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  • Avian Field Technicians – Minnesota


    Guest Dr. Alexis Grinde
    • Employer: Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota Duluth
      Location: Minnesota
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 02/01/2023
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Spend your summer working in Minnesota – a state that supports some of the richest breeding bird diversity in North America! We are looking for field assistants from late May through late July 2023 to assist with multiple avian research projects in northern Minnesota.

    These positions are dynamic in that the selected individuals will be potentially working on a combination of POINT COUNT, NEST SEARCHING, and WETLAND SURVEY projects. Point count surveys will be conducted in northern Minnesota in a wide variety of habitats. Nest searching and telemetry will focus on Golden-winged Warblers in north-central Minnesota. Wetland surveys will be conducted throughout the state and focus on Black and Forster’s Terns.

    Position description: A typical day for POINT COUNTERS will consist of rising very early in the morning, safely driving to survey areas, navigating to survey points to arrive 30 minutes before sunrise, completing nine to fifteen ten-minute unlimited distance point counts in a four-hour period, data entry, and travel. Point count locations are scattered throughout the Superior and Chippewa National Forests in northern Minnesota and thus no permanent camp is possible; motels and camping are both used throughout the season as the crew travels throughout this region. Technicians will work every morning suitable for point counts (i.e. will have rain/wind mornings off). Point counters will likely work on other projects described in this posting before, during, and after the point count season. Point count training sessions will occur in late May.

    A typical day for NEST SEARCHERS will consist of rising very early in the morning, driving safely to the study area, navigating to a plot, locating and following male and female birds to search for nests using behavioral cues, monitoring previously found nests, deploying remote cameras, assisting with banding and placing transmitters on adults and fledglings, tracking birds via radio telemetry, vegetation surveys, and data entry.

    A typical day for WETLAND SURVEYORS will consist of safely driving to survey locations, surveying variable wetland habitats from land and boat/kayak for focal species, deploying insect traps and other experimental equipment, data entry, and travel.

    Technicians will be expected to work six days/week during the height of the season and five days/week at the beginning and end. Salary is ~$2000/month. Housing and work vehicle are provided. Technicians are expected to provide binoculars, rubber knee boots, and rain gear. A personal vehicle is not required but will be useful for days off and after-hours transportation.

    Qualifications: Each position requires a high level of physical fitness and a good sense of humor. All successful applicants must have the ability to identify over 100 species of eastern North American birds by sight and sound; this includes being able to pass a bird song identification exam with 85% proficiency and pass a hearing exam prior to the season. Experience with point counts or other bird surveys, nest searching, and radio telemetry is preferred, as is a working knowledge of the ecology of northern Minnesota’s breeding birds. All successful applicants must be comfortable working and navigating independently off-road (i.e. bushwhacking) and be able to withstand wet, cold, and hot conditions with constant exposure to extreme numbers of biting insects. Wetland surveyors should be comfortable and have experience with working on and around bodies of water; experience with boats and/or kayaks is preferred. A valid U.S. driver’s license is required. Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work in Minnesota and the United States in the summer of 2023. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment. The University of Minnesota is an Equal Opportunity Educator and Employer. Veterans and individuals from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

    If interested in applying for one of these positions, please provide (in ONE document) a cover letter that details relevant experience and your interest in a position, resume, and three references to Dr. Alexis Grinde at nrribirdlab AT gmail.com. Please indicate if you are interested in POINT COUNTER, NEST SEARCHER, and/or WETLAND SURVEYOR positions. Please also include your last name and “Avian Field Tech” in the subject line of the email. Application deadline will remain open until positions are filled. Applications will be considered as they are received so we encourage interested individuals to apply promptly.




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