Grassland Songbird Technician: Brooks, Alberta

University of Manitoba
Brooks, Alberta
Job Category
Temporary/Seasonal Positions
$1875 CAD per month
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
I am looking to hire one field technician to join my research studying parental behavior of chestnut-collared longspurs in southern Alberta. The position will run from mid-May through mid-July, with flexible start and end dates. Salary will be approximately $1875 CAD per month, plus free housing, for two months. My research is part of a continuing study through the Natural Resource Institute at the University of Manitoba, investigating the impact of human made noise on grassland songbirds. The successful applicant will contribute to our growing understanding of the effect of oil and gas development on songbirds. Specifically, I am interested in the impact oil well drilling noise has on parental feeding rates of longspur nestlings at the nest. A day in the field may include a variety of activities, including catching and banding adult chestnut-collared longspurs, nest searching, measuring nestlings, setting nest cameras, data entry and proofing, and video review. Our research sites, just southeast of Brooks, Alberta, are in the prairie pothole region of Canada, which offers tremendous birding throughout the season. The prairie potholes are a unique ecosystem, supporting migratory and breeding grounds for waterfowl and shorebirds, in addition to grassland songbirds. This position would be a fun opportunity to experience this distinctive habitat! Several provincial parks are also nearby and provide opportunities for hiking, swimming, and birding, COVID permitting.
An interest in learning and an enthusiasm for avian ecology and conservation is the most important qualification for this position. I am excited to bring on an eager candidate who can demonstrate to me their motivation to learn new skills. The ability to maintain organization, effective time management, dedication to a task, and intrinsic motivation are also desired qualifications. You will complete some work as a part of a team, but I also expect you to be able to work independently once trained. Experience nest searching and/or working with nest cameras is preferred but not required. Work in southern Alberta can range in temperatures from below freezing to 30 degrees Celsius, and there may be high winds and storms. Applicants must be prepared to work in all weather conditions, safety permitting. Days in the field start at sunrise and require you to walk several kilometers in a day on uneven terrain, occasionally carrying heavy equipment. Preferred applicants will have previous experience demonstrating their abilities to complete physically demanding work, while maintaining a positive attitude! We will be working alongside two other graduate researchers from the University of Manitoba. There may be an opportunity to join their research on occasion to develop additional skills throughout the season, including all-species avian surveys, predator surveys, and small mammal trapping. Housing and field vehicles will be provided. We will be based in or near Brooks, Alberta for the entirety of the season. Preference will be given to individuals who have a driver’s license with a good driving record. To Apply Due to our source of funding, only Canadian residents, permanent residents, or refugees, ages 15-30 will be considered at this time. All qualified individuals within these parameters are encouraged to apply, regardless of race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, size, or veteran status. All work will be conducted with strict adherence to COVID-related guidelines set in place by the University of Manitoba as well as provincial and federal regulations. Please apply with CV/resume, a cover letter detailing your interests and experiences, and three references with E-Mails and phone numbers to Lee Sutcliffe (she/her/hers) at by 30 April 2021. Please include the documents as one PDF file with your last name in the title. ***Please keep in mind this position and research is available pending final approval from the University***
Contact Person
Lee Sutcliffe
Contact eMail
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