Northern Goshawk and Spotted Owl Tracking Technician-California

The Institute for Bird Populations
Sierra Nevada, CA
Job Category
Volunteer Openings
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
The field season will begin with a training session on conducting surveys, tracking technologies and methods, and protocols for habitat and vegetation assessments. The successful applicant will join a team of surveyors and a capture team tasked with capturing and fitting approximately twenty birds with GPS-UHF tracking devices early in the season. Once equipment is deployed, a Crew Leader and three volunteer technicians will be responsible for tracking marked birds and downloading data from remote devices. A number of marked birds will be tracked in areas receiving management treatments, and the team will conduct pre- and post-treatment vegetation surveys on those and other sites. The crew also will be responsible for monitoring the safety of marked birds and for ensuring that tracking systems remain operational. On a typical day, the crew will wake up before dawn, drive and/or hike 30 min - 1.5 hrs, and spend the morning deploying automated tracking equipment, or downloading data from marked birds. Afternoons will be spent conducting vegetation assessments within bird territories, organizing data, and planning travels for subsequent days. Work will be moderately physically demanding involving off-trail hikes into data collection sites. The typical work schedule will be either 5 days on and 2 off, or 10 days consecutive work followed by 2-3 days off (early in the season and during trapping). These are volunteer technician positions. Primary compensation includes the valuable skills you will develop, the satisfaction of joining important bird conservation efforts, and the joy of working with fun-loving people in a beautiful environment. Additionally, we will provide you with a per diem of $43 (amounts to $1075 per month) to cover food and general living expenses, mileage reimbursement for all project-related travel, and free shared housing.
We are seeking candidates with prior raptor and/or owl tracking and study experience, and familiarity with radio telemetry and other geospatial technologies. Prior experience with raptor handling, territory/nest monitoring, and GIS software is preferred. Other requirements include a tolerance for aggressive and carnivorous birds, and a robust understanding of raptor and owl natural history. Survey work will occur in the central Sierra Nevada near the town of Quincy, and substantial vehicle travel will be required. A willingness to face the rigors of fieldwork, and the ability to keep your cool when engaging study subjects that can be more intelligent (and certainly more frustrating) than humans is important. Many sites are remote, and transit and equipment movement can be physically demanding. Portions of the season will include long work days that may begin well before dawn and/or late into the evening, wet and cold weather, hot and dry weather, mosquitoes and biting flies, occasional contact with bears, and housing that may be rustic and/or somewhat crowded. Successful candidates must be in excellent physical condition and must be comfortable with off-trail hiking and orienteering. Technicians are expected to provide their own binoculars, sense of humor, enthusiasm, boots, raingear, compass, etc. A personal automobile is preferred and mileage for work-related travel will be reimbursed. TO APPLY: Please email a resume, cover letter, and the names, phone numbers and email addresses of three references to Mandy Holmgren, Biologist at: mholmgren AT birdpop DOT org. Please specify which project(s) you are applying for.
Contact Person
Mandy Holmgren
Contact eMail
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