Backcountry Riparian Point Count Technician – California

The Southern Sierra Research Station
Los Padres National Forest and South Fork Kern River
Job Category
Temporary/Seasonal Positions
$2,100-2,400/month, depending on experience
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
The Southern Sierra Research Station (SSRS) is looking for 2 seasonal full-time riparian songbird survey technicians to conduct backcountry point counts in remote sites in Los Padres National Forest with secondary duties involving several riparian avian projects on the South Fork Kern River, Kern County, CA, which is located in the foothills of the southern Sierra Nevada. Each technician will be responsible for conducting 6 point count transects/ survey period in 3 survey periods from mid-April to end of June to collect baseline data for assessing response to future restoration efforts. Technicians will also be responsible for conducting vegetation assessments in LPNF, and entry and proofing of all point count and vegetation data collected. Work in Los Padres National Forest will be conducted in rugged mountainous terrain which can be hot in June. Transects are located in remote conditions where data has not been previously collected because of logistical difficulties. Technicians should be prepared for adventure, as the duties of this position will involve camping in a tent close to the start of the next day’s transect, hiking up to 1 hour on hiking trails to the start of the transect possibly in the dark over rough terrain, early mornings in order to arrive at the start of the transect before sunrise, and traveling between point counts on unmaintained roads. Technicians should be prepared to think for themselves as this is the pilot year of the project. This is a position for someone who is independent, a self-starter, and a problem-solver. Point count technicians will also have the opportunity to conduct field work on the South Fork Kern River when not in LPNF which could include point counts, Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Willow Flycatcher surveys, nest searching for Common Yellowthroats, Yellow Warblers, and Song Sparrows, MAPS banding, Brown-headed Cowbird target-netting, and vegetation sampling depending on experience and interest. The applicant is expected to work well independently, accomplish project tasks on schedule, follow field survey and safety protocols, coordinate their own field activities, and communicate well with fellow technicians and project supervisors. Housing (while not at LPNF) and work vehicles will be provided. Start and End dates are flexible with possible extension depending on interest.
Qualifications: • Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources, Wildlife Management, Wildlife Biology, Environmental Science or a related field • Demonstrated leadership skills • Demonstrated time and data management/organizational skills • Must be in excellent physical condition and be able to traverse through rugged terrain, wet overgrown areas, and large amounts of dead and downed wood • Must have a valid U.S. driver’s license • Must have camping equipment and backpacking gear • Must be able to work closely with other technicians • Must be able to identify western riparian songbirds by sight and sound, have familiarity with western flora • Must be a U.S. citizen or possess a valid U.S. work visa • Must be available for employment from approximately 7 April 2018 through at least 30 June 2018. This time frame may be extended into August depending on interest and availability. Applicants with prior experience performing avian point count surveys and with backpacking experience will be given preference. Employment is contingent upon satisfactory completion of a criminal background and/or driving investigation. Applicants should email a single file which includes 1) a one-page cover letter including an example of problem solving skills and a backcountry experience of note (feel free to get creative), 2) a CV with dates of availability in a header, and 3) names and contact information (email and phone) of most pertinent references to: Patti Wohner at the following email address: Please include your name and position being applied for, e.g., “Darwin_C_backcountry_point_count_technician” in the file name of your attachment. The Southern Sierra Research Station ( is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Contact Person
Patti Wohner
Contact Phone
Contact eMail
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