Avian Biologist: Sierra Nevada

The Institute for Bird Populations
Tahoe National Forest, California
Job Category
Temporary/Seasonal Positions
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
We have one opening for an experienced biologist to survey birds using multi-species point counts and broadcast surveys for Willow Flycatchers on plots within multiple montane meadows in the Tahoe National Forest, north of Truckee, CA. This opening will be filled as soon as possible. PROJECT DATES: May 25 – mid July (tentative) 2021. TRAINING: The field season will begin with a brief training session in project protocols for conducting multi-species point counts and conducting habitat assessments. The successful candidate must already be able to identify Sierra birds by sight and sound; applicants with previous point count experience will be strongly preferred. RESPONSIBILITIES: Often working independently, the biologist will complete point count surveys at meadow sites on Forest Service and land trust properties within or near the Little Truckee River watershed in the vicinity of Truckee, CA. The biologist will also conduct willow flycatcher broadcast surveys and territory mapping within the same meadow sites, with part-time assistance from a field technician conducting other surveys. On a typical day, the biologist will wake up before dawn, drive to survey sites (typically 30 min to 1 hr from crew housing), and spend the morning conducting multi-species point counts (or willow flycatcher broadcast surveys), and rapid vegetation surveys at each survey site. The afternoon will then typically be spent scoping out and planning the next day’s surveys for themselves and the assistant, and/or entering data into a database. Work will be somewhat physically demanding, sometimes involving hiking (typically less than 2 miles) into survey sites through steep terrain. Surveys will require moving through flooded meadow areas and navigating stream crossings (waders will be provided). Off-trail travel will be required at many survey sites. The typical work schedule will be 7-days on followed by 3-days off, though work days may need to be shifted due to inclement weather. COMPENSATION: $2,700 per month (before payroll taxes), free lodging, and project-related travel mileage reimbursement ($0.37/mile) or a rental vehicle and gas reimbursement. This is a seasonal position that is ineligible for fringe benefits.
REQUIREMENTS: We are looking for a candidate with prior birding experience and familiarity with the songs and calls of western montane birds. Prior point count experience is preferred. Other requirements include a sense of humor, a love of adventure, a desire to learn more about riparian birds, and an appreciation for montane meadow landscapes. A willingness to communicate and coordinate with others, face the rigors of fieldwork and data entry with good humor is important. These rigors include (but are not limited to!) physically demanding work, long work days that may begin well before dawn, wet, cold weather, mosquitoes and biting flies, occasional contact with bears, and less-than-glamorous housing. Successful candidates must be in excellent physical condition and must be comfortable with off-trail hiking, working in waist deep water (waders provided), and orienteering with a handheld GPS. Housing will be provided, with Covid-19 safety measures implemented as needed. EQUIPMENT: Personal equipment (binoculars, hiking boots, raingear, daypack, etc.) is required but survey gear including GPS, waders, and laser range finder will be provided. A personal vehicle is not strictly required, but would be highly beneficial. Although camping is not required, we recommend bringing camping gear as some sites may be easier to survey if accessed the night before. TO APPLY: Please email a resume, cover letter, and the names, phone numbers and email addresses of three references to Mandy Holmgren, Biologist at: mholmgren AT birdpop DOT org. IBP values diversity and encourages people from all backgrounds to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration regardless of race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation.
Contact Person
Mandy Holmgren
Contact eMail
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