MS Assistantship; Songbird response to grassland restoration

Univ. of North Dakota & Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center
Grand Forks, ND
Job Category
Graduate Assistantships
$22K salary + tuition waiver
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
The Meadowlark Initiative is a long-term, voluntary, incentives-based project to restore croplands to native grassland on private lands across North Dakota: We are recruiting a MS student to lead all aspects of a field-based project to investigate the impacts of large-scale grassland restoration on imperiled grassland songbirds. The fieldwork will take place in central North Dakota, an area of incredibly diverse grassland bird communities, including several species of rapidly declining grassland specialists including Baird's Sparrow, Chestnut-collared Longspur and Sprague's Pipit. In close collaboration with private landowners and North Dakota Fish & Game, the prospective student will use automated recording units to estimate species-specific occupancy and community diversity in restored areas, adjacent native grasslands, and control sites. The student will be co-advised by Dr. Susan Felege at the University of North Dakota and Dr. Andy Boyce at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. The position is based at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, ND, with fieldwork across central North Dakota. Ideally, the selected candidate will be hired in time for the 2023 field season beginning in April, with subsequent enrollment at UND beginning in Fall 2023. Student responsibilities: 1) Bioacoustic assessments of grassland songbird occupancy and community diversity in an experimental framework. 2) Coordination and cooperation with landowners and agency partners. 3) Secondary opportunity for songbird nest-searching/capture/GPS-tagging. 4) Communication of results to the scientific community, landowners and the public.
Desired qualifications include; ***These are desired qualifications, not pre-requisites for consideration*** 1) Ability to manage a large field project. 2) Experience working closely with diverse stakeholders including private landowners. 3) Experience identifying western/grassland birds by sight and sound. 4) Experience working with autonomous recording units (e.g. AudioMoth or Sound Meter Micro) and bioacoustic data. 5) Experience with occupancy and/or functional diversity analyses. 6) Ability and desire to do fieldwork in remote locations and in a variety of conditions. 7) Experience working in R. All applicants must have a BS or BA in Ecology/Wildlife Biology or a related field, and a valid drivers license. To apply, please send a cover letter plus a resume/CV to Dr. Andy Boyce at
Contact Person
Dr. Andy Boyce
Contact eMail
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