Volunteer and Internship Opportunities

Join Our Team:  We are Hawaii’s largest non-profit marine species response organization, covering approximately 300 miles of coastline on the islands of Oahu and Molokai with our team of over 100 volunteers, interns and staff. Our field response team spends thousands of hours each year on surveys for, and responding to, reports of activity involving protected marine animals such as the endangered Hawaiian monk seal and endangered or threatened marine turtles to aid in species recovery research and stranding support.  Our work helps save these animals from deaths and injuries caused by disease, hookings, entanglement in marine debris and dangerous or inappropriate interaction with humans and pets. Equally important is our ability to use this extensive level of field activity as well as our presence in schools, community events and public venues to engage with tens of thousands of members of the public each year to build understanding, stewardship and support for Hawaii’s protected marine species and the coastal ecosystem we share.

Volunteer Opportunities:  Our volunteers are at the core of our work. Without these dedicated individuals we could not do the work we do.  Can you volunteer some of your time to help save Hawaii’s endangered and threatened species such as the Hawaiian monk seal or marine turtles? Click below on the volunteer assignment of your interest.  Learn more about what these volunteers do, and how to sign up.

Internship Opportunities:  If you are a degreed or degree-seeking individual engaged in fields of study such as marine biology, ecology, ocean sciences or related fields, we offer internship opportunities on our Field Response Team.  Review the opportunity below and click on the link in the box below to apply.

DUTIES

  • Patrol shoreline areas to find, document and assess endangered or threatened marine species activity.
  • Provide field response to specific reports of marine species haul-out or stranding activity.
  • Assist in marine turtle stranding response and field intervention (Advanced Field Response Volunteer).
  • While performing patrol or response activity, educate the public on endangered and threatened marine species.
  • When appropriate, establish perimeters around marine animals on beaches and shorelines to decrease inappropriate and potentially dangerous interactions between marine animals, humans and pets.
  • Make timely and accurate reports of activities performed.

LOCATION(S)

Areas that require volunteer support encompass all of the shoreline areas of Oahu and Molokai but volunteers are assigned duties based on where the volunteer lives or their geographic area(s) of interest.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

  • Attend an initial classroom orientation and training session (approximately 3 hours).
  • Complete initial in-field “on-the-job” training sessions (approximately 12 to 15 hours).
  • Attend additional mandatory in-field or classroom training sessions (4 to 6 times per year).
  • Possess an interest and a desire to engage with the public.
  • Be at least 18 years old.  If not 18 years old, you must be 16 years of age or older and will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian that has completed the applicable volunteer training.
  • Ability to walk in shoreline beach and rocky conditions. (Minimum of 2 miles for Advanced Field Response Volunteer).
  • Ability to lift and carry a minimum of 50 pounds for 100 feet (for Advanced Field Response Volunteer).
  • Background check.
  • Access to a reliable car or truck.  (Truck preferable for Advanced Field Response Volunteer.)  Motorcycles or scooters will not be sufficient.
  • Possession of a valid driver’s license.
  • Proof of automobile insurance carrying Hawaii minimum liability coverage levels.
  • Access to a cellular phone (4G service required for Advanced Field Response Volunteer).
  • Access to a digital camera with at least 35X zoom capabilities, or access to a set of binoculars with at least 10X magnification. (One of these items is required for Advanced Field Response Volunteer assignments.)

VOLUNTEER ACTIVITY EXPECTATIONS

Field Response Volunteer – these volunteers usually participate in at least 1 or 2 activity sessions (approximately 4 hours each session) per month.  Sessions can be either shoreline patrol, response to specific sightings/strandings or on-call (standby) depending on the needs of the team.  Attend mandatory training/meetings (usually quarterly).

Advanced Field Response Volunteer – these volunteers commit to at least 2 activity sessions (approximately 4 hours per session) each week for a total of 8 activity sessions each month, preferably on the same days each week.  Sessions can be either shoreline patrol, field response to specific sightings/strandings or on-call (standby) depending on the needs of the team.  Attend mandatory training/meetings (usually quarterly).  It is desirable for the volunteer to commit to this level of participation for at least 6 months.

DUTIES

  • Take phone calls, emails and web form submissions of endangered and threatened marine species sightings from the public, government agencies and staff/volunteers.
  • Coordinate as needed with law enforcement and/or other government agencies in escalated situations.
  • Create computerized dispatch reports and contact appropriate personnel for field response.
  • Enter field data into reports
  • Update internal social media streams.
  • Update and create activity reports.

LOCATION(S)

This is a virtual volunteer position and the volunteer can work from home or another location where there is reliable phone service, reliable high-speed Internet access and a minimum of background noise.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

  • Attend a classroom orientation and training meeting (approximately 3 hours).
  • Complete initial in-field “on-the-job” training sessions (approximately 12 to 15 hours).
  • Attend additional mandatory in-field or classroom training sessions (4 to 6 times per year).
  • Possess an interest and a desire to engage with the public.
  • Can perform more than one important activity at the same time.
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Access to a reliable computer, phone and Internet service.
  • Experience with computer applications such as Microsoft Excel, Word, accounting software, database software, etc.
  • Background check.

