We are seeking volunteers to assist with data collection for the 2019 summer field season. This is a great opportunity to gain valuable field experience while working in the remote and beautiful Isle Royale National Park.

Duration: Approximately 4-5 weeks between early-May and mid-June.

Work Environment: Work is conducted on-trail and off-trail throughout Isle Royale. This is a physically demanding position; the climate, insects (mosquitoes and black flies), and terrain are often difficult. Volunteers may be required to carry up to sixty lbs. for varying distances (up to ten miles per day) over trail and cross-country conditions. The primary mode of living is backpacking. Most travel is by foot.

Work Schedule: Typically spend six to eight days in the field followed by one to two days at base camp. Work schedule varies depending upon conditions, project needs and logistics.

Compensation: Food stipend of $20/day to help defray the cost of field food you must bring with you. (There are no housing or transportation expenses once you arrive to Isle Royale.)

Click for a list of frequently asked questions.

Responsibilities and Qualifications

Primary Duties

  • measure new growth on balsam fir trees
  • collect moose pellets for diet analysis
  • collect bones from wolf-killed moose carcasses
  • other duties as assigned

You are extremely unlikely to see a wolf during this job, but are likely to see moose.


  • Documented experience backpacking and camping for extended periods of time in remote settings.
  • Proficiency with orienteering (use of map, compass & GPS for navigating) required.
  • Tree identification skills are helpful.
  • Good physical condition.
  • Possess the ability to get along with others in backcountry settings for 10-day periods of time.
  • Enrollment in college/university in a Life Sciences curriculum (US or international schools).

Organization Details

Wolves and Moose of Isle Roayle Isle Royale Website

Number of Position Openings: 4

How to Apply

All applicants should submit a resume and must complete the application form. Applicants should also complete the backpacking experience form to help us understand and evaluate your previous backpacking experience and assess your ability to work in a backcountry setting for a prolonged period of time. If possible, please include one person that has some knowledge of your backpacking/hiking experience and ability to navigate in the backcountry in your list of references.

Lastly, because of the remote location of the field site and the demanding nature of the position there is also an internship health form which is used to help ensure that applicants will be able to safely participate in the internship and to ensure they receive appropriate treatment should a medical emergency arise during the internship.

Send application materials (i.e., resume, application form, backpacking experience form, and health form) to Dr. Sarah R. Hoy.

Application Deadline: March 1, 2019

Download Application (DOCX File)


Dr. Sarah R. Hoy srhoy@mtu.edu