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  • Field Assistant I, Avian Research

    • Employer: Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Powdermill Nature Reserve
      Location: Rector, PA
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 03/17/2019
      Open Until Filled: No

    Field Assistant I, Avian Research

    Carnegie Museum of Natural History – Powdermill Nature Reserve

    Rector, PA


    Powdermill Nature Reserve is Carnegie Museums of Natural History's environmental research center. Located 55 mile southeast of Pittsburgh in Rector, Pennsylvania, Powdermill is a field station and laboratory where researchers do long-term studies of natural populations in western Pennsylvania. In addition to being positioned for Appalachian-specific studies in ornithology, ecology, invertebrate zoology, and botany, Powdermill is a great place to spend a fun-filled day outdoors with the family.

    Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is interested in candidates who, through their experience and collaborations, will contribute to diversity and excellence of the Carnegie Museums community. 

    An AVIAN FIELD ASSISTANT is needed to research breeding birds in western Pennsylvania from April 2nd through August 30th. Specific projects include studying long-term migration at Powdermill Nature Reserve, avian response to prescribed fires, Chimney Swift diet and foraging range, and Swainson Thrush habitat use.  Duties include:

    • Extracting and banding migrating birds as a member of a migration banding team (April – May);
    • Conducting off-road point counts at study sites across northcentral PA (June);
    • Target netting Chimney Swifts and Swainson’s Thrushes digitally coded transmitters (Lotek nanotags) via glue or leg-loop harnesses (May – June);
    • Tracking tagged birds using a Lotek receiver (June – Aug);
    • Collecting fecal samples from Chimney Swifts (June – Aug);
    • Colleting sticky traps to survey aerial insect abundance (June – Aug). 

    Must provide own transportation, mileage will be reimbursement at $0.58/mile.

    To learn more about the banding program at Powdermill visit our website (http://www.powdermillarc.org).

    COMPENSATION - Pay is $12/hr for 40 hrs per week plus housing. 


    TO APPLY: Visit www.carnegiemuseums.org/opportunities; click on Search Jobs and click on Apply in the section titled Field Assistant I, Avian Research (Requisition #167).  Please include your resume, three references, and a cover letter detailing your experience surveying birds by sight and sound, extracting and banding birds, affixing transmitters to birds, and tracking birds via radio telemetry. All documents should be saved in one file to allow for upload through our Applicant Tracking System.


    EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE: Applicants should have a high school degree in addition to at least 3 months of field experience banding birds.

    KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES:  Applicants must have experience with extracting, handling, and banding songbirds. Must be able to identify eastern birds by sight and sound.  The successful applicant will be able to work well both independently and as part of a team.  The ability to attach transmitters to birds and track birds via radio telemetry is strongly desirable.  Familiarity with GPS and map navigation in remote settings preferred.

    PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: The position requires extended periods of walking and standing.  The ability to walk 6 to 10 miles per day on uneven or muddy terrain sometimes in inclement weather (e.g. hot, cold, rain), to conduct surveys, capture, and track birds.


    The following PA Act 153 clearances, or proof of application of clearances, are required beginning employment and as a condition of continued employment:

    Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance

    Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check

    FBI Fingerprint Criminal Background Check

    Obtaining the required clearances is completed as part of the new hire process.

    Carnegie Museums is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action Employer – Minorities / Females / Veterans / Individuals with Disabilities / Sexual Orientation / Gender Identity


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