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  • Avian Point Count Technician, Idaho

    • Employer: Intermountain Bird Observatory, Boise State University
      Location: Idaho
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 05/14/2021
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    AVIAN FIELD TECHNICIANS needed for a large-scale study of breeding birds across Idaho with the Intermountain Bird Observatory (IBO) at Boise State University. Mandatory training starts on May 18 (dates might shift by a few days on either side). Primary duties (among other duties) consist of statewide standardized point-count surveys, vegetation surveys, and data entry using Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions (IMBCR) protocol. Technicians will identify over 100 bird species while traveling across a wide variety of habitats including grassland, sagebrush steppe, riparian, pinyon-juniper, montane coniferous forest, and alpine. Technicians generally choose one state to work in, but there are opportunities for experienced technicians to span both states.

    Qualifications include: 
    •    Ability to identify 100+ species of western birds primarily by sound and sight
    •    Ability to work independently (alone ≥90% of the time) in remote areas for the duration of the field season
    •    Strong physical and mental endurance to work long days, often with extensive driving between surveys
    •    Ability to navigate off-trail in remote, densely-vegetated, steep and rugged landscapes using topographical maps and GPS units
    •    Willingness to work in landscapes occupied by apex predators and/or venomous wildlife (bears, mountain lions, rattlesnakes)
    •    Ability to carefully navigate rough, unmaintained roads in a 4WD vehicle
    •    Careful and accurate data collection/entry/management
    •    Strong interpersonal skills for communicating and working effectively with program managers, fellow technicians, and private landowners 
    •    Technicians must provide their own camping/backpacking gear. Primitive camping, often without phone service or facilities, and some overnight backcountry travel to survey remote road-less areas will be required.

    Pay range is $17.10-19.50/hr DOE. Technicians must have a valid driver's license, proof of auto insurance, and either use their personal, 4WD vehicle (work-related mileage will be reimbursed at a rate of $0.56/mile) or IBO can provide a rental SUV. You must have your own binoculars and a laptop is required.

    Check out this blog post from an IMBCR technician employee with Bird Conservancy of the Rockies. It gives a sense of how challenging and rewarding the job can be. https://www.birdconservancy.org/off-the-beaten-track/

    We strongly encourage technicians to expand their skill set of hands-on experience with other IBO projects throughout the field season. Other IBO summer research projects you could volunteer for on your days off typically include: Northern Goshawk breeding surveys and banding, hummingbird banding, Long-billed Curlew nest-searching and satellite transmitter deployment, MAPS songbird banding, Yellow-billed Cuckoo surveys, and woodpecker surveys. Please visit our website for more info: https://ibo.boisestate.edu/. There also may be a possibility for job extension following the field season to proof data or potential for an internship at our fall migration site at Lucky Peak. 

    To Apply: email a single pdf document that includes a one-page cover letter describing your interest and qualifications for the position, your dates of availability, and your experience with remote and isolated work. Also include your resume and three professional references and email to both: Jeremy Halka (jeremyhalka AT boisestate.edu) and Jessica Pollock (jessicapollock AT boisestate.edu). Positions will be filled as soon as suitable applicants are found.   

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