Program Assistant - Riverhead, NY

The Field Assistant works with the Senior Resource Educator on various citizen science-based educational projects and assists with various field and laboratory research projects. This includes serving as site coordinator for the volunteer horseshoe crab spawning surveys, assisting with shellfish aquaculture and other field restoration and education activities. Site Coordinators are responsible for collecting scientific data on annual horseshoe crab spawning surveys that occur 12-15 evenings in May and June (typically 2 hours per evening). Coordinators work in pairs as a team at their site to count, measure and tag spawning horseshoe crabs on the beach and to educate volunteer participants. Site Coordinators may also coordinate and lead other casual participants interested in a one-time educational experience about horseshoe crab and this program. This position will also assist with laboratory work at Flax Pond Marine Lab, including the assessment of horseshoe crab embryo development, and with fieldwork activities including assisting with ribbed mussel field experiments in Jamaica Bay and processing samples and cleaning equipment at Flax Pond Lab. Other projects this position will assist with may include horseshoe crab telemetry-based fieldwork that is boat based and with data deployment/retrieval/maintenance, as well as with the shellfish aquaculture and groundwater programs (some Scuba diving or snorkeling may be needed for this work). The shellfish aquaculture program requires working with the Cornell Shellfish Biologist in the hatchery and the grow-out facility in Huntington (Goldstar Battalion). At Goldstar Battalion, they will assist with collecting data for shellfish and water quality and provide assistance with the maintenance of display tanks, FLUPSY grow-out of shellfish, and public education and outreach as needed. They will also assist with laboratory and field experiments for horseshoe crab, shellfish, and groundwater projects.

Required Qualifications:

  • H.S. Degree or higher.
  • Ability to follow instructions carefully.
  • Ability to work with others or alone with some supervision.
  • Knowledge of natural science, plant science, or marine science.
  • Must be able to lift 40 lbs. and handle heavy gear.
  • Ability to meet travel requirements associated with this position.
  • Ability to meet acceptable background check standards and motor vehicle check is required.
  • Ability to work flexible hours, including evenings and weekends, as appropriate.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with collecting biological data is preferred.
  • The ability to follow established monitoring protocols and record data accurately is also preferred.
  • The ability to work with the general public and interest in environmental stewardship and learning is beneficial.
  • Boat handling skills.


Salary: $15-35 per hour

Schedule: NON-EXEMPT – TEMP: June 1, 2024 – August 16, 2024

No relocation or VISA Sponsorship available


Review of applications will begin immediately. The position will remain open until a qualified pool of candidates is obtained.

Applicants need to:

Attach/upload a resume to the online application in either Microsoft Word or PDF format. Attach/upload a cover letter to the online application in either Microsoft Word or PDF format. Attach/upload contacts info for three references to the online application in either Microsoft Word or PDF format.

In the "Experience" section of your application, use the Paperclip icon to search for file(s) or use the "Drop Files Here" box to manually drag document(s) into your application. Once the application is submitted, you will not be able to change your submission or add attachments.

External Applicants: (including current employees of other Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations), please refer to the Applying for a Job (External Candidate) document for additional guidance.

Internal Applicants: Current employees of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Association indicated in this job posting are considered internal applicants; please refer to the Applying for a Job (Internal Candidate) document for additional guidance.

The Association may make reasonable accommodations to enable applicants to participate in the hiring process and employees to perform their essential functions. If you require an accommodation to participate in the selection process, you are encouraged to contact Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County Human Resources at (631) 727-7850 or via email at

Last updated May 22, 2024