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Black Rail and Wading Bird Project Technicians – South Carolina
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Coastal South Carolina
$1,600-$2,200 per month depending on hours worked (housing provided)
Last Date to Apply
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) plans to hire two seasonal technician to assist with the Wading Bird and Black Rail Projects during the spring and summer of 2018. The positions will begin in February and end in late August or September. It may be possible for one technician to start earlier to assist with camera trap data analysis. We are looking for highly motivated people who are willing to work a flexible schedule that often varies from day to day. Early morning, night and weekend work will be required. One technician will focus on the Black Rail Project and the other technician will work on both projects.
Black Rail Project responsibilities will include: managing and reviewing large quantities of data collected using camera traps and audio recorders, collecting camera trap and acoustic data, assisting with trapping black rails, conducting call-response (playback) surveys for black rails and other secretive marsh birds, operating 4-wheel drive trucks in remote areas, deploying and retrieving heavy equipment, and data entry. The climate of coastal South Carolina during the summer can be extremely hot and humid, and many of the components of this project include walking long distances in difficult marsh terrain. Snakes, alligators, mosquitoes, and other biting insects are abundant in the study area.
Wading Bird Project responsibilities will include: estimating numbers of bird nests (wood storks, egrets, herons, etc.) during aerial surveys from a small plane, canoeing through swamps, climbing trees and capturing stork chicks for banding, monitoring individual wading bird nests throughout the season, analysis of aerial photos, and data entry. Aerial surveys are a major component of the project, so the technician must be able to fly in a small plane comfortably and must be able to quickly estimate numbers of nests in rookeries during flights. This would not be an enjoyable position for someone prone to motion sickness. Some aspects of the position are very physically demanding. The technician will need to climb cypress trees from a canoe to capture chicks and will be working in hot, humid conditions. The technician working on the wading bird project will also assist with many of the activities listed in the Black Rail Project description above.
The SCDNR office and many of the survey sites are located in the ACE Basin of South Carolina, a spectacular undeveloped area that offers a variety of excellent birding and outdoor recreational activities. Shared housing at a wildlife management area will be provided. The office where the technician will be based is located in Green Pond, SC (Donnelley Wildlife Management Area). Walterboro is the closest town, and Charleston is approximately an hour drive away. A personal vehicle will be required since the location is remote and there is no public transportation, but we plan to provide vehicles for most work duties.
Applicants should have a strong interest in avian research, an excellent work ethic, a positive attitude about working in outdoors in buggy conditions AND indoors doing repetitive tasks, a high tolerance of heat and sun, and should be in good physical condition. Required skills and qualifications include: valid US driver’s license and good driving record, prior field work experience, and professionalism when interacting with people from different backgrounds. Prior experience identifying marsh birds by sight and sound (Black Rail position), surveying wildlife from a small plane (Wading Bird position), monitoring bird nests (Wading Bird position), and familiarity with Microsoft Excel, Access, and ArcGIS is highly desired. Applicants should be self-motivated and able to work independently and as part of a team. Must be a United States citizen or be legally authorized to work in the United States without sponsorship.
TO APPLY: Please send a SINGLE email attachment containing a cover letter describing any prior experience relevant to these specific positions, a resume/CV, and contact information for three references to Christy Hand (handc at dnr.sc.gov). Include your name in the file name. Indicate if you are interested in only one of the positions or in both positions. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and the positions may be filled prior to the application deadline.