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  • Avian Field Technicians – northern Minnesota


    Guest Dr. Alexis Grinde
    • Employer: The Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota Duluth
      Location: northern Minnesota
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 01/28/2024
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Spend your summer working in northern Minnesota – a region that supports some of the richest breeding bird diversity in North America! We are looking for field assistants from late May to early July 2024 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, target netting and banding, and telemetry projects. Point count surveys will be conducted in northern Minnesota in a wide variety of habitats. Nest searching, target netting, nestling banding, and telemetry will focus on Golden-winged Warblers and Boreal Chickadees.

    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, and data entry. Point count locations are scattered throughout the Superior and Chippewa National Forests 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 with nest searchers after the point count season. Point count training sessions will occur in late May.

    A typical day for nest searching will consist of rising very early in the morning, driving safely to study areas, navigating to a plot, finding and following male and female birds to search for nests using behavioral cues, monitoring previously found nests, banding and placing transmitters on target-netted adults and nestlings from active nests, tracking birds via radio telemetry, vegetation surveys, and data entry.

    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 vehicles 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.

    How 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 include your last name and “Avian Field Tech” in the subject line. Please also indicate whether you are most interested in point counting, nest searching, or target netting and banding. Application deadline is 1/28/2024. Applications will be considered as they are received so we encourage interested individuals to apply promptly.

    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, nest searching, and radio telemetry is preferred, as is a working knowledge of the ecology of northern Minnesota’s breeding birds. Experience handling and banding birds is required for a target netting and banding position. All successful applicants must be comfortable working and navigating independently off-road (i.e. bushwhacking) and be able to withstand wet, cold, and occasionally hot conditions with constant exposure to extreme numbers of biting insects. 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 2024. 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. Selected individuals are subject to the University of Minnesota/Natural Resources Research Institute’s COVID-19 guidelines.




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