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  • Avian Point Count Technician

    • Employer: West Virginia University/U.S. Forest Service
      Location: Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 02/22/2020
      Open Until Filled: No

    Avian Point Count Technician Needed for May to July 2020

    Agency: West Virginia University/U.S. Forest Service

    Location: Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia

    Job Category: Temporary/Seasonal Position

    Salary: ~$2,000/month for 2 months. Housing and a shared field vehicle provided.

    Start Date: 05/14/2020

    Last Date to Apply: 2/22/2020 (but applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis, so you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible)

    Description: Seeking a highly motivated avian point count technician to assist with morning point count surveys from May 14 (start date) to July 13 (end date). The data will be collected as part of a 25-year dataset of breeding bird surveys from the Monongahela National Forest, which is being used to assess long-term changes in avian communities and abundance.

    Fieldwork entails conducting 10-minute morning point count surveys for breeding songbirds and corresponding tree plot surveys. All survey protocols will be reviewed before conducting the surveys, but the field technician should have prior experience conducting point counts or identifying eastern USA birds by sound, as well as identifying eastern USA tree species. Additional work will include data entry and data proofing. The technician will be working closely with the supervisor, Hannah Clipp, and other technicians to access point count transect locations, but actual bird and tree plot surveys will be conducted alone. The technician should expect to work 6–8 hours per day; because we are counting birds, field days will start early (before sunrise) and will involve work on weekends, with days off during inclement weather. Free housing and a shared field vehicle will be provided. The field technician should expect rugged housing accommodations (just the basics, no Internet), ranging from bunkhouses and cabins to campgrounds. First aid/CPR training and driver safety training will also be provided at no cost to the field technician.

    To apply, please email a cover letter, resume/CV (no page limit), and contact information for 3 references to Hannah Clipp at hlclipp@mix.wvu.edu. In your cover letter, please mention any experiences you have with birding, camping, dealing with rugged field conditions, and/or navigating and working alone in remote areas. At least one of the references should be able to speak to any previous avian or other field technician experience. Applications will be reviewed as they are received.


    1.     Ability to identify eastern USA birds by sound and sight (required), as well as previous experience with avian point count surveys (preferred)
    2.     Earned (or are working towards) a Bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology, natural resources, or a similar field
    3.     Ability to navigate off-trail and deal with challenging, difficult terrain (a lot of steep slopes)
    4.     Comfortable working alone in a remote outdoor setting
    5.     Ability and willingness to work in a mulitple-person team and individually during early morning fieldwork
    6.     Valid driver’s license with a clean driving record
    7.     Positive, upbeat attitude and strong work ethic

    Contact Person: Hannah Clipp
    Contact Email: hlclipp@mix.wvu.edu

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