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  • Avian Field Technician

    Southern Sierra Research Station
    • Employer: Southern Sierra Research Station
      Location: Weldon, CA
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 01/31/2022
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Location: Weldon, CA  

    Start Date: mid-March to Late May 

    End date: mid-August. End date is flexible. 

    Application deadline: Review of applications will begin 31 Jan 2022 and will continue until positions are filled.  

    Number of Openings: 5 

    Job Description: The Southern Sierra Research Station (SSRS) is looking for seasonal full-time technicians to participate in multiple avian monitoring/research projects with study sites situated in the scenic and diverse foothills of the Sierra Nevada. This is an opportunity to gain skills and experience working on many different projects simultaneously. The main projects are described below, however, depending on qualifications and interest, technicians may also have opportunities to work on other projects. Technicians are expected to help where needed as priorities shift through the field season and will be expected to take on some responsibilities that are not directly related to these main research projects. 

    Project 1: Tricolored Blackbird movements and connectivity in the Kern River Valley, CA. Responsibilities will include assisting with bird capture and tagging, tracking individual bird movements using radio telemetry, performing vegetation surveys, and assisting with construction/maintenance of stationary automated radio towers (Motus). 

    Project 2: Southwestern Willow Flycatcher population monitoring. The Southwestern Willow Flycatcher project aims to document the occurrence of this endangered subspecies in the Kern River Valley (and the Owens River Valley). Technicians will participate in WIFL population surveys, target mist-netting, resighting color-banded birds, cowbird control, and vegetation sampling. 

    Project 3: Avian point count surveys. The technician will conduct point count surveys for all avian species at China Lake Naval Weapons Station, Walker Basin/Caliente, and the Kern River Valley, CA. 

    Project 4: Yellow-billed Cuckoo Surveys. The technician will conduct YBCU Surveys on the South Fork Kern River and potentially other sites in California, they may also assist with YBCU target netting. 

    Other projects include: 1) ARU (Automated Recording Devices) monitoring: technicians will have the opportunity to help set up (or retrieve data) from ARUs, 2) MAPS: those interested in bird banding will have opportunities to help with the MAPS banding station and gain experience or use/share their knowledge. 

    All projects will require thorough data management skills. Data entry and proofing will be a daily duty. Technicians must have the ability to start avian surveys before dawn.  


    Required Qualifications:  

    Must be able to identify western songbirds by sight and sound. Training for all survey protocols will be provided, but prior bird identification skills are required. Applicants with prior experience performing avian point count surveys will be given preference.  

    Applicants should have a strong interest in wildlife biology, avian research, and conservation, and share the goals of these projects. 

    Applicants must be in strong physical condition and be able to traverse through rugged terrain, wet overgrown areas, and dense dead and downed wood. Depending on spring runoff, this may often include the use of waders. 

    Ability to live and work well with others. Shared housing is provided locally. Technicians are expected to share in household duties. 

    It is the policy of SSRS that all employees are vaccinated against COVID-19 and are keeping up with all current CDC guidelines (boosters, masking protocols, etc). Proof of vaccination will be required when reporting to work.  

    Must have a valid U.S. driver’s license 

    Must be a U.S. citizen, possess a valid U.S. work visa, or can apply for a CUSMA (formerly NAFTA) work permit (for Canadian and Mexican Citizens). 


    Desirable Qualifications:  

    Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources, Wildlife Management, Wildlife Biology, Environmental Science, or a related field (or in progress). 

    Mist-netting and/or bird banding experience 

    Prior season(s) of field experience 

    Previous experience conducting threatened/endangered species surveys 

    Previous experience using GPS units and ArcGIS 

    Enthusiasm for fieldwork, persistence, a great work ethic, and ability to deal with hard field conditions are more important than past experience or specific knowledge. We are planning to hire one person that has the interest and enthusiasm for field work, but lacks experience. 


    Applicants should email a single file (word or pdf) which includes 1) a succinct cover letter stating their interest in the position and dates of availability 2) a resume, and 3) names and contact information (email and phone) of three references to: Kate Batdorf at the following email address: jobs.ssrs@gmail.com. Include your name and the job you are applying to in the file name of your attachment (e.g. Darwin_C_avian_field_technician_application.doc) and in your email subject line. The Southern Sierra Research Station (www.southernsierraresearch.org) is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 

    Salary: $2,000-$2,700/month DOE. Shared field housing will be provided in Weldon, CA. Field vehicles,rubber boots and waders are also provided.  

    Contact Person: Kate Batdorf 

    Contact e-mail: jobs.ssrs@gmail.com 

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