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  • Avian Field Technician - Urgent Need

    Josh Lefever
    • Employer: Ricketts Conservation Foundation
      Location: Bondurant, WY
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 05/10/2024
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    We are hiring one wildlife technician to help work on our projects assessing Common Loon breeding activity in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and songbird response to wildfires and Aspen regeneration on Monument Ridge, near the town of Bondurant, Wyoming. The position is based out of Bondurant, with work time split evenly between the 2 projects. Specifically, we are looking for a person with an ability to identify western songbirds by sight and sound, and who is physically capable of hiking long distances (10+ miles) in rugged, mountainous areas above 8000 feet elevation for consecutive days. Familiarity with the IMBCR point count protocol is preferred but not required. Technician may also have the opportunity to help at our MAPS banding stations; previous banding experience, particularly a proficiency with mist net extraction, is a plus. This position is available due to a previously hired technician no longer being able to work for us this summer. We are looking to fill the position as soon as possible with a suitable candidate who can attend IMBCR point count training in the Black Hills of South Dakota, with an arrival date of May 13th.

    Duration and Salary:

    May 13th through mid-July with possibility of extension to early August

    $1300 biweekly

    $20 per diem for work-related travel

    Up to $350 reimbursement for moving expenses both to and from Bondurant.

    ***Free housing is provided in the beautiful mountain valley of Bondurant, adjacent to a working ranch with Bison and Horses. ***

    The technician will alternate between conducting IMBCR bird surveys around Bondurant, WY as well as in central Montana and the South Hills of Idaho for approximately a week at time, and then hiking to alpine lakes to monitor Common Loon nesting during other weeks. Technician will also be expected to help monitor passerine nest boxes, check cameras traps, conduct vegetation surveys, and help maintain banding sites. Following completion of IMBCR surveys in mid-July, the technician will have the opportunity to stay on the crew for a few more weeks to help with banding and to do vegetation surveys.

    Avian Field Technician Responsibilities:

    Common Loon Surveys/Nest Monitoring (40%)

    IMBCR point counts (35%)

    Camera trap monitoring and maintenance (5%)

    Vegetation Surveys (5%)

    Passerine nest box monitoring (5%)

    Data entry and proofing (5%)

    Other office tasks (net repair, gear cleanup, nest box maintenance, inventory, etc.) (5%)


    Hours/Schedule: This is a full-time, seasonal position with somewhat flexible start and end dates. The work schedule is typically 10 days on and 4 days off, but weather and project requirements will ultimately determine the schedule. Hours worked beyond the 80 hours per period requirement accrue as comp time to be used later in the season as paid days off.


    Field Conditions: The study area lies at 7,000’ - 13,000’ elevation, so mornings can be cold and frosty, even in the middle of the summer. Habitat types include aspen woodlands, mixed conifer, sagebrush steppe, and alpine tundra. Grizzly bear encounters are possible, but very infrequent. Shared housing and transportation for work is provided. Occasional use of personal vehicles for work occurs but is not required. Fuel expenses are reimbursed. Technicians will need their own camping equipment and field gear as well as secure their own transportation to and from Bondurant, WY (travel cost up to $350 will be reimbursed). Bondurant is a remote town with a population of less than 100 year-round residents. The closest amenities are in Jackson and Pinedale, each a 45-minute drive from town. Recreational opportunities in the surrounding area are truly limitless, with world class fly fishing, backpacking, rafting, climbing and two national parks.


    Qualifications: Excellent physical conditioning, hearing, sight, and the willingness to learn to identify western birds by sight and sound are non-negotiable requirements. Familiarity with Rocky Mountain species of birds, trees, and shrubs is helpful but not required. Some previous experience extracting passerines from mist nets, maintaining camera traps, monitoring nest boxes, and driving large 4WD vehicles is also highly desirable.


    Applicants should have earned a degree in wildlife biology, related discipline or be working towards completing a degree. A valid driver's license is required. The ability to drive a manual transmission is a plus. Applicants should possess a strong work ethic, be a quick learner, have good navigational skills, be a team player, and willing to share living spaces with coworkers. Ideally, candidates have some experience backpacking with camping and survey equipment into remote areas and knowledge of bear avoidance protocols. Technicians must be in excellent physical condition, able to lift 50 pounds, hike up to 15 miles off trail at high altitude in steep terrain, sometimes with large areas of deadfall, and tolerate early mornings, long hours, and adverse weather.


    To apply: Please send a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references in a single PDF or Word document to Josh Lefever at jlefever@rickettsconservation.org. Applications will be reviewed upon receipt; suitable candidates will be interviewed and potentially hired very quickly, given the short turn around between hiring and the necessary start date.

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