Palmyra Atoll Conservation Science Volunteer

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
Palmyra Atoll, United States Minor Outlying Islands
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Entry Level (0-2 Years)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

Founded in 1951, the Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable.  One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we strive for a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 79 countries, including all 50 United States, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

The Nature Conservancy offers competitive compensation, 401k or savings-plan matching for eligible employees, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment. We also provide professional development opportunities and promote from within. As a result, you will find a culture that supports and inspires conservation achievement and personal development, both within the workplace and beyond.




6-Month Commitment: Approx. September 2020 – February 2021
Seasonal volunteers are recruited for 6-month assignments at Palmyra Atoll. Up to $900 of travel costs from the volunteer’s home state to Honolulu as well as three nights stay at a TNC-selected hotel in Honolulu are provided. TNC will also provide round-trip travel to Palmyra from Honolulu, board and lodging at Palmyra, and conservation science supplies and equipment, including bio-security clothing, for the period the volunteer is at Palmyra. The duration of this term of service may be amended to ensure your safety - you will be notified and supported by TNC if any such decision is made. Volunteers are expected to complete a 2-day orientation to The Nature Conservancy’s mission, values and code of conduct, and the Palmyra Program and CA+RL before traveling to Palmyra. Volunteers will follow the work schedule of TNC staff working at the Palmyra Preserve: six 8-hour days of work and one day off per week.

Volunteers must possess (or be able to obtain) a valid Passport and the appropriate visa and/or work permit for working in the US, if applicable, with an expiration date at least one month later than the term of the assignment, a physical examination, a current tetanus vaccination, and proof of health insurance. TNC provides remote medical coverage for non-emergency physician consultation and emergency evacuation insurance for all staff and volunteers.




The Conservation Science Volunteer is responsible for aiding scientific studies and conservation initiatives led by TNC, USFWS, or our research partners. This position will be remotely supervised by the Palmyra Science Manager and tasking will be assigned weekly. Tasking may vary according to the needs of priority conservation science projects and will include some support for lab operations. Tasking will include participation in the Palmyra Atoll Rainforest and Reef Resilience Project, (e.g. native tree planting and field data collection)




  • Work 6 days per week, in variable weather conditions (hot, humid, wet), at a remote location, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances. These conditions will involve considerable physical exertion and/or muscular strain, frequent possibility of injury, long hours in isolated settings, exposure to chemicals (e.g. herbicide), contaminants (e.g. WW2-era fuel), and hazards (e.g. rusted metal from WW2-era equipment).
  • Live and work productively, following TNC’s Code of Conduct, within a small and confined community on a remote location for up to 6 months.
  • Ensure clear communication with supervisor to confirm understanding of tasking and role to implement work plan priorities without direct daily oversight.
  • Communicate effectively with a diverse group of people, including scientists, preserve staff and others, providing and obtaining needed information to ensure smooth completion of tasks.
  • Identify solutions to problems and take action as appropriate or communicate to appropriate party as needed.
  • Maintain organized records to identify and share lessons learned, best practices and methods, tools, consistencies and inconsistencies across seasons.
  • In the event of an emergency, volunteers may be tasked with specific duties to ensure safety and welfare of the community. This may include responding to minor/major medical emergencies, high-water evacuation events, marine rescue events, fuel spills and/or fire containment, etc. Volunteers will be supported if they opt out of any activities that exceed their training or comfort level.
  • Assist TNC and USFWS staff and research partners with community, housekeeping, maintenance, or morale building tasks as needed.




  • High school diploma/GED and 1 year of college-level coursework in biological sciences, conservation science, or natural resource management, -OR- equivalent combination of education and relevant work experience.
  • Experience with scientific studies and following established scientific protocols, including recording, entering, and organizing observation-based data.
  • Experience working independently and within a team to manage diverse activities while adhering to deadlines.
  • Experience using hand-held GPS units to record position data.
  • Experience with swimming and comfort with travel by kayaks and small powered boats.
  • Experience performing work that requires physical mobility and ability to lift up to 50 pounds in a hot, humid, salty environment.
  • Valid First Aid and CPR certification before start of volunteer term.
  • Experience with MS Office and associated programs, notably Word and Excel.


  • Demonstrated ability to live and work successfully in remote environments.
  • Experience in conservation science and/or applied biology.
  • Ability to safely use and maintain tools and equipment, including power and construction tools.
  • Experience operating and piloting a skiff with outboard motors of up to 30hp.
  • Ability to use ESRI’s ArcGIS and extensions.
  • Advanced First Aid training (e.g. Wilderness First Responder).




To apply to position number 48699, submit resume (required) and cover letter separately using the upload buttons. All applications must be submitted in the system prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on June 17, 2020.
In your cover letter, please explain how you meet or exceed the minimum qualifications for this position.  If you have any questions about this position, please contact the Palmyra Science Manager, Katie Franklin at

Click “submit” to apply for the position or “save for later” to create a draft application for future submission. Once submitted, applications cannot be revised or edited. Failure to complete required fields may result in your application being disqualified from consideration.

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