CLOSED – State of Hawaiʻi’s DOFAW Summer 2019 Job Announcement

Summertime Habitat Restoration Volunteer Positions at Kure Atoll Wildlife Sanctuary are now CLOSED! Please check back in for Winter Announcements in a few months.

Duration: 7 months (Approximately March to October 2019)

Application deadline: Applications reviewed upon receipt until positions are filled

Send inquiries and/or applications to Matt Saunter & Naomi Worcester at

If applying please include a resume, cover letter, and three references in your email.


The State of Hawai’i’s Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) is seeking Habitat Restoration Volunteers for work at Kure Atoll Wildlife Sanctuary in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Kure Atoll is a part of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and is located 1,400 miles northwest of O’ahu. Kure Atoll provides important habitat for wildlife, including the endangered Laysan teal (Anas laysanensis) and Hawaiian monk seal (Neomonachus schauinslandi). Eighteen species of seabirds nest on Kure including Black-footed albatross (Phoebastria nigripes) and Christmas shearwaters (Puffinus nativitatis).

Currently, native plant species are outnumbered by non-native and invasive plant species. DLNR is committed to eradicating invasive plant species such as Golden crown-beard (Verbesina encelioides) from the atoll. Invasive plants are a significant management concern because they displace native plant habitat and nesting areas and may cause harm to wildlife. Native plants are an integral resource for nesting habitat and dune stabilization. This position is a unique opportunity to protect and recover important habitat while living in an intact wildlife sanctuary!

Kure Atoll is an extremely remote work location and transportation to the atoll is limited and infrequent. Deployment to a remote field site is a serious undertaking. Delays in travel dates due to weather or ship mechanical issues may occur. Due to Kure’s remote location and difficult access response times for emergencies, including evacuation, may be long and uncertain. The ability to live and work in close quarters with a small group of people for an extended period of time is of the utmost importance. Field teams typically consist of 6 to 8 personnel. There are only 2 six-month field seasons per year. There is no Internet or cell phone service available. Contact with friends/family is limited to text-only email (no pictures or attachments) through the field station’s satellite phone.

Primary responsibilities include: Invasive plant removal (manual and chemical), invasive species monitoring, wildlife monitoring, native plant propagation and distribution, vegetation monitoring, seabird and shorebird surveys, marine pollution and entanglement hazard removal, data collection and entry, weekly field crew meetings. Additionally, all personnel will assist with camp upkeep and chores outside of regular work hours.
**Although the workload is diverse, most of the hours are dedicated to invasive plant removal (75-80%)**

Kure Atoll Conservancy will award $1000 at the end of the field season to help offset volunteer expenses

Desired Skills/Experience:

Invasive species management, plant identification, nursery work, Hawaiian native plant knowledge, wildlife monitoring, animal handling, avian reproductive monitoring and identification, binocular/spotting scope use, familiarity with Excel and GPS use. Other useful skills include carpentry, boating, and maintenance.

Requirements: Strong interpersonal skills, excellent physical and mental health, able to walk 10 miles per day with a 40 lb. pack over soft sand and uneven terrain, able to lift and carry 50 lbs., data collection and management skills, able to work for long hours in uncomfortable and/or unpredictable weather, bend or stoop for long periods of time, ability to swim and pull self into a boat while in deep water, 20/20 color vision or correctable lenses. Must be able to obtain medical clearance for embarking/working on research vessels. Must be comfortable with the use of pesticides.

Strict Quarantine:

Biosecurity protocols are in place to prevent further introduction of alien species. This quarantine requires that all “soft” items (clothing, shoes, straps, etc.) must be purchased new and frozen for 48 hours prior to departure to Kure Atoll.   All “hard” items (cameras, electronics, musical instruments, etc.) must be inspected thoroughly and may need to be frozen or fumigated prior to departure.

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