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    Avian Field Assistant

    Chad Seewagen
    • Employer: Great Hollow Nature Preserve & Ecological Research Center
      Location: New Fairfield, CT
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 04/10/2020
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Great Hollow Nature Preserve & Ecological Research Center is seeking a songbird bander/field assistant to help with various projects involving birds and other wildlife at its research sites in Danbury, CT, New Fairfield, CT, and Pawling, NY from mid/late May through July/early August, 2020. Applicants must be experienced with songbird mist-netting and banding to the extent that they are demonstrably qualified and able to do so without direct oversight (i.e., able to safely extract, band, age, sex, measure, and weigh birds on his/her own in a timely manner). One project will require target-capturing male ovenbirds using song playback to investigate return rates of previously banded birds at the study site. This is part of a larger study of the effects of the invasive shrub, Japanese barberry, on ovenbird habitat quality, diet, and other factors. The other project involves capturing migrating and breeding songbirds to sample them for the newly introduced and invasive Asian long-horned tick and other tick species as part of a regional tickborne disease monitoring program in collaboration with the Tickborne Disease Prevention Lab at Western Connecticut State University. In addition to these projects that involve mist-netting and banding, the selected person will conduct visual/aural bird surveys at Great Hollow Nature Preserve and other nearby areas for the Connecticut Bird Atlas Project. Strong eastern bird identification skills (by sight and sound) are required.

    Other duties will include data entry and conducting weekly drag-samples for ticks as part of a regional black-legged tick population monitoring effort. The field assistant may also occasionally be asked to help with miscellaneous office duties, community events, and otherwise contribute to the general day-to-day operation of Great Hollow.

    Great Hollow Nature Preserve & Ecological Research Center is a newly established environmental education, conservation, and science institute located in New Fairfield, Connecticut, approximately one hour north of New York City. The preserve totals 825 acres and is contiguous or nearly contiguous with thousands of acres of additional protected land in Connecticut and neighboring New York State. Five miles of trails wind through the western side of the preserve and are open to the public year-round. Great Hollow also operates as a biological field station that is open to external researchers.

    Minimum Qualifications

    -Songbird banding experience as outlined above, with a minimum of 100 extractions.

    -Strong eastern bird identification skills.

    -Completion of at least 2 full years of a 4-year university program, majoring in natural resources, conservation biology, ecology, wildlife management, or a similar field.
    -Ability to enjoy working outdoors under adverse conditions.
    -Physically fit and able to work long days on rugged terrain.
    -English fluency.
    -Ability to communicate effectively.
    -Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
    -Ability to live in shared on-site housing with respect for others (for applicants in need of housing).
    - Proof and continuous maintenance of health insurance coverage during employment.

    -U.S. citizenship or authorization to work in the U.S.

    -Valid driver’s license and own transportation.  

    Compensation includes a weekly stipend of $375, plus free on-site, shared housing and utilities (electric, heat, cable tv/internet/phone) at Great Hollow Nature Preserve.

    To apply, please email as a single PDF (1) a cover letter that describes in detail your field experience with birds (particularly with mist-netting and banding, including an estimate of the number of birds extracted), (2) a C.V., and (3) contact info and relationships to at least 2 professional references who can attest to your mist-netting and banding experience to Dr. Chad Seewagen at info@greathollow.org. Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received.

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