Western Pennsylvania Conservancy will be conducting surveys for secretive marsh birds across large wetland complexes in northwestern Pennsylvania, monitoring bird communities in prescribed fire locations, and working on conservation projects with the Allegheny Bird Conservation Alliance. The Avian Technician will work together with other WPC staff in the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program to accomplish goals outlined in the specified projects, WPC’s strategic plan, and/or the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program Operating Plan.
Job Description: The Avian Technician will conduct off-road point count and marsh bird call-broadcast surveys using standardized protocols to collect occurrence, abundance, and diversity information on bird species and assemblages at targeted sites of ecological value in Pennsylvania. The successful applicant will be expected to work independently as well as alongside WPC staff to complete surveys, maneuvering kayaks or canoes through wetlands, bush-whacking on foot to locations and navigating through wet, rugged and sometimes dangerous terrain (i.e. water, rocks, insects, poisonous plants, sun exposure, and possibly rattlesnakes). Other duties include desktop field preparations, site access communications with land managers and state agency staff, data entry and management, and assisting with vegetation assessments.
Qualifications: Must have experience and familiarity with the birds, habitats, and ecosystems of Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic region. Experience with standardized secretive marsh bird survey methods preferred. Working knowledge and experience with identification of birds by sight and sound is required, and plant identification knowledge is preferred. Candidates should have experience with intensive scientific field studies, ecological research techniques (especially avian surveys), and working in remote locations with extended field excursions. Must be able to travel throughout Pennsylvania and be able to work various hours, as needed. Must have the ability to paddle through dense wetlands, hike long distances over potentially exposed, steep, hilly, and/or rocky terrain, and work long hours in cool, hot, or wet spring/summer conditions. Familiarity with GPS and map navigation in remote settings preferred. Valid U.S. driver’s license required. Qualified individuals should have completed or be currently pursuing a B.S. degree in Biology, Ecology, Wildlife Biology, Zoology or related field, or equivalent combination of education and experience in relevant positions and projects.
Position Duration: early-May to late-August 2020 (approximately)
Pay: $12-$16 per hour; 40 hour work-week, plus food, travel expenses, and work-trip lodging during field work
Application process: Send resume, cover letter, and contact information for three references to firstname.lastname@example.org and list Avian Technician in the subject line of the email. Application deadline is March 1.