Avian Field Technician – Appalachian Avian Community Monitoring: West Virginia

West Virginia University
Summersville area, West Virginia
Job Category
Temporary/Seasonal Positions
$2100/month. Communal housing and transportation to work is provided but technicians will need to have vehicle for access to town.
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
Seeking highly motivated individuals with an interest in conservation of avian communities in Appalachian Mountains on institutional forests to work from mid-April through July 2022. Technicians will assist two graduate students to monitor avian communities through point count surveys and deployment of audio recording units (ARU). This research is will focus on monitoring Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera), Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea) and Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustellina) responses to “shifting mosaic” conditions created by harvest management on Weyerhaeuser Company property in Greenbrier, Nicholas, and Fayette Counties West Virginia. The research will focus on the effects of forest management strategies as a dynamic shifting mosaic on forest songbirds. Additionally, this research seeks to assess landscape features and nocturnal flying insect communities as possible predicators of Eastern Whip-poor-will (Antrostomus vociferus) occupancy and foraging ecology across a mosaic forest landscape. Expected duties include driving several hours each day, hiking long distances in mountainous terrain while carrying field equipment to sites, and identifying avian species by auditory and sight (point counts). Interacting with private landowners and public may be required. Technician duties will include setting up and deploying Autonomous Recording Units (ARUs) for sites, performing early morning auditory point count surveys, and performing vegetation surveys. Because of the large number of locations and equipment that is cataloged, individuals with strong attention to detail are needed. Surveys and activities preformed in the field will be repetitive at times and precision is needed for success. Position will require that individuals be comfortable working both individually and in teams. Additionally, nocturnal field work focused on detecting Eastern whip-poor-will and collecting specimens of flying Lepidoptera and Coleoptera will be conducted primarily in June. Willingness to hike in the dark on rugged terrain while carrying samples is also expected. ARUs allocated for Eastern whip-poor-will will be deployed and collected during daylight hours. Send a letter of interest, resume, and contact information for at least 3 references (must include email and phone number for each reference listed) by email to: rmr00023@mix.wvu.edu
Qualifications: Applicants should have a valid driver’s license, clean driving record, and must be able to perform field work full time. Applicants must be able to hike, with up to 40 lbs. in gear, for long distances to sites if needed and be able to work efficiently in typical Appalachian summer conditions. Field sites contain prevalent ticks that can carry Lyme as well. Must able to identify eastern songbirds by sight and sound. Previous experience working in data collection, eastern U.S. deciduous vegetation sampling, and ARU deployment is preferred. Applicant should also be familiar with collecting structural habitat measurements including but not limited to; DBH, canopy cover (using spherical densitometers), Robel pole, Daubenmire frame, etc. An academic background in wildlife biology, zoology, environmental science or a related field is preferred. Field work can be time consuming and at times may result in long days and occasional night-hours past midnight. A strong work ethic, positive attitude, and attention to details are necessary.
Contact Person
Robert M. Ryan
Contact eMail
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