Internship – Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, Massachusetts

Interpretive intern needed to assist with visitor services at Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, a unique 7,604 acre barrier island refuge located on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Positions are for 3 to 4 months (funding dependant) beginning 11 May – 22 May. Duties include but are not limited to: staffing the visitors center and bookstore; providing trailside interpretation; designing and constructing educational exhibits; volunteer coordination and recruitment; writing articles and news releases; coordinating and participating in weekly refuge programs for the public, including scouts and school groups; answering phones and responding to refuge information requests; occasional hands on biological experiences; and light maintenance duties and office work. The position involves working weekends, holidays, and occasional evenings. Applicants must have: the ability to work with the public in a professional manner; work with minimal supervision and in a group; have a valid driver’s license; be enthusiastic and creative. Past experience in an environmental and/or educational field is desired. Stipend will be $200-275/week based on experience and funding. Free dormitory style housing is available for days off at the mainland headquarters.
Contact Person: Kate Iaquinto,  508-945-0594 ext. 13,

Job Opportunity – Shipboard Educators/Crew, Maryland

The Living Classrooms Foundation is a non-profit educational organization in Baltimore, MD that provides hands-on, interdisciplinary learning programs in challenging environments for students of all ages and backgrounds.  They are currently seeking individuals for the positions of Mate, On-board Educational Coordinator, and Science Educators.
Details online

Search for Deep Water Caves Expedition Website

The NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) has launched Bermuda: Search for Deep Water Caves 2009 Expedition Web page . This Expedition posting includes daily logs, videos and images, an Ocean Explorer Expedition Education Module, lesson plans, and much more.

Mini-Grants for Girls’ STEM Projects

The Northeastern Girls Collaborative mini-grant application window is open. Mini-grants are awarded to girl-serving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) focused programs to support collaboration, address gaps and overlaps in service, and share promising practices. Mini-grant projects must relate to either informal learning or evaluation and assessment. Mini-grants are a small amount of seed funding and are not intended to fully fund entire projects. The maximum mini-grant award is $1000.

Numerous organizations provide valuable but uncoordinated activities and support services related to motivating and supporting girls’ interest in STEM careers. These mini-grants are designed to build collaboration between existing programs and organizations in order to encourage girls to pursue STEM-related educational programs and careers.  Visit the National Girls Collaborative Project Website for details.

Program on SEANET and Common Eider Die-offs

Drs. Julie Ellis and Sarah Courchesne from SEANET will be at Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary on Saturday, December 5, at 2:00pm to talk about the SEANET program, meet current and prospective Cape volunteers, and present their latest findings on eider die-offs.  This program is FREE and open to the public.  At 1:00pm that same afternoon there will be a special showing of the film The Dark Side of the Loon, which highlights issues facing loons on their coastal wintering grounds. As part of Wellfleet Bay’s Winter Lecture Series, the film is free with sanctuary admission. Call 508-349-2615 for more information.

This fall, as in years past, the bodies of dead Common Eider, large black and white sea ducks, can be found littering the tide line of local beaches. This phenomenon has been recorded since the 1950s, but scientists are only recently starting to study and understand the factors behind these deaths. While Common Eider populations are still considered high, there is some evidence that their numbers are dropping. It is unknown if these annual die-offs reflect a larger problem.  Much of this research work has been done through the Seabird Ecological Assessment Network (SEANET), based at the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. SEANET is an ongoing project assessing seabird mortality along the eastern seaboard of the United States. Its goals are to pinpoint threats to marine bird populations, work collaboratively to alleviate those threats, engage the public in ocean research and conservation, and understand what seabirds can tell us about the state of our oceans. SEANET depends on a network of volunteers along the Atlantic coast; over 100 citizen scientists volunteer to walk an assigned stretch of beach once or twice a month, record environmental data and report both dead and live birds seen on the beach. New volunteers are always welcomed.  More information on SEANET

Cynthia Franklin

Volunteer Coordinator

Mass Audubon/Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

PO Box 236

South Wellfleet, MA 02663

508-349-2615 x 101; fax 508-349-2632



news blog:

