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Avian Field Technician for Spring/Summer 2021 — Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia
West Virginia University/U.S. Forest Service
Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia
~$6,000 total. Free housing and a field vehicle provided.
Last Date to Apply
Seeking two highly motivated avian field technicians to assist with game bird surveys from April 14 to May 12, avian point count surveys from May 17 to July 5, and post-breeding bird surveys from July 14 to August 7. The data will be collected as part of research on avian use of wildlife openings in the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia. In addition, part of the point count data will continue a 25-year dataset of breeding bird surveys that is being used to assess long-term changes in avian communities and abundance.
During game bird surveys, fieldwork entails deploying audio recording units (ARUs) and game cameras, conducting evening surveys for American woodcock, and conducting morning drumming/gobbling surveys for ruffed grouse and wild turkey.
During the breeding and post-breeding seasons, fieldwork will consist of 10-minute morning point count surveys for breeding songbirds and morning transect surveys for post-breeding songbirds.
All survey protocols will be reviewed before conducting the surveys, but field technicians should have prior experience conducting point counts or identifying birds by sound. Additional work will include vegetation sampling, data entry, data proofing, and data processing. Both technicians will be working closely with each other and the supervisor, Hannah Clipp, to access field site locations, but actual bird and vegetation surveys will be conducted alone. The technicians should expect to work ~6–8 hours per day, with some longer or shorter days as needed; because we are counting birds, field days will start early (before sunrise) and will involve work on weekends, with days off during inclement weather. Free housing and a field vehicle will be provided. Field technicians should expect rugged housing accommodations (just the basics, Internet not guaranteed), ranging from bunkhouses and cabins to campgrounds. First aid/CPR training and driver safety training will also be provided at no cost to the field technicians.
1. Ability to identify eastern USA birds by sound and sight (required), as well as previous experience with avian point count surveys (preferred)
2. Earned (or are working towards) a Bachelor’s degree in wildlife science, natural resources, or a similar field
3. Available for full-time work starting on April 12
4. Ability to navigate in the field and deal with challenging, difficult terrain (a lot of steep slopes, sometimes thick vegetation)
5. Comfortable working alone in a remote outdoor setting
6. Ability and willingness to work individually and in a multi-person team during early morning and late evening fieldwork
7. Valid driver’s license with a clean driving record
8. Willingness to be flexible and adapt to any scheduling or housing changes due to unpredictable COVID-19 developments or restrictions
To apply, please email a cover letter (no page limit), resume/CV (no page limit), and contact information for 3 references to Hannah Clipp at email@example.com, with the subject line: “Avian Field Technician”. In your cover letter, please mention any previous field technician experience, as well as experiences regarding birding, camping/backpacking, dealing with rugged field conditions, and/or navigating and working alone in remote areas. For references, please list the person’s title/position and/or relationship to you (e.g., crew leader, supervisor, ornithology professor). At least one of the references should be able to speak to any previous avian or other field technician experience (previous supervisors/crew leaders preferred). For those without previous technician experience, please include references who can speak to your outdoor experiences (rather than classroom/academic performance). Applications will be reviewed as they are received.