Diamondback Terrapin (DBT) AmeriCorps Member – Jekyll Island Georgia

Georgia Sea Turtle Center- Jekyll Island Authority

The Diamondback Terrapin (DBT) Member duties form a unique position that incorporates both animal husbandry and field aspects. The DBT Member will be responsible for participating in all aspects of the diamondback terrapin conservation program, including daily monitoring of the Downey Musgrove Causeway (April through July), artificial nest mounds, flashing light signs, data collection, inventory and maintenance of the DBT kits, and educating the public. The DBT member will also be involved during the off season (September through April) in animal husbandry, including daily care, medical treatments, record keeping, and participation in research projects.

AmeriCorps: AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs, made up of three primary programs that each take a different approach to improving lives and fostering civic engagement. Members commit their time to address critical community needs like increasing academic achievement, mentoring youth, fighting poverty, sustaining national parks, preparing for disasters, and more. More than 75,000 Americans across the country participate in AmeriCorps each year. All of them tackle different community needs in different ways to make our people safer, stronger, and healthier; to strengthen our communities; and to Get Things Done for America. For information, please visit https://americorps.gov.

The GSTC is a state-of-the-art facility providing medical care to sick and injured sea turtles and many other species of native coastal wildlife (birds, snakes, alligators, and all chelonians). The center rehabilitates threatened and endangered sea turtles with a variety of conditions, including but not limited to boat strike trauma, cold stunning, fisheries interaction, and disease (debilitated turtle syndrome, fibro papillomatosis, etc.). Through wildlife rehabilitation, research, and education programs, the GSTC increases awareness of habitat and wildlife conservation challenges, promotes responsibility for ecosystem health, and empowers individuals to act locally, regionally, and globally to protect the environment.

Position Description and Essential Functions

  • Conduct all aspects of the diamondback terrapin conservation project
    • Monitoring the causeway, collecting data on DBTs encountered, filling out survey forms
    • Assessing the data collected and entering information to a data system (Microsoft Access)
    • Aiding in research on the causeway with outside collaborators when assigned
    • Responsible for egg incubation and hatchery
    • Removing alive, dead, and injured terrapins from the roadways
  • Conduct all aspects of turtle husbandry
    • Tank and filtration maintenance, diet preparation, feeding and behavioral observation, laundry, facility maintenance, and other projects as needed
    • Complete feeding logs and daily husbandry reports, and report any behavioral abnormalities or changes in daily routine to veterinary staff
  • Assist staff with turtle treatments and diagnostic evaluations as needed
    • Animal restraint for bandage changes, blood draws, tube feeding, radiographs
    • Wearing waders and entering tanks may be required
    • Preparing treatment supplies
    • Record data and notes as needed, especially during entrance exams and treatments
    • Regularly weigh patients based on their treatment schedule
    • Participate in diamondback terrapin egg incubation
  • Interaction with and educating the public
    • Answer questions from the public in the pavilion while performing daily tasks
    • Conduct veterinary education programs
    • Participate in behind the scenes tours
    • Conduct educational DBT outreaches
    • Assist in teaching DBT road survey training courses to staff and volunteers
  • Assist with various research projects
    • DBT patrols and population assessment
    • DBT egg incubation and hatchery
    • Other field projects


Service conditions include long hours, including holidays and weekends. Will need to be available to come in during evening hours to perform various medical tasks (feeding, checking vital signs, administering medications). Will drive the GSTC center van during road patrols for terrapins. Must be able to lift a minimum of 40 lb. Service will include cleaning tanks, laundry, food prep, feedings, and assisting with treatments.

General Requirements

  • Commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion in all aspects of work.
  • Self-motivation and the ability to work both independently and with a team.
  • Positive attitude and a desire to learn.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, team ethic, and cooperation for living and working in a group setting.
  • Excellent and honest communication with colleagues and supervisors.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • The ability to pay close attention to detail.
  • A flexible schedule that will include working long shifts, holidays, evenings, and weekends.
  • Tolerance of extreme heat, high humidity, precarious weather and tides, and biting insects.
  • Strong public speaking skills for communicating with diverse audiences.
  • Proficient computer skills, especially Microsoft Access.

AmeriCorps Program Minimum Requirements/Qualifications

18+ years of age.
U.S Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident Alien.
Ability to obtain a U.S. driver’s license.
Consent to criminal history, background, and fingerprint checks to be cleared for service.

Preferred Requirements/Qualifications

Current undergraduate student or recent graduate.
Prior experience with animal husbandry and/or B.S. in Biological Sciences.

Salary and Benefits

Living allowance ($16,500 for a minimum of 1,700 hours of service over 12 months), island amenity passes, Jekyll Island parking pass, education award ($6,345*), and student loan forbearance.


Optional and partially subsidized shared housing on Jekyll Island is available. If this option is selected, $200* per month rent surcharge (including utilities) will be automatically deducted from payroll, along with a $100* ($50* refundable) security deposit. Houses have limited-bandwidth internet and air-conditioning; they are also equipped with basic furniture and kitchen supplies. You must provide your own linens, towels, and food. Not provided but available: telephone and cable.
Pets are not allowed.

This position is supported through the federally-funded AmeriCorps program and therefore is considered a term of service.

Duration of Program: September 1, 2021 to August 31, 2022 (1 position)

*Resume, Cover letter, and 3 References MUST be submitted with application, applications received without supporting documents will NOT be considered. The three References may be uploaded in “Other” or can be submitted as one package with Cover Letter.

To apply for this job please visit www.jekyllisland.com.