Protecting the Nature of Massachusetts

Census of Marine Life: Celebrating Darwin Essay Contest

Discovering our modern day “Darwins” in the Census of Marine Life

Eligibility: High school students in US and Canada, enrolled 2009-10
Deadline: December 11, 2009
Essay Length:  500 words or less
Goal: To enhance understanding of scientific methods and discovery

Prizes: $300 in non-monetary prizes of books, memberships, and DVDs; one-year membership to Gulf of Maine Marine Education Association

One hundred fifty years ago, Charles Darwin published a book that continues to influence science and the way we view life on earth today.  Darwin’s book, The Origin of Species, was the result of years of observation aboard the Beagle and decades of collaborative research with colleagues around the world to explain the diversity of life on earth.

In 2010, scientists from around the globe will share the results of another voyage of discovery. This 10-year mission will explore and explain the diversity of life in the oceans – past, present, and future.

This essay contest seeks to have students feature a research  or collaborative project from the Census of Marine Life which continues in the tradition of the naturalist who changed our view of the world, Sir Charles Darwin. The essays should detail how  the researchers involved in the project have carried on these traditions:

Observation of the diversity of life in the oceans
Collaboration among people from multiple disciplines
Exploration of the diverse habitats which support life
Analysis and synthesis of discoveries and ideas, which lead to…
New information contributing to science and society at large

Contest details available here including a list of biodiversity and Darwin resources

For more information, contact:

Erik Pietrowicz, Biology Department, University of Southern Maine,

Susan Ryan, Gulf of Maine Census of Marine Life, University of Southern Maine,

Teachers’ Workshop at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

The following Topics in Oceanography Professional Development Workshop will be held Saturday December 12, 2009, 9:00-2:30 at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Ocean Acidification: what it is, what we know, and what it may mean

Sarah Cooley, WHOI Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department
Anne Cohen, WHOI Geology and Geophysics Department
Heather Benway, Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry Project Office

– Hear how ocean water chemistry is changing, and how the changes may affect marine life and people
– Hands-on demonstration of classroom experiments and kits on ocean acidification

Registration: $30, breakfast and lunch included.
Directions here, more information at this link
Checks payable to WHOI. Sorry, no purchase orders.
Mail to: Kathy Patterson, WHOI, MS # 16, Woods Hole, MA 02543.
Registration deadline: Dec. 7, 2009

Contact: Kathy Patterson,, 508-289-2700, or
Kate Madin,, 508-289-3639

President Obama Announces National Lab Day Initiative

On Monday, President Obama announced the establishment of National Lab Day, a new science education initiative aimed at improving labs and inquiry-based science experiences for students in grades 6–12.

Designed to increase community-based collaborations between scientists, engineers, teachers and students, National Lab Day emerged from collaboration earlier this year among NSTA, the American Chemical Society (ACS), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Jack D. Hidary Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation.

National Lab Day will bring together stakeholders in communities of support where science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professionals and teachers can work together to assess current labs, update or refurbish lab equipment, conduct equipment and materials inventory, clean and repair equipment, and provide technology support. Projects can also center on computer or outdoor labs—anywhere where hands-on lessons in the STEM subjects can come alive.

The first National Lab Day is tentatively scheduled for early May 2010. For more information about National Lab Day, visit the official website at

Job Opportunity – Staff Attorney, Marine Affairs Institute, Rhode Island

Roger Williams University School of Law is seeking a Staff Attorney. Under the direction of the Director of the Marine Affairs Institute and Rhode Island Sea Grant Legal Program, the Staff Attorney oversees the Student Law Fellow program and supports the outreach, education and administrative functions of the Institute. As part of one of the Law School’s centers of  excellence and a national leader in marine law and policy, the Staff Attorney will function as part of a small, efficient and interdisciplinary team to educate the next generation of marine law professionals and serve as a regional and national clearinghouse for marine law and policy.  Deadline to submit a resume is December 4, 2009. For more information visit the website.

Wetland Plants of Northeast Free Field Guide

Swamp School Inc. has developed a new field guide  to wetland plants of the Northeastern U.S. It is available free.