Diamondback Terrapin Field Researcher
New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance (NECWA)
This person would be in the field studying the Diamondback Terrapin, a threatened species of marsh turtle found in the coastal waterways and marshes on Cape Cod and the mainland. One study area are the waterways of Pocassett while other areas are over the bridge in Onset, Bourne, Marion, Wareham, and Mattapoisett. Interns are involved in collecting accurate field data, photographs, and observations to be used for later analysis. They also relocate and/or protect turtle nests since there is a very high predation of hatchlings each season. Interns assist with rescuing nesting females that are found crossing roads and parking lots as they move to and from marshes and nesting sites.
Assist lead researcher in the field with various activities and projects, including:
- Collect and record environmental data
- Look for nesting adult female Terrapins
- Collect accurate Terrapin data that includes shell measurements, weight, photographs
- Rescue terrapins and other turtles that are in danger of getting hit by vehicles as the turtles move to and from marshes to nesting sites.
- Transport any injured terrapins and turtles to rehabilitation facilities on Cape Cod or on the mainland.
- Plot geo-referenced sighting data using Google Earth and possibly ArcGIS
- Updating all Google sheets and forms with necessary field data
- Upload all photographs taken in the field of terrapins and other wildlife
- If interested, assist with drone surveys of fragile beach areas used by Diamondback terrapins for nesting purposes in the Southcoast area of MA
- If interested, during the fall and winter stranding season, assist with marine wildlife strandings along the shores of Cape Cod.
- If interested, during the fall and winter stranding seasons, assist with field necropsies of dead marine wildlife in the New England area, including ocean sunfish, torpedo rays, triggerfish, etc.