Research Intern

Seward, Alaska
Dec 06, 2018
Jan 07, 2019
Biology, Fisheries
Employment Type
Salary Type

Drones for Science: Seabird population monitoring and behavioral assessments

Drones or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) have the potential to transform the way we collect scientific information. For surveys of seabirds, UAS technology may improve upon traditional survey methods by increasing the accuracy of abundance estimates, providing a permanent record of the survey, expanding survey areas to include remote or dangerous sites, and reducing costs. In this newly funded project, Dr. Bishop’s lab along with collaborators at US Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Alaska Department of Fish and Game will validate and refine survey methods for estimation of abundance and productivity of seabirds and measure the behavioral responses of seabirds to drone overflights under different conditions.

We are looking for a summer intern to join our lab who will assist with seabird field observations and abundance surveys, process digital imagery collected via drones, and assess video footage for behavioral responses. The intern will learn about the use of drones for conservation, and will gain experience with seabird ecology, behavioral data collection and analysis, and population monitoring. Under guidance, the intern will be expected to:

  • Participate in vessel-based field surveys of seabird colonies
  • Process and record data (photos/videos) collected via drones
  • Manage, update, and maintain large datasets
  • Work independently, but as part of the broader research team
  • Participation in the preparation of reports, papers and conference attendance are encouraged and will depend on the Fellow’s progress and interests.
  • Commit to 40hrs a week/ minimum of 12 weeks
  • Assist with other duties relating to the Center’s goals and mission statement as required

Required skills:

Enrolled in or recently graduated with a B.Sc in Biological sciences (or other related field: Marine Biology, Zoology, Fisheries, Conservation Science, etc.)

Applicants should comfortable with projects requiring attention to detail, and working as part of a team. Prior field experience on boats is helpful, but not required. Applicants should have an interest in conservation research, and be pursuing a career or graduate studies in a related field (e.g. conservation ecology, management, behavioral ecology or marine engineering).

If you have any questions about the project please feel contact Dr. Amy Bishop (