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PO Box 1346
Point Reyes Station
CA 94956

The Institute for Bird Populations
© 2002


MAPS Biologist Positions & Volunteer Internships

The Institute for Bird Populations offers MAPS bird-banding field biologist positions and internships at various locations throughout the United States (Google Earth required). Interns will receive first-class intensive training and experience in handling, identifying, sexing, aging, and banding wild birds. This invaluable experience in field data collection and recording may satisfy class requirements (ask your counselor) and build impressive resumes. Make your summer interesting and make new friends.

  • Learn to identify birds by sight and sound
  • Contribute to continent-wide bird conservation efforts
  • Develop bird-banding and field data collection skills that will look great on your resume
  • Spend your summer outdoors in beautiful places

MAPS BIOLOGIST POSITIONS: We seek field biologists to serve as crew leaders to train and lead interns operating a network of mist-netting and banding stations in Indiana/Kentucky, Missouri, Texas, Oregon, and Washington. Positions extend from Apr 23/May 1 through Aug 8, 2009. Successful applicants should have previous experience with the MAPS protocol and be proficient at birdsong identification, and MUST have advanced skills in mist-netting, bird banding, and ageing and sexing of landbirds in the hand. Applicants will be expected to use Peter Pyle’s Identification Guide to North American Birds (Part I) to teach plumages and molts of landbirds in the appropriate regions. Previous MAPS field biologist interns (and crew leaders) are especially encouraged to apply. Demonstrated leadership skills, attention to detail, good physical condition, a tolerance of long days that begin before dawn, and the ability to endure sometimes difficult field conditions are required. Field biologists are expected to drive considerable distances between (and within) locations so a reliable field vehicle is a must (trucks/SUVs not required). These field biologist positions are an excellent opportunity to gain experience leading field crews, and IBP full-time staff biologists are often recruited from the MAPS field biologist pool. MAPS field biologists are considered independent contractors rather than IBP staff, and receive payment of $2,300 per month and project-related travel reimbursement ($0.35/mile), but no fringe benefits. See below to apply.

MAPS VOLUNTEER INTERNSHIPS: We seek motivated, enthusiastic volunteers in good physical condition with a strong desire to learn more about birds and natural history. All successful applicants are expected to face the rigors and unpredictability of field conditions with good humor and flexibility. Prior banding experience or a background in wildlife biology or a closely related field is a plus, but not necessary because all internships include an intensive, two week training course in mist-netting, and the identification, handling, banding, and ageing and sexing of landbirds. In addition, interns receive individual training in these techniques throughout the field season. Positions are available nationwide and are offered by region: Northwest, Western Midwest/Texas, Eastern Midwest/East, and Yosemite National Park. Internships begin April 23/May 1 and run through August 8. Applicants with reliable field vehicles are especially needed (trucks/SUVs not required). Mileage will be reimbursed at the rate of $0.35/mile for project-related use. Shared housing and a per diem of $22 - $30 (depending on location) for food and incidental expenses, amounting to $1,848 - $2,700 for the season, are provided. Interns are expected to spend a minimum of 6 of every 10 days in the field, contingent upon daily weather conditions and logistical considerations. See below to apply.


1) Download and read:

2010 MAPS Internship Information Packet PDF
(applicable to intern and biologist applicants)

2) Complete an application and submit it online or by mail.

MAPS Internship Application Online OR PDF
MAPS Biologist Application Online OR PDF

3) Submit a cover letter and resume preferrably via email as a single attachment; otherwise via mail or fax to:

Ron Taylor
The Institute for Bird Populations
P.O. Box 1346
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
Ph: (415) 663-1436
Fax: (415) 663-9482
e-mail: internships@birdpop.org


"[Our trainer] is a great biologist; she knows her stuff and patiently teaches it well. She's a wicked friend too, we love you".

"I learned a lot in this single summer and through it all, I realized that this is what I want to do with my life ... I really enjoyed being a part of this experience ... Thank you for giving me this experience which will take me far in my academic endeavors"

"Very enjoyable teacher that loves working with birds and who I would be more than happy to work with again".

"I completely enjoyed my summer.. .and I cannot believe how much I learned."

"I really learned a lot from her (IBP biologist) for which I am very grateful"

Want to know what it's like to be a MAPS intern? Curious what you will be doing? Trying to explain to your parents and friends that you will not be chasing birds with a butterfly net all summer? Check out some current and past banding operations.