The Wood Turtle Field Biologist will be involved in all aspects of our wood turtle conservation project throughout eastern Massachusetts, documenting turtle movement patterns and habitat use though radiotelemetry, conducting standardized visual surveys and nest surveys, and assisting Field Conservation Department staff with other ongoing research. The technician will keep careful notes, regularly input field data into online databases, and assist with data analysis and map generation at the end of the season.


The Field Biologist should have a strong interest in turtle ecology and conservation and be willing to do field work independently in any weather condition. Our fieldwork can be arduous, requiring hiking through dense brush, mud, swamps, and water. Enthusiasm and the ability to work independently are key to all our positions. However, qualified applicants will know their limitations and will readily ask for assistance and clarification as needed. This is a grant funded position.

Duties & Responsibilities

  1. Conducts standardized biological surveys of plants and animals for ZNE’s field conservation management and research projects
  2. Collects accurate and complete data, inputs data on a weekly basis to a shared database, and assists other Field Conservation Department staff with initial reporting and data analysis
  3. Meets at least weekly with ZNE conservation staff and communicates regularly with wood turtle project staff.

Hours, Location and Term of Appointment

Hours: Usually 9:00am-5:00pm Monday-Friday, except during June nesting season when hours will shift to either early morning or late evening. The Wood Turtle Field Biologist must be willing to work flexible hours during the month of June.
Location: Our Conservation Department office is in Acton, MA, but the technician will work at several field sites, primarily near Medway, but also Foxboro, Chelmsford, Dracut, and Acton.

Term: March 20 – November 17
Wage: $19.00/hour


Working Conditions

  • Frequent exposure and close contact with a variety of animals including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects, including direct handling of large snapping turtles and other potentially injurious wildlife, as well as exposure to ticks, mosquitos, and other biting arthropods
  • Frequent field work in difficult natural conditions, including wetlands, streams, and brush thickets
  • Frequent exposure to varying and challenging weather conditions (g. heat, rain, snow, ice), and to dust, and allergens.
  • Frequent need to bend, stoop, kneel, reach and lift.


Minimum Job Requirements

  • Effective November 14, 2021, must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19
  • Bachelor’s degree in biology, ecology or related field
  • Ability to enter and manage field data and the spreadsheets and other software in which those data are stored and analyzed from personal computer at home
  • Able to work flexible hours during the June nesting season, including nights and/or weekends
  • Must possess a valid driver’s’ license and be able to lawfully drive in Massachusetts and transport field materials and equipment in personal vehicle
  • Must have no criminal history, convictions, in relation to animal-related issues, child welfare


Preferred Job Requirements


  • Ability to identify common native plants, especially of wetland environments
  • Prior experience with radiotelemetry, particularly in a wetland environment
  • Prior experience working with herpetofauna
  • Comfort paddling a kayak or canoe, and ideally able to transport a kayak or canoe on their personal vehicle.