Environmental Internships

Back to Job Listing
Home page

Coastal Bird Intern

Baton Rouge, LA 

Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action.  By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive.  And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level.  What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of approximately 450 local chapters, 120 campus chapters, 17 state and regional offices, 34 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country. 

 The National Audubon Society is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. We are committed to a policy of nondiscrimination, inclusion and equal opportunity and actively seek a diverse pool of candidates in this search.

The National Audubon Society endeavors to make https://careers-audubon.icims.com/ accessible to any and all users.  If you would like to contact us regarding the accessibility of our website or need assistance completing the application process, please contact Accommodations@audubon.org. This contact information is for accommodation requests only and cannot be used to inquire about the status of applications.

Position Summary

This position is eligible to receive university credit for an undergraduate student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University. Housing in Grand Isle, Louisiana will be provided.

Audubon’s WINGS internship program invites students to help shape a healthy environment and vibrant future for birds – and all of us who share the planet with them. The Coastal Bird Intern will learn from experts in the field of conservation and avian ecology, while gaining exposure to research, monitoring, and education techniques.

The Coastal Bird Intern will support National Audubon Society’s Coastal Bird Stewardship Program in Grand Isle, Louisiana. The goals of the program are to locate and buffer nesting sites against the threats of human disturbance while incorporating members of the community into bird protection efforts through volunteer opportunities, and by providing outreach and education to visitors. The program will have a strong bird-monitoring component, which will involve tracking nests, chicks, and their fates to understand the impacts of human disturbance, predation, and other environmental stresses on breeding productivity.

Supervised by Audubon’s Louisiana Stewardship Manager, and working closely with Audubon’s Coastal Bird Technician and a Tulane University Ph.D. Candidate, the Coastal Bird Intern will gain practical skills in field ornithology, outreach, and education, and have opportunities to intimately study and protect charismatic species like Least Terns and Wilson’s Plovers. Students looking to receive university credit will develop their own independent research project, and work with Dr. Caz Taylor and a Ph.D. student at Tulane University in Fall 2021 to analyze data collected during the summer internship.

Essential Functions

The Coastal Bird Intern will help protect and monitor the breeding success of beach-nesting birds in the Grand Isle area. Duties will include assisting Audubon staff to:


  • Post and fence nesting sites, monitor disturbance rates, colony size, nest and chick fates, and fledging rates to determine productivity.
  • Engage local communities, organize volunteer events, and use social media to increase awareness of the need to protect sensitive beach-nesting birds.
  • Assist in data entry and interim report preparation.


The internship will require some work to take place during early mornings and late evenings, on weekends and holidays, and in the Louisiana summer heat. Interns will be asked to provide 120-240 hours of service during the summer 2021 season. The position will tentatively run from May 17 and run for 6-12 weeks, with some flexibility on the duration depending on selected candidate. 

As a result of this internship experience, the intern will gain:


  • Skills in bird identification, nest searching, bird banding, and nest productivity monitoring.
  • Experiences implementing new projects, knowledge of community event planning and methods of engaging volunteers.
  • Experiences speaking to groups of all ages about relevant bird conservation issues.
  • Knowledge of conservation methods in sensitive coastal habitats.
  • Opportunities to make connections and learn from environmental professionals.
  • Understand the role of partnerships in conservation planning and implementation.
  • Knowledge of coastal ecological systems in southeastern Louisiana.
  • Practice in writing and research.
  • Independent planning and execution of specific tasks.


Qualifications and Experience


  • Must be working towards a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University;
  • Excellent interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills;
  • Must be willing to work long hours outside under physically demanding conditions (hot, humid, biting insects);
  • Must be comfortable interacting with the public and staff of multiple partner organizations;
  • Must have strong organizational skills and great attention to detail;
  • Valid driver’s license and reliable personal vehicle are strongly recommended;
  • Must be willing to work and stay overnight at provided housing on Grand Isle, LA.



Submit an online application here

Posted May 4, 2021

Back to Job Listing