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  • program developer and lead bander

    Guest Bruce murphy
    • Employer: Hilliardton marsh research and education centre
      Location: Hilliardton marsh Hilliardton ontario
      Country: Canada
      Last Date to Apply: 10/15/2021
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Hilliardton Marsh Research and Education Centre - Program Developer and Lead Bander   


    Who we are


    The Hilliardton Marsh is a high volume inland banding station located in the boreal forest. On average, between the spring and fall migration monitoring, we band 10,000 birds averaging over 100 species a season. In addition to our songbird monitoring the marsh focuses on banding snow buntings, winter finches, northern saw-whet owls, boreal owls, long-eared owls, and ruby-throated hummingbirds. Recently we have initiated a program banding grassland birds in farm country, allowing us to band record numbers of pipits and savannah sparrows. The marsh prides itself on its ability to band the most boreal owls in North America. The successful applicant should be prepared to band in all four seasons, depending on the availability of birds.


    In addition to banding, the program developer will be responsible for continuing our public outreach and should enjoy being with the public, as we typically have between 20- 50 visitors a day during spring and fall banding.


    The big news for the marsh is that we have begun construction on a visitor centre, and the program developer will be expected to develop programs  that will allow the public to get the most out of being in a wetland,  and will have a chance to participate in our research. This is an exciting time for us at the marsh and the opportunities for a program director are huge; therefore, we are looking for a candidate that is versatile, great with the public and school kids, is an excellent oral and written communicator who has initiative and is completely comfortable running a high-volume banding station. Promoting programming and our research is a high priority, so the candidate is expected to be proficient in social media platforms and marketing, and the promotion of the programing they will develop.


    Salary    The job pays $40,000 a year and the applicant will need to find their own lodging in the area. Accommodation on site may be available during the spring and fall migration; at those times accommodation would be free.  When the visitor centre is complete, this potentially can change, but the Centre is not expected to be finished until sometime around October 2022. We do not have a year-round heated building, which is why we cannot accommodate people on site except seasonally.



    Job Summary


    This position requires a detail oriented, extroverted individual with an enthusiasm for working outdoors in all conditions and during all hours of the day.  The program developer will play an essential role in daily functions of running the Hilliardton Marsh, such as banding, data collection/entry, and maintenance of the marsh.  Due to the long hours of overtime required during owl banding season, the program director will receive time in lieu during the winter months, and will work from home, as accommodations are not winter-friendly. As the work site is remote, the program director should possess a reliable vehicle.


    Job Responsibilities




    In addition to developing new programming that will target and allow kids and adults to enjoy the marsh, the program developer will need to be aware of the following responsibilities. The banding coordinator and the board of directors will be taking an active role in helping the program developer generate new programming. Having said this, we are looking for someone who is well acquainted with outdoor education possibilities and is able to come to the table with new ideas. We are looking for a candidate that is mature enough to understand that this is a process, and some great ideas may need reworking; they will need to roll up their sleeves and get on with the task of being innovative in helping us develop programming for the marsh and our larger marsh community.





    ·         Conduct or facilitate operational programs – such as group owl nights, field   camps, and daily tours.

    ·         Lead banding of passerines & data collection (qualitative & quantitative)

    ·         Do a daily census during banding season and enter it into Ebird

    ·         Keep track of band inventory and advise the banding coordinator when bands need to be replenished

    ·         Responsible for keeping the bird house clean and organized

    ·         Provide oversight for volunteers: net check times, opening/closing of nets, developing and implementing schedules during owl season/migration monitoring overlap.

    ·         Thou shalt write in black pen and use a ruler; or be damned

    ·         Aid coordinator in grant writing and attend HMRC board meetings

    ·         Aid coordinator in recruiting volunteers and scheduling arrivals/departures

    ·         Review banding data on Band It and Excel

    ·         Maintenance of banding sites; fixing board walks, keeping net lanes clear, accessible, and free of obstructions.

    ·         Monitoring states of the mist nets; fixing when possible and replacing nets when needed

    ·         Taking mist nets down at end of season and setting up for spring migration

    ·         Do basic maintenance of the trailer (propane levels, light bulbs, keeping stock of cleaning supplies)

    ·         be an active presence on social media for the Hilliardton Marsh, and aid in website development and maintenance



                        Job Skills and Requirements


    ·         Post-secondary education in the sciences

    ·         Enthusiasm for birding and migration monitoring

    ·         Excellent field identification skills

    ·         Detail-oriented with strong communication skills

    ·         Comfortable working outdoors for extended time periods during all seasons

    ·         Have a bird banding permit or be very close to obtaining one








    No description can capture the nuances of the job.  The program developer and lead banding job is an exciting position and requires a very special person to fill the requirements.  If you think this is your dream job, please let us know about you by sending your resume to our research and education coordinator, Bruce Murphy, via email to birdboy369@gnail.com


    Thank you for your interest. Bruce Murphy will be in touch to set up interviews with candidates who make our short list.  Good luck!

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