Pre-announcement – 2020 Alaska Landbird Monitoring Surveyors (4)
Late May – June 30
This is a pre-announcement for bird point-count observers with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Migratory Bird Management, in Anchorage, AK. We are seeking up to 4 experienced observers to conduct backcountry avian point-count surveys at five National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) in Alaska: Tetlin NWR, Innoko NWR, Koyukuk NWR, Nowitna NWR, Kanuti NWR, and Arctic NWR for the Alaska Landbird Monitoring Survey (ALMS). Applicants will have the opportunity to work in some of the most beautiful and untouched areas of Alaska and experience remote Alaskan fieldwork. Surveyors are paired into 2-person teams and will typically visit two NWRs while boating or flying between 4-5, 25-point survey blocks every 3-4 days. Fieldwork is completed between June 10th – June 25th , training occurs from late May to June 10th (depending on observer requirements).
Teams must include at least 1 experienced avian observer to conduct surveys and 1 person competent in the backcountry. If you are only qualified in one of these two areas, but interested in gaining experience in the other, we still encourage you to apply.
late May – June 30, 2020; start date dependent on observers required training.
Observers are responsible for completing backcountry bird point-counts following a standardized protocol for conducting off-road point-counts in Alaska. Observers will work in teams of two to access point locations within each 2 km x 2 km block (with up to 25 points per block). Observers are expected to take detailed daily notes while in the field, which will be archived and used by future teams. Teams will access survey locations by small aircraft and motorized boats. Applicants should expect to hike up to 8 km a day in uneven, soggy, difficult terrain, with dense vegetation, copious insects, and the potential for wildlife encounters (bear and moose).
Applicants are expected to be able to work and camp in close proximity with another person and should conduct themselves safely and respectfully at all times. Upon completion of the fieldwork, observers will be responsible for entering and proofing their data.
Applicants must be able to identify all Alaska bird species by sight and sound, and have prior experience doing bird point-counts. Applicants should be in excellent physical condition, and be comfortable working and camping in close proximity to 1 other person. Applicants with experience and confidence working in remote locations are desired, and the ability to thrive in difficult, uncomfortable, and unpredictable situations is a necessity. Experience safely handling firearms for bear protection and operating small boats is a plus.
Observers must be able to follow all protocols, communicate effectively, collect meticulous data, and must possess good map reading, GPS, and orienteering skills. Surveys conducted above the Arctic Circle with near 24-hour daylight require observers to start as early as 2:00 am; therefore, applicants must be able to endure early mornings and inconsistent sleep schedules. Though point-counts typically don’t go over 6 hours past “sunrise”, long days (especially when traveling between blocks) will occur.
Please indicate if you have up-to-date USFWS trainings (water ditching and survival, aircraft safety training, wilderness first aide, Motorboat Operator Certification Course [MOCC]) on your resume.
Email a cover letter, resume/CV, and name and contact information for three references to Zak Pohlen at email@example.com. Combine the letter, resume, and references into one document (either a Word or PDF file), and name the file with your last name_ first name_2020 (i.e: Johnson_Jim_2020.pdf).
Applicants are encouraged to send their application packet now, and contact the email in this announcement for more information regarding the hiring process.
All travel expenses (including flight to and from lower 48 to Anchorage) will be reimbursed and camping equipment will be provided. Housing in Anchorage prior to and after field deployment will be provided.
Contact Person: Zak Pohlen
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org