Seasonal Avian Field Techs and Banders –

Tiputini Biodiversity Station
Job Category
Temporary/Seasonal Positions
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and Virginia Tech are seeking seasonal field technicians and bird banders to work on an NSF funded project investigating the proximate links between hormones, neuroendocrine gene expression, behavior, and social network structure in a cooperative lek-breeding bird, the wire-tailed manakin (Pipra filicauda). The project will run from mid-November to mid-March and technicians will be expected to make a minimum three-month time commitment. Start and end dates are flexible. Fieldwork will be conducted at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station in the Ecuadorian Amazon. This field site is a 650-hectare tract of pristine lowland rainforest adjacent to Yasuni National Park, one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. The site is extremely remote and technicians will be expected to work long-hours in hot, humid, buggy, and often rainy conditions. Candidates must be in excellent physical condition with the ability to carry 50+ pounds and hike long distances on muddy trails. All competitive applicants will have meticulous data collection skills, good inter-personal skills, and the ability to work independently.
Field Technicians: Qualified applicants will have experience working on field-based projects at tropical latitudes. Applicants must have basic competency with ornithological field skills including behavioral observations and color band re-sighting. Additional experience with telemetry and mist-netting will be considered a plus. Banders: Qualified applicants must have extensive banding and small passerine handling experience, preferably birds at tropical latitudes. Applicants should have proficiency with mist-nets including extraction, blood sampling via brachial venipuncture, and processing (banding, color-banding, basic morphometrics). Experience with use of the Rappole harness technique for transmitter attachment and color-band resighting will be considered a plus. Students and Latin Americans seeking additional field experience are encouraged to apply. The field technician can expect to gain experience working with mist nets and may have the opportunity to assist with banding efforts. Spoken proficiency with Spanish is considered a plus but not a prerequisite for the job. All travel expenses will be paid (international airfare, food and lodging) and a small stipend for Latin Americans will be available commensurate with experience. To apply please send a single PDF document that includes a cover letter, CV/Resume and contacts for at least three professional references. Banders should include an estimated number of birds banded and bled in your application materials. Submit materials to Ben Vernasco and Dr. Brandt Ryder via email ( by September 15th 2017 with the subject line heading of “MANAKIN TECH” or “MANAKIN BANDER”. Hiring will begin immediately.
Contact Person
Ben Vernasco or Dr. Ryder
Contact eMail
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