Black-backed Woodpecker Surveys and Multi-Species Point Counts in California

Institute for Bird Populations
Sierra Nevada Mountains, California
Job Category
Temporary/Seasonal Positions
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
Working in a team of two, biologists will visit and survey recently burned forest sites on Forest Service lands throughout the Sierra Nevada. On a typical day, surveyors will wake up before dawn and spend the morning conducting woodpecker surveys, multi-species point counts, and rapid vegetation surveys at each survey site. The afternoon will then typically be spent traveling to, and scoping out, the next day’s surveys sites. Work will be physically demanding, sometimes involving several-mile hikes into survey sites and the occasional short (1-4 day) backpacking trips to access survey sites far from roads. Off-trail travel will be required at many survey sites. The typical work schedule will be 7-days on followed by 3-days off.
We are looking for candidates with prior birding experience and familiarity with the songs and calls of western montane birds. Prior point count experience is mandatory. Other requirements include a sense of humor, a love of adventure, a desire to learn more about Black-backed Woodpecker natural history and fire ecology, and an appreciation for recently burned montane landscapes. Crew members will be camping most nights in front-country campgrounds or in the backcountry on the occasional back-country trip. Survey work will be distributed across the entire Sierra Nevada and southern Cascades in California, requiring substantial car travel and willingness to lead a nomadic life for a few months. A willingness to face the rigors of fieldwork 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, mosquitos, 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 and orienteering. EQUIPMENT: Biologists are expected to provide their own binoculars and camping/backpacking gear, including hiking boots, tent, sleeping bag, raingear, etc. COMPENSATION: Surveyors will be considered seasonal IBP staff, and will receive payment of $2,900 per month (before payroll taxes). A rental vehicle is provided but project-related travel mileage will be reimbursed in the event that a personal vehicle is used for work-related travel. In addition, campground fees will be reimbursed. No fringe benefits are provided.
Contact Person
Bob Wilkerson
Contact eMail
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