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  • Avian point count and vegetation survey technicians (4): northern Minnesota

    Guest Charlotte Roy
    • Employer: University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
      Location: northern Minnesota
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 03/06/2022
      Open Until Filled: No

    Job Description:

    Four (4) avian point-count/vegetation technicians are needed for a study of breeding birds and vegetation in disturbance-dependent brushland habitat. Roughly 20 bird species encountered in this habitat are on the MN DNR Species in Greatest Conservation Need list. Technicians will conduct point counts of birds in St. Louis and Carlton Counties, Minnesota. The study sites are located on predominantly public land managed by MN DNR. Our research objective is to examine the effects of the season of burning on brushland habitat quality. Point counts will be conducted in unburned and recently burned areas during early morning hours. Technicians will also be required to enter data in the afternoons, immediately after fieldwork. We are looking for applicants who will take pride in collecting high-quality ecological data without supervision, under challenging field conditions (i.e., early ~3:00 am, and sometimes cold mornings; strenuous hiking in brushy wetlands; ticks, mosquitoes and biting flies galore) with a hard-working, team-oriented attitude, and preferably with a good sense of humor. The bird point-count season will run approximately from 1 June 2022 through 24 June 2022.


    After point counts, we will conduct vegetation surveys from the end of June to early/mid-August. Our study includes classifying the structure and species composition of vegetation in brushland and, like the avian community, how it responds after spring, summer, and fall burns. Thus, we are looking for point-count technicians that also possess plant identification experience preferably with plants in the Great Lakes region.



    Minimum qualifications include excellent birding skills with emphasis on birds common to northern Minnesota/Great Lakes region; experience or training in plant identification; advanced undergraduate standing in Ecology, Wildlife or related major or equivalent experience; ability to navigate in the dark early morning using GPS; ability to closely follow protocols and data entering instructions; and excellent physical fitness to hike through brushy, wet environments. This habitat is extremely difficult to move in, so prior experience working in difficult terrain is a plus. This job requires people who enjoy living and working closely within small groups, are resourceful and creative, have high attention to detail, are able to follow precise protocol, comfortable going with the flow with a sometimes unpredictable work schedule and possess a positive attitude for pre-dawn surveys and long days. Surveys require driving between multiple sites, often on poor roads, so our technicians should be comfortable with 4-wheel drive vehicles.



    $15/h @ 40 h/week. If applicants prefer part-time employment (e.g. <40h/week) please indicate that preference in the application. In addition, please indicate whether you are interested in point-count, vegetation or both. Housing is provided if needed.


    To Apply:

    Persons interested in interviewing for a position should email a letter of interest and current CV with names and contact information (phone and email) for three references to Charlotte Roy at Charlotte.Roy@state.mn.us. Please include YOUR LAST NAME and “BRUSHLAND TECH BIRD” in the email subject line.

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