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  • Avian Technician - Snowy Plover

    Guest Ecostudies Institute
    • Employer: Ecostudies Institute
      Location: Griffiths-Priday State Park, Washington
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 02/28/2024
      Open Until Filled: Yes


    Overview Summary
    Ecostudies Institute (ESI) is hiring 1 seasonal avian field technician to monitor Snowy Plovers at Griffiths-Priday State Park on the Washington coast. Major responsibilities will include population surveys, resighting color-banded birds, mapping territories, and locating and monitoring nests on a state park beach; secondary responsibilities may include work at other occupied sites and recording observation of streaked horned larks. This position works highly independently with supervision from our headquarters in Olympia, WA (~2hrs away), but also may work closely to assist staff of partner organizations (e.g., Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, US Fish and Wildlife Service). The technician will be responsible for collecting detailed data, meticulously managing it, and be detail oriented in observation and documentation. Working in a public area, the technician will be representing ESI and is responsible for communicating the purpose of their work and the value of Snowy Plover conservation to members of the public.
    Successful applicants should have a keen interest in avian research and conservation, demonstrate excellent communication skills, be able to work independently and collaboratively, and be comfortable working on the coast in a public-facing area. Positions entail early mornings and long days with extensive walking (> 5mi/day) on the beach in sometimes adverse weather conditions. Technicians are expected to be self-motivated, able to complete tasks with high attention to detail with minimal supervision after a training period and communicate effectively with partners and the public concerning work by ESI.

    • Resight color-banded birds using binoculars and spotting scopes.
    • Locate and monitor Snowy Plover nests and brood outcomes.
    • Conduct standardized line transect surveys following detailed protocols and recording meticulous datasheets.
    • Record and map locations of Streaked Horned Larks (adults, juveniles).
    • Maintain detailed field notebooks including detailed observations and daily activity logs.
    • Daily data entry and regular QA/QC in Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access databases.
    • Operate and maintain equipment such as binoculars, spotting scopes, and handheld GPS.
    • Use mobile apps in the field including ESRI Survey123 and FieldMaps.
    • Hike 5+ miles daily on the beach and adjacent dunes in all weather conditions, beginning before sunrise.
    • Interact professionally with other ESI and partner organization staff and the public and be able to communicate the value and benefit of Snowy Plover conservation and recovery.
    • Work collaboratively with resource agencies, consultants, and other conservation organizations.
    • Complete administrative duties including tracking work hours, submitting timesheets, and recording reimbursable mileage.
    • Other related duties as assigned to assist in meeting ESI’s conservation goals.

    • Completion of or progress towards BA/BS/AS/Technical or vocational degree in science-related field; or at least three years of natural resources or avian field experience.
    • Ability to identify coastal Washington birds by sight and sound or quickly learn.
    • Full-spectrum color vision to accurately record color-band resights.
    • At least one season of experience with avian field techniques which may include point count surveys, nest monitoring, territory mapping.
    • Experience working with or knowledge of natural systems; ability to recognize or learn important plant and animal species as required.
    • Ability to follow provided protocols and instructions from colleagues.
    • Ability to manage time and diverse activities under deadlines while delivering quality results.
    • Ability to work independently with limited supervision and demonstrate strong initiative in completing tasks.

    • Ability to perform physical work, sometimes under adverse conditions or in inclement weather.

    • Working knowledge of common software applications on computers or mobile devices (e.g., Word, Excel, web browsers, Google products).
    • Must have and maintain a valid state driver’s license and safe driving record.
    • Must have access to a working personal vehicle that can be used to drive to and from work locations every day (personal use of vehicle will be reimbursed based on the federal mileage rate).

    Preferred Qualifications
    • Previous experience locating and monitoring nests and broods of shorebirds.
    • Shorebird handling experience.
    • Familiarity with ESRI products such as ArcGIS Pro, Survey123, and FieldMaps.
    • Experience with Microsoft Access for data entry.

    Working conditions
    • Regularly works outdoors in coastal areas, often across uneven ground or in inclement weather; occasionally works indoors in an office setting.
    • Occasionally required to operate an Ecostudies Institute vehicle.
    • Regularly walks 5+ miles per day on uneven sandy beaches while carrying a spotting scope and other gear.
    • Rare evening and weekend responsibilities, including travel.
    • Occasionally lifts, positions, or otherwise moves objects weighing up to 50 pounds.
    • Frequently works alone in the field with minimal supervision but regularly communicates with supervisor and collaborators.
    How to apply
    Qualified applicants should provide the following, combined in a single file:
    1. Detailed cover letter describing how your interest and experience meet the job responsibilities described above.
    2. Current résumé or curriculum vitae
    3. Names, affiliations, and contact information for three professional references

    Email applications to Stephanie Augustine at avian@ecoinst.org with Snowy Plover Avian Field Technician in the subject line. All applications will be acknowledged. Review of applications may begin as they are received until all positions are filled; preference will be given to those submitted before February 28th, 2024.

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