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  • Avian Research Technician – Waterbird Restoration, Disease, Climate Change – Recent Graduate

    Guest Diann Prosser
    • Employer: USGS Eastern Ecological Science Center
      Location: Laurel, MD
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 12/16/2022
      Open Until Filled: No


    The USGS Eastern Ecological Science Center is searching for a highly motivated and talented individual to work on a suite of waterbird field-based projects, with opportunity to build research analysis and writing skills. The Eastern Ecological Science Center, formerly Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, is a world-renowned research institution located within 30 minutes of Annapolis, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.  This position will include a mix of field and office work focusing on priority research topics such as state-endangered tern surveys and banding, avian influenza in wild birds, and spatial modeling. This position will serve a critical role in our summer waterbird monitoring season and be responsible for coordinating extensive data collection.

    Types of services required:  Examples of working tasks include conducting waterbird surveys for a restoration project in the Chesapeake Bay; banding and resighting terns for a mark-resight study; sampling waterfowl for avian influenza (swabbing and blood draws); assisting in related duties including data entry, analysis, writing, video production, and editing of research papers.  Knowledge of ArcGIS, Microsoft Office, and statistical software such as R is highly beneficial. The candidate must be willing to assist with various projects other than those mentioned above, as this lab works on a variety of topics. A core duty of this position will be towing and operating a motorboat for transportation to the field site. Data analysis and writing manuscripts is a potential opportunity if the selected candidate has interest.


    Required expertise/skills: 

    The ideal candidate has a degree in Ecology, Wildlife Biology, Natural Resources, GIS, Statistics, or a related field.   The candidate must be highly motivated and able to work independently as well as with a team. Bird identification skills, previous waterbird or wetland field experience, banding or tracking studies, spatial modeling, writing or editing scientific papers, and running basic statistics are desirable.  The most important qualification is a motivated individual who is interested in and capable of learning new things. Additionally, the applicant should have previous experience operating motorboats and manual transmission vehicles.

    Eligibility requirements:  To be eligible for a student contract position, applicants must have graduated within the past 12 months (eg., May 2022 or Dec 2022). Applicants will be required to show proof of their student status or recent graduation including official transcripts.  USGS employees, their spouses, and children are not eligible to participate in this program. 

    Description of working conditions:  Work will be performed both in the office environment located in Laurel, Maryland (some telework allowed) and in the field. Field work will require transportation via mid-sized (16-40’) open boats.  Extreme weather (hot summers, cold winters, high winds) and uncomfortable environments (biting insects) may be encountered.  Extended periods of computer use will be required when not conducting field work.

    Compensation:  This position is for service as a contractor to be working with Dr. Diann Prosser’s lab at the USGS Eastern Ecological Research Center. This is not a federal position. Hourly rate for this position is approximately $22 (equivalent to GS-6).  Contractor is responsible for all costs of transportation to and from the principal duty station location (ie. to the office or main field site).  The Government does not provide housing, meals or other living expenses while working at the principal duty station. 

    Approximate start date for the position is late March – late April 2023.  This is a one-year position with the aim to extend for an additional year dependent upon performance and funding.

    Principal Duty Station:  USGS Eastern Ecological Research Center, 12100 Beech Forest Road, Laurel, MD 20705.

    How to apply:   Send the following to pwrc_intern@usgs.gov by December 16, 2022 with “Waterbird Field Tech” in the Subject header:

    1)      Cover letter, resume and 3 references in a SINGLE Word or PDF document titled with your name (eg. JohnDoe.doc or JaneSmith.pdf).  Applications will be reviewed as received.

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