The Missouri River Bird Observatory (MRBO) seeks two Wetland Bird Survey Technicians from 25 March – 30 June 2019. Following a multi-day training period in central Missouri, the technicians will conduct transect surveys by sight and sound in private marshes (approx. 60 sites) throughout the entire state. Target species include the rare King, Black, Virginia and Yellow Rails and Least and American Bitterns but all species encountered are documented.
Bird survey data are collected on iPads using ArcGIS Collector with no additional data entry needed. Once field work has concluded each morning, technicians upload the Collector data and photographs of the surveyed property, followed by contacting the landowner and scoping the next day’s survey site. Most of the field season is spent on the road, working alone or in a pair, so technicians must be independent and intrepid, but the rewards of doing wetland surveys are substantial. This is a great opportunity to contribute to private lands conservation while encountering rare and elusive birds in beautiful, tranquil, and often remote wetlands. It will also provide valuable experience with project logistics and employing innovative technology for conservation purposes in the ArcGIS On-line platform.
Each wetland is visited once during migration (late March – early May) and once during the breeding season (early May to late June). It is extremely likely that Wetland Bird Survey Technicians will also be asked to assist for several days with point counts in the Ozark Forest region (project funds pending). Depending on field season timing, technicians may also choose to assist for a few days on MRBO’s grassland bird survey and nest-monitoring projects and/or our frequent education and outreach events.
• have outstanding, demonstrated bird ID skills to include shorebirds, waterfowl, marshbirds and passerines (over 200 species, some very unusual, have been detected on the wetland survey project. Please do not apply if you do not have extensive in-field bird ID experience!)
• have experience working independently with a reliable, responsible work ethic.
• be able to present an amiable, professional face to private landowners on whom this project depends.
• be comfortable traveling extensively for three months and camping alone or as part of a team of two.
• maintain a good attitude in the face of logistics that are almost constantly in flux.
• be able to handle heat, very early mornings and sometimes gnats and snakes; however, the marshes are typically free from mosquitoes, ticks and chiggers.
• be comfortable wading through emergent marsh habitat in chest waders as well as having to occasionally kayak or canoe into sites that are difficult to access.
This project is conducted in partnership with state and federal agencies and represents a significant contribution to the conservation of wetland birds in Missouri. Compensation is $1800/month plus $0.35/mile reimbursement for personal vehicle use and camping/lodging expenses.
Please send a letter of interest addressing the qualifications listed above, resume/CV, and contact information for three references to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Experienced birders with outstanding ID skills but no previous ornithological employment are welcome to apply. Application deadline is February 1st, 2019 but applications will be reviewed as they are received.