Cape May Raptor Banding Project offers a unique opportunity for aspiring professionals in wildlife biology or related fields to gain valuable experience assisting in all aspects of our raptor banding as a Research Assistant. The appointment runs from the end of August through the end of November. The selected candidate receives free housing, a stipend for their time and a work experience that helps build an impressive resume.

Candidate resumes are accepted from December through May 1 each year and a selection is made in June. If you would like to apply or want more information contact us at

AshleyPhoto Ashley Lohr | Research Assistant 2015

“When fellow ‘wildlifer’ and friend, Casey Setash, worked as the 2014 CMRBP Research Assistant, I knew I wanted to be in her shoes one day. My dreams came true the day I was selected for this position, and the following three months far exceeded my expectations. I gained invaluable experience trapping, banding, and identifying raptors ranging from sharp-shinned hawks to merlins to golden eagles, and I found my niche while instilling my passion for raptors and conservation in those who attended the Project’s banding demonstrations. I cannot wait to return to Cape May to continue working with a phenomenal group of birds that deserves our respect.”


Casey Setash | Research Assistant 2014caseyGOEA3

“When fourteen year-old me watched a raptor banding demonstration in Cape May for the first time, I knew that someday I wanted to do exactly what they did. I finally saw that dream realized in one of the most incredible autumns of my life as the Cape May Raptor Banding Project’s seasonal field research technician. I’ve experienced innumerable unforgettable moments during my time here, from the distinct smell of a hissing peregrine falcon to the tangible feelings of awe and respect that comes from holding a golden eagle, and I can’t begin to express how much I’ve enjoyed passing my love of raptors on to the countless people who come to the weekly banding demonstrations. The connections I’ve made in the incredibly welcoming Cape May birding community and the skills I’ve learned under the direction of all the banders will prove invaluable in all of my future endeavors, and I am looking forward to returning for many years to come.”

AlexSWHAwebAlexandra Mankofsky | Research Assistant 2013

After her internship at Cape May, Alex went to work for the University of Georgia as a research assistant on a marsh bird integrity project. She currently works for the University of Florida and the Florida Cooperative Research Unit as a technician studying Snail Kites in the Everglades. She is also working towards a goal to become a federal Wildlife Conservation Officer.

“I am very thankful to have worked at Cape May and even more thankful that I am able to come back as a full time bander. I have made lifelong friends and have learned amazing new skills. The seasons are just too short, but I can’t wait for the next one”

Alyssia ChurchwebAlyssia Church | Research Assistant  2011

After completing her time as a research assistant at Cape May, Alyssia worked as hawk counter for the Montclair, NJ Hawk Lookout and later as a research assistant for the Penn State Biology Department. In 2012 she was the George Myers Interpretive Naturalist for the Cape May Bird Observatory and is currently a Research Assistant for the PA Cooperative Fish and  Wildlife Research Unit.

“Working as the field research assistant was definitely a turning point  and one of the best experiences of my life. I learned a lot, made a lot of connections and gained many life-long friends. The best part is that the Cape May birding community warmly welcomes you back year after year so you can once again connect with raptors in a way that most people will never get the chance to experience.”

Mandy Weston | Research Assistant – 2009

Mandy Westonweb

Since leaving Cape May, Mandy has worked as a raptor bander and counter in Manzano, Mexico and as a loggerhead shrike biologist at the Institute for Wildlife Studies on San Clemente Island. She is now a biological consultant with RECON Environmental, Inc. based out of San Diego, CA. There she conducts bird and nest surveys, habitat assessments, and biological monitoring for a variety of projects.

“Working for the Cape May Raptor Banding Project fulfilled a dream of working with raptors, and served as a stepping stone into my career. I’m incredibly grateful for the skills I learned from Arthur Nelson, Sam Orr and many other banders while working at the Cape May Raptor Banding Project and try to stay in practice by visiting every fall. The friends I made there will be lifelong, and the community’s warmth and welcome never fades no matter how long I’m away.”