POSITION DESCRIPTION: Two field interns are needed for ongoing long-term studies of the behavioral ecology of the cooperatively breeding Acorn Woodpecker at the Hastings Reserve in upper Carmel Valley, California. We have studied the behavioral ecology of color-banded Acorn Woodpeckers for over 53 years at this site, making this one of the longest running vertebrate studies in the world. The research focuses on both ecological and evolutionary factors involved in the evolution of cooperative breeding, and includes using automated radio-telemetry techniques to track cryptic movement patterns.
Interns will participate in monitoring group composition via color-band resighting, quantifying feeding and acorn storing behavior, downloading and troubleshooting automated telemetry stations, documenting roosting behavior, and assisting with banding. The experience is designed to be one of total immersion, six days per week, and provides a unique opportunity for those interested in applying to graduate school.
COMPENSATION: $700/month and on-site shared housing.
DURATION: Field interns will begin August 2021 and continue through March 2022.
QUALIFICATIONS: This job requires frequent strenuous physical activity; applicants must be avid hikers who are comfortable hiking up and down hills with equipment such as spotting scopes and blinds. Prior experience with birds (especially the ability to read color bands) is desirable but not required. Some portions of field work require the ability to drive an off-road vehicle or truck. Therefore, having a valid US Driver’s License is required. Self-motivation, enthusiasm for the research questions, a willingness to sit in a blind looking through a spotting scope for up to 3 hours per session (in hot weather with lots of annoying face flies), and an ability to tackle the rigors of field work are a must. We especially encourage applicants interested in behavioral ecology who plan to attend graduate school in the near future and are interested in potentially conducting an independent study during their tenure at Hastings. The reserve is remote (about an hour from the nearest town), and therefore a good attitude towards shared field housing situations is necessary, and having a vehicle is highly desirable.
HOW TO APPLY: Interested applicants should submit a single document (either PDF or Word document) containing a cover letter, resumé / CV, and the names/affiliations of three (3) academic / professional references to Dr. Eric L. Walters (ACWOintern@ericlwalters.org). More information on the project can be found at the Walters Lab website: www.ericlwalters.org
INCLUSIVITY: We are committed to creating an inclusive work environment and promoting diversity in the field of ecology and evolutionary biology. People of all races, religions, gender identities/expressions, and sexual orientations will be welcomed and valued.
LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: We believe it is important to acknowledge that the study takes place on the traditional, ancestral land of the Esselen peoples past and present, and honor with gratitude the land itself and the people who have stewarded it throughout the generations.
PLEASE NOTE: Field intern positions are only available to citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions. No exceptions can be made.