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  • Avian Point Count Technician: Montana

    Jennifer Boisvert
    • Employer: Intermountain Bird Observatory
      Location: Montana
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 05/05/2023
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Time Period:    May 16-July 16, 2023, or May 22-July 22

    Salary:             $18.00 - $19.50/hour, DOE


    An AVIAN POINT COUNT SURVEY TECHNICIAN is needed for a large-scale study of breeding landbirds across Montana. The field effort is in support of the multi-state Integrated Monitoring Bird Conservation Region (IMBCR) program. (For more info see IMBCR Program Program). Field technicians are needed to start approximately May 16 or 22 and work through ~July 10-20 (dependent on project and location). Work duties consist of using the Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions (IMBCR) protocol to conduct daily statewide standardized avian point-count surveys, vegetation (bird habitat) evaluation, and field data entry. Technicians will identify 100+ bird species while working across a potential wide variety of habitats including grassland, sagebrush steppe, riparian, pinyon-juniper, montane coniferous forest, and alpine. Technicians are typically stationed in different regions of the state dependent on their experience and interest; or may have the ability to work in various biomes throughout the season, depending on their birding abilities. The field days begin before dawn and generally end by early afternoon. Work will be ~40 hours/week, and is a flexible schedule (10 days of work to 4 days off through the season), as long as the field survey assignment is being completed as required. The project includes a mandatory week of paid field training at start of season, and another week of data entry compensation to be completed by July 31.


    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 entirety of the field season

    ·      Ability to camp and work early hours, often without phone service or facilities, and change work sites on a daily basis. Fieldwork may include some overnight backpack travel to remote, road-less survey sites.

    ·      Ability to navigate independently off-trail in potentially remote, densely-vegetated, steep and rugged landscapes using maps and GPS units

    ·      Ability to safely drive rough and sometimes unmaintained roads using an AWD or 4WD vehicle 

    ·      Strong physical and mental endurance for long days, often with extensive driving between surveys

    ·      Ability to be autonomous and problem-solve difficult situations

    ·      Careful and accurate data collection/entry/management. Detailed is a necessity.

    ·      Willingness, and ability to work safely in landscapes occupied by apex predators and/or venomous wildlife (including bears, mountain lions, and rattlesnakes)

    ·      Strong interpersonal and professional skills for communicating and working effectively with program managers, private landowners, and fellow technicians.

    Technicians must have a valid driver's license, proof of auto insurance, and use their personal, AWD/4WD vehicle (work-related mileage will be reimbursed at a rate of ~$0.65/mile), or IBO will provide a rental SUV. Technicians must provide their own camping/backpacking gear, and use their own quality binoculars and laptop computer. (Mac Chromebook or Notebook will not suffice for data entry.)

    Check out this Field Blog Post from an IMBCR technician employee with Bird Conservancy of the Rockies. It gives a sense of how fun, rewarding, yet sometimes challenging the job can be.


    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 independent work. Also include your resume and three professional references. Please email your documents to Jennifer Boisvert at: Jenniferboisvert@boisestate.edu with “2023 Tech Job” in the subject line. Interviews will start immediately, and positions will be filled as soon as a suitable applicant is found.  

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