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  • Avian Field Technician - Appalachian Avian Community Monitoring

    Guest Robert Ryan
    • Employer: West Virginia University
      Location: Richwood, West Virginia
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 05/05/2023
      Open Until Filled: No

    Job Description: Highly motivated individuals with an interest in conservation of avian communities in Appalachian Mountains on sustainable forests to work from mid-April through July 2023. Technicians will assist one graduate student to monitor avian communities through point count surveys and deployment of audio recording units (ARU). This research is will focus on monitoring State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) recognized species for the state of West Virginia, responses to “shifting mosaic” conditions created by harvest management on Weyerhaeuser Company property in Greenbrier, Nicholas, and Fayette Counties. Emphasis will be given to Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera), Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea) and Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustellina) on the landscape. The research will focus on the effects of forest management strategies as a dynamic shifting mosaic on forest songbirds.

    Expected duties include driving several hours each day, hiking long distances off trail in mountainous terrain while carrying field equipment to sites, and identifying avian species by auditory and sight (point counts). Interacting with private landowners and public may be required. Technician duties will include setting up and deploying ARU units for sites, performing early morning auditory point count surveys, and performing vegetation surveys. Because of the large number of locations and equipment that is cataloged, individuals with strong attention to detail are needed. Surveys and activities preformed in the field will be repetitive at times and precision is needed for success. Position will require that individual be comfortable working both individually and in groups.

    Qualifications: Applicants should have a valid driver’s license, clean driving record, and must be able to perform field work full time. Applicants must be able to hike, with up to 40 lbs. of gear, for several miles to sites if needed and be able to work efficiently in typical Appalachian summer conditions. Must able to identify eastern songbirds by sight and sound. Previous experience working in data collection and ARU deployment is preferred. Applicant should also be familiar with collecting structural habitat measurements including but not limited to; DBH, canopy cover (using spherical densitometers), Robel pole, Daubenmire frame, etc.  An academic background in wildlife biology, zoology, environmental science or a related field is preferred. Field work can be time consuming and at times may result in long days. A strong work ethic, positive attitude, and attention to details are necessary.  

    Send a letter of interest, resume, and contact information for at least 3 references (must include email and phone number for each reference listed) by email to: rmr00023@mix.wvu.edu

    Salary: $2100/month. Communal housing and transportation to work is provided but technicians will need to have vehicle for access to town.

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