiletries and laundry detergent.

Birds, Wildlife, Monitoring, Surveys, Banding

This posting will close after receiving 75 complete applications, or at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Sunday, 16 June, whichever occurs first. Once you begin applying for a position, the application must be completed in one sitting. You cannot save and return later to complete it. Applicants can apply for up to five Scientists in Parks Intern positions per winter. You need to complete a separate application for each position in order to be considered. You should receive a confirmation email after successfully submitting an application. Sometimes institutional email filters/settings can redirect or block emails related to the application. We recommend watching spam, junk, and promotional email folders in case your service delivers messages there. Please visit How to Apply for additional resources and information about applying (i.e., learn what materials to have ready for applying, find a worksheet that previews application questions, etc.)