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  • Avian Point Count Technician

    Josh Lefever
    • Employer: Ricketts Conservation Foundation
      Location: Bondurant, WY
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 03/30/2024
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    We are hiring one wildlife technician to work on a project assessing the impact of wildfires, aspen regeneration, and Red Squirrels on songbird communities in the Monument Ridge area near Bondurant, Wyoming. Specifically, we are looking for a person with previous avian point counting experience, and who is comfortable hiking and camping off trail in rugged, mountainous areas. Familiarity with the IMBCR point count protocol is preferred but not required. Technician may also have the opportunity to help at our MAPS banding stations; previous banding experience, particularly a proficiency with mist net extraction, is a plus.

    Duration and Salary:

    May 13th (can possibly start up to one week later depending on experience) to mid-July with possibility of extension to early August

    $1300 biweekly

    $20 per diem for work-related travel

    Up to $350 reimbursement for moving expenses both to and from Bondurant.


    ***Free housing is provided in the beautiful mountain valley of Bondurant, adjacent to a working ranch with Bison and Horses. ***

    The technician will primarily be responsible for conducting IMBCR bird surveys around Bondurant, WY as well as in central Montana and the South Hills of Idaho. Technician will also be expected to help monitor passerine nest boxes, check cameras traps, conduct vegetation surveys, help maintain banding sites, and may assist with Clark’s Nutcracker and Common Loon research projects in the surrounding area. Technician may also be able to participate with some MAPS banding sessions, however banding regularly is not a guaranteed element of the position.

    Point Count Technician Responsibilities:

    IMBCR point counts (60%)

    Vegetation Surveys (5%)

    Camera trap monitoring and maintenance (10%)

    Passerine nest box monitoring (5%)

    Clark’s Nutcracker/ Common Loon Surveys (5%)

    Data entry and proofing (5%)

    MAPS songbird mist netting (5%)

    Other office tasks (net repair, gear cleanup, nest box maintenance, inventory, etc.) (5%)

    Hours/Schedule: This is a full-time, seasonal position with somewhat flexible start and end dates. The work schedule is typically 10 days on and 4 days off, but weather and project requirements will ultimately determine the schedule. Hours worked beyond the 80 hours per period requirement accrue as comp time to be used later in the season as paid days off.

    Field Conditions: The study area lies at 7,000’ - 8,000’ elevation, so mornings can be frosty, even in summer. Habitat types include aspen woodlands, mixed conifer, and sagebrush steppe. Grizzly bear encounters are possible. Shared housing and transportation for work is provided. Occasional use of personal vehicles for work occurs but is not required. Fuel expenses are reimbursed. Technicians will need their own camping equipment and field gear as well as secure their own transportation to and from Bondurant, WY (travel cost up to $350 will be reimbursed). Bondurant is a remote town with a population of less than 100 year-round residents. The closest amenities are in Jackson and Pinedale, each a 45-minute drive from town. Recreational opportunities in the surrounding area are truly limitless, with world class fly fishing, backpacking, rafting, climbing and two national parks.

    Qualifications: Excellent hearing, sight, and the willingness to learn to identify western birds by sight and sound are non-negotiable requirements. Familiarity with Rocky Mountain species of birds, trees, and shrubs is helpful but not required. Some previous experience extracting passerines from mist nets, maintaining camera traps, monitoring nest boxes, and driving large 4WD vehicles is also highly desirable.


    Applicants should have earned a degree in wildlife biology, related discipline or be working towards completing a degree. A valid driver's license is required. The ability to drive a manual transmission is a plus. Applicants should possess a strong work ethic, be a quick learner, have good navigational skills, be a team player, and willing to share living spaces with coworkers. Ideally, candidates have some experience backpacking with camping and survey equipment into remote areas and knowledge of bear avoidance protocols. Technicians must be in excellent physical condition, able to lift 50 pounds, hike up to 15 miles off trail at high altitude in steep terrain, sometimes with large areas of deadfall, and tolerate early mornings, long hours, and adverse weather.

    To apply: Send a cover letter and resume detailing how your experience and interests make you a suitable candidate as well as three references and your preferred start and end dates. Please send all materials in a single PDF document to Josh Lefever at jlefever@rickettsconservation.org. Applications will be reviewed upon receipt; a suitable applicant may be hired prior to the closing date (March 30th).

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