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  • Avian Point Count Biologist

    • Employer: The Institute for Bird Populations
      Location: Central Sierra Nevada, California
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: No value
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    We have up to 2 openings for experienced avian point counters during spring/summer 2023 on our meadow and aspen restoration monitoring projects within the central Sierra Nevada in Northern California, near Truckee, CA (Sierra, Nevada, Eldorado Counties) and near Pioneer, CA (Amador and Calaveras Counties). The study areas are predominately montane meadow and aspen communities.

    PROJECT DATES: Mid May – Mid July (tentative).

    TRAINING: The field season will begin with a training session in project protocols for conducting multi-species point counts, conducting habitat assessments, and field safety. Surveyors are required to already be able to identify Sierra birds by sight and sound; applicants with previous point count experience will be strongly preferred.

    RESPONSIBILITIES: Working both independently and occasionally in a team of two, biologists will visit and survey restored and unrestored meadow sites on Forest Service and private partner lands in the vicinity of the Truckee, CA, South Lake Tahoe, CA, and Pioneer, CA. On a typical day, surveyors will wake up before dawn, drive to survey sites (typically 30 min to 1.5 hr from crew housing), and spend the morning conducting multispecies point counts, and rapid vegetation surveys. The afternoon will then typically be spent entering data into a database (computer provided). Work will be somewhat physically demanding, sometimes involving hiking (typically less than 2 miles) into survey sites through steep terrain. Surveys will require moving through flooded meadow areas and navigating stream crossings (waders will be provided). Off-trail travel will be required at many survey sites. Some long drives and occasional car camping may be required. Work will be physically demanding. The typical work schedule will be 7-days on followed by 3-days off.

    REQUIREMENTS: We are looking for candidates with prior birding experience and familiarity with the songs and calls of western montane birds. Prior point count experience is strongly preferred but demonstrated skill with regional calls and songs can suffice. Other requirements include a sense of humor, a love of adventure, and an appreciation for montane meadow landscapes. A willingness to communicate and coordinate with others, and to face the rigors of fieldwork and data entry with good humor is important. These rigors include (but are not limited to) physically demanding work, long work days that may begin well before dawn, wet, cold weather, mosquitoes and biting flies, occasional contact with bears, and less-than-glamorous housing. Successful candidates must be in good physical condition and must be comfortable with off-trail hiking, working in waist deep water (waders provided), and orienteering with a handheld GPS (training provided). Although housing will be provided in a central location, travel to some study sites may require occasional camping.

    EQUIPMENT: Crews are expected to provide their own binoculars and camping gear, including hiking boots, knee high rubber boots, tent, sleeping bag, raingear, etc. Additional survey gear including GPS, waders, and laser range finder will be provided by IBP. A personal vehicle is highly desirable but not strictly required.

    COMPENSATION: Surveyors will be considered seasonal IBP staff, and will receive payment of $2,900 per month (before payroll taxes), free shared housing, and mileage reimbursement for project-related travel, but no fringe benefits.

    MORE INFORMATION: For more information about this IBP program, please see https://www.birdpop.org/pages/montaneMeadowsConservation.php

    TO APPLY: : Please email a resume, cover letter, and the names, phone numbers and email addresses of up to three references to Mandy Holmgren, Biologist at: mholmgren AT birdpop DOT org. Professional references are preferred, but one reference may be a character reference. Many times, references are slow to reply; we will contact all submitted references and encourage submitting more references so that your application can be quickly processed.

    IBP values diversity and encourages people from all backgrounds to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation.

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