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  • Biological Field Technician - (1407)

    Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc.
    • Employer: Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc.
      Location: Southwest, MN
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 02/14/2024
      Open Until Filled: No

    Interested in working outdoors? Have a wildlife-related degree you would like to put to use? Then Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. (WEST) has a job opportunity for you! WEST is currently looking for 3-4 full time Biological Field Technicians to assist with a variety of wildlife survey work in Minnesota (and potentially in neighboring states).


    Since 1990, WEST has grown to be one of the premier environmental and statistical consulting firms in the United States. Biological Field Technicians will assist with multiple pre-construction and/or post-construction wildlife surveys at wind and/or solar energy facilities.


    Please click here to see what benefits WEST offers! 


    Key Details:

    • Compensation: $18 - $21/hour, DOE; eligible for overtime pay
    • Housing: Reimbursement may be provided based on location and duties.
    • Start Date: Feb. or March 2024 depending on location and duties.
    • End Date: 6 – 12 months after start depending on project needs (with possibility of extension)
    • Location: Southwestern Minnesota: Marshall, MN; Pipestone, MN; Worthington; MN, Luverne, MN
    • Additional Details: GPS units and other field equipment will be provided by WEST. Field technicians must be equipped with suitable footwear (rugged hiking boots for pre-construction surveys or steel/composite-toed boots for post-construction surveys), appropriate clothing, and professional-grade binoculars for those conducting avian use surveyors.


    Job Summary:

    WEST is looking for candidates to reside in or near Lyon County, MN, Murray County, MN, Pipestone County, MN, or Nobles County, MN. Primary responsibilities of pre-construction positions include avian use surveys for songbirds, hawks, eagles, and waterfowl of the region. Primary responsibilities of post-construction positions include conducting standardized searches for bird and bat carcasses beneath wind turbines. Additional survey work may include raptor nest surveys, eagle nest monitoring surveys, and bat acoustic monitoring. Successful candidates must be able to work in a rural field setting, work well both independently and with others, and follow field and data collection protocols. Previous experience conducting avian surveys, or a background in birding, is required for avian use survey candidates; however, training will be provided for all survey types. An average workweek will be approximately 30-45 hours, though there may be weeks requiring shorter or longer hours. Candidates must be comfortable working outdoors in variable weather conditions and driving a four-wheel drive vehicle. Job duties require use of a compass, GPS, paper and/or electronic data collection, and/or electronic map devices.


    Responsibilities include (positions may include one or both survey types depending on qualifications of applicants):

    • Conducting fieldwork independently in remote locations.
    • Field navigation and travel on rural roads to record data.
    • Working outdoors in a range of extreme weather conditions.


    Pre-construction monitoring responsibilities include:

    • Avian surveys for songbirds, hawks, waterfowl, and eagles.
    • Bird identification by sight and sound (experience required).
    • Raptor nest surveys.
    • Eagle nest monitoring surveys.


    Post-construction monitoring responsibilities include:

    • Surveys looking for bird and bat carcasses beneath active wind turbines.
    • Participation in carcass persistence and searcher efficiency trials.
    • Field and in-hand bird and bat species identification, aging, and sexing.


    This is a general description of the functions for this position and is not inclusive of all the duties that may be associated with this position.



    • Although previous experience is not required for all positions, experience conducting avian surveys or a background in birding is required for pre-construction avian use surveys.
    • Candidates must be capable of recording data accurately, following study and safety protocols, following a schedule, and trouble-shooting problems in the field.
    • Candidates should be able to interact positively and professionally with coworkers and landowners.
    • Employees must be able to appear for work on time (surveys may begin as early as sunrise), maintain focus for long periods of time, follow instructions, and accept guidance and constructive criticism.
    • Consistent communication with the team and a positive attitude are imperative.
    • Environmental conditions may include working in rain, wind, mud, and temperature extremes.
    • Candidates may encounter snakes, insects, and other wildlife.
    • Candidates must use/wear required personal protective equipment, such as safety vests and hard hats as required.
    • Proficient use of topographic maps, compass, GPS units, tablet and other field equipment as required.


    Physical Requirements:

    • Applicants must be in good physical condition, able to carry at least 25 lbs. walking over uneven terrain in the field. Surveys will be conducted outdoors in locations where temperatures and conditions can be extreme.


    After an offer of employment is made, the candidate must successfully pass a pre-employment background check, drug screening, and DMV records check that meets WEST’s minimum criteria to operate a motor vehicle on behalf of the company.  A valid driver’s license will be required. Candidates must adhere to all health and safety requirements. 


    WEST provides equal employment opportunities to all individuals regardless of their race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status, genetics, and any protected veteran status, and any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.  Further, WEST takes affirmative action to ensure that all individuals are treated fairly, and without discrimination, for recruitment, selection, advancement and every other term and privilege associated with employment.





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