 

VOLUNTEER ACTIVITY EXPECTATIONS

Dispatch and Reporting Volunteer – these volunteers usually commit to at least 3 activity sessions (each session is 4 to 12 hours in length) per month, preferably on the same day each week.  Attend mandatory training/meetings (usually quarterly).  It is desirable for the volunteer to commit to this level of participation for at least 6 months.

DUTIES

  • Conduct presentations and outreach activity at educational venues and public engagement activities.  Educate children and adults and share material concerning our organization and endangered/threatened marine species.
  • Update internal social media streams.
  • Update and create activity reports.

LOCATION(S)

This positions requires on-island travel to education and outreach venues.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

  • Attend an initial classroom orientation and training meeting (approximately 3 hours).
  • Complete initial 12-15 hours of in-field “on-the-job” Field Response Team training.
  • Attend additional mandatory in-field or classroom training sessions (4 to 6 times per year).
  • Possess an interest and a desire to engage with the public.
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Access to a reliable car.  Motorcycles or scooters will not be sufficient.
  • Possession of a valid driver’s license.
  • Proof of automobile insurance carrying Hawaii minimum liability coverage levels.
  • Access to a cellular phone (4G service suggested).
  • Experience with computer applications such as Microsoft PowerPoint.
  • Background check.

VOLUNTEER ACTIVITY EXPECTATIONS

Outreach and Education Volunteer – these volunteers usually commit to at least 1 to 2 activity sessions (each session lasting between 3 and 5 hours) per week, preferably on the same day each week.  Attend mandatory training/meetings (usually quarterly).  It is desirable for the volunteer to commit to this level of participation for at least 6 months.

DUTIES

  • Patrolling for, or responding to, sightings of endangered or threatened marine species to provide shoreline response to haul-outs or strandings.
  • Report on animal behavior, provide basic animal assessment information, provide photo-documentation and other important data used in endangered marine species research, health management and species recovery efforts.
  • Engage with the public to teach sustainable human interaction and fishery behaviors and encourage stewardship of these rare animals.
  • Response team duties may also include escalated or emergency field response and assisting with endangered or threatened marine species intervention activity and stranding support.
  • Participate in dispatch and reporting activity such as the taking and documenting of phone calls or mobile-app generated reports of marine species activity, coordinating field response activity, data entry and generating reports.

LOCATION

These positions require on-island travel throughout the island of Oahu in the State of Hawaii.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

  • This is an un-paid internship opportunity.  The intern is responsible for all living and transportation costs associated with the internship.
  • U.S. citizenship or possession of passport and all applicable visas and work permits needed prior to and during the internship period.
  • 18 or more years of age.
  • English language fluency.
  • Must be a degree-seeking student or a graduate of a college or university program associated with one of the following courses of study: marine biology, marine ecology, conservation or a related field.
  • Minimum grade point average (GPA).  For college/university graduates – a 2.7 cumulative GPA prior to the internship. For current students – a 2.7 cumulative GPA prior to and during the internship.
  • College credit: If college credit for this internship is desired it is the intern’s responsibility to obtain necessary approvals from the applicable college or university.
  • Acceptance of our Intern Policies, Waivers, Releases and Indemnifications.
  • Attend mandatory in-field or classroom training sessions as required.
  • Possess an interest and a desire to engage with the public.
  • Must have access to a reliable car or truck. Truck preferable. Motorcycles or scooters will not be sufficient.
  • Possession of a valid driver’s license.
  • Proof of automobile insurance carrying Hawaii minimum liability coverage levels.
  • Access to a cellular phone (4G service required).
  • Access to binoculars with at least a 10X magnification level or access to a digital camera (not smartphone) with at least a 35X zoom lens
  • Ability to walk at least 2 miles over shoreline beach and rocky conditions
  • Ability to lift and carry at least 50 pounds over a distance of 100 feet
  • Background check.

INTERNSHIP ACTIVITY EXPECTATIONS

  • Internship term: Minimum of 3 months (may be extended for up to 1 year upon mutual agreement)
  • Hours per week: 20 hours minimum however due to the unpredictable nature of marine animal response, the intern may sometimes be required to work beyond their normal scheduled hours.  Travel time to and from training locations, field survey locations or response locations is not included in these minimum hours. Intern must be able and willing to work flexible hours including weekends and holidays.
  • The intern is expected to be available for response anywhere on the Island of Oahu in the State of Hawaii.

INTERNSHIP PERIODS AND APPLICATION DEADLINES

  • Internship period – January 1st to April 30th each year, application deadline is the prior October 31st
  • Internship period – May 1st to August 31st each year, application deadline is the prior March 31st
  • Internship period – September 1st to December 31st each year, application deadline is the prior July 31st

APPLICATION PROCESS

  • Click the box below to apply for an internship.  Note the additional information below that must be submitted with your online application to info@monkseals.org.
  • In addition to completion of the online application, please submit the following information via email to info@hi-mma.org.  (1)  A cover letter of interest, maximum of 1 page, including your availability (i.e. preferred internship period).  (2) Confirmation that you have, or will have, access to a reliable car or truck during the internship period (truck preferred).  (3)  A resume describing your training, experience, relevant skills and GPA (maximum of 2 pages).  (4) Names and contact information for three references.