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  • Avian Field Technician and Intern for long-term forest bird research at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest

    Nina Ferrari
    • Employer: H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest (Oregon State University)
      Location: H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, Blue River, Oregon
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 01/31/2022
      Open Until Filled: No

    Avian Field Technician and Intern for long-term forest bird research at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest

    Position Period: 9 May - 15 July 2022

    Location: H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, Blue River, Oregon

    Project Description: This study continues long-term monitoring of the forest bird community in the Andrews montane system. Our research has four main goals: (1) Investigating the influences of climate and habitat on forest bird distributions, by collecting long-term data on forest bird abundance, microclimate (temperature), and vegetation phenology data. (2) Tree climbing to collect aforementioned data across vertical forest structure. (3) Implementing the use of automatic playback-recorder devices to better understand how competitive interactions influence distributions. (4) Capturing birds  to assess body condition and physiology of birds.

    Position Description: The field crew: (1) conducts avian point count surveys along transects on trails, dirt roads, and by bushwhacking through forest, (2) assists with songbird trapping, banding, and taking biometric samples, (3) downloads and maintains temperature loggers and automatic playback-recording devices on the forest floor and within the canopy, (4) enters data and organizes data, and (5) may assist on other projects. 

    This work requires hiking in steep mountainous terrain off trails, travel on dirt roads by 4WD vehicle (valid driving license and clean record required), very early mornings, and working outside for extended periods in cold and wet (or hot and dry) conditions.

    Intern Position

    Applicants should have a strong work ethic, be self-motivated, and comfortable with working in remote areas alone. Being a team player is necessary for group work/living. We expect applicants to have basic knowledge on avian ecology and biology. Ability to adapt to a variable work schedule is also necessary. Our transects are on steep mountain slopes and across valleys with old-growth forest towering 200 feet or more. Point-count experience, ability to identify birds of the Pacific Northwest by sight and sound, previous bird-handling skills, and tree/rock climbing experience (understanding of rope systems) are preferred. 

    Technician Position

    In addition to all requirements for the intern position, we expect technicians to be able to conduct point counts independently on arrival. Knowledge and capability of conducting bird point counts, bird identification skills of Pacific Northwest forest avifauna, and ability to traverse steep, vegetation-thick terrain is required. Experience with bird banding (especially safe extraction and measuring morphometrics) and tree/rock climbing experience (understanding of rope systems) are preferred.

    Accommodations: Apartment-style housing is provided at the H.J. Andrews with shared rooms for both intern and technician positions. The field station is located in the Willamette National Forest near Blue River, OR and provides access to great hiking and mountain biking trails, swimming holes, and hot springs. Monthly stipend of $1000/month will be provided for interns, and approximately $2200/month of wage for technicians. The intern position does not provide health or any insurance service, so participants must have their own contract with insurance providers.

    Please send a cover letter, resume, and contact information for 3 references to Madison Sutton and Nina Ferrari at (hja.bird.crew AT gmail.com). Send application materials as one PDF document that has your last name and the position you are applying for in the document title. Applications will be reviewed as they are received. The final date to apply is January 31, 2022.

    To learn more about our research, visit the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest website (http://andrewsforest.oregonstate.edu/), the Betts Forest Landscape Ecology Lab page (http://www.fsl.orst.edu/flel/index.htm), and our features by Oregon Public Broadcasting (https://www.opb.org/television/programs/oregon-field-guide/article/climate-change-heat-oregon-washington-hermit-warbler-birds/), (https://www.opb.org/news/article/old-growth-forests-songbird-refuge-climate-change/). 

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