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  • Bird Conservation Field Technician

    Guest Cooper Farr
    • Employer: Tracy Aviary
      Location: Salt Lake City, UT
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 03/15/2024
      Open Until Filled: No

    Job Summary: Tracy Aviary’s Conservation Science Program helps conserve birds and their habitats through community science. Focusing on key local habitats and pressing regional conservation issues, our goals are to gather novel information about local avian ecology, inform habitat restoration and stewardship, and engage a diverse community in scientific data collection. Tracy Aviary is offering a 4-month field technician position that will provide on-the-ground experience in avian conservation science, with a focus on three of the Aviary’s research projects:


    1) Year-round Bird Monitoring in the Salt Lake Valley: Tracy Aviary conducts year-round community science bird surveys at 12 study sites throughout the Salt Lake region.  These surveys help answer questions about the impact of restoration, management, and habitat alteration on bird communities, and provide a basis for recommendations on bird-friendly practices at these sites. The Bird Conservation Field Technician will conduct breeding season point count surveys at these monitoring sites, which are located primarily along the Jordan River and include two wetland sites near Great Salt Lake. These surveys may be completed solo or with community scientist volunteers.


    2) Great Salt Lake Shorebird Motus Tagging Project: Great Salt Lake provides critical habitat to millions of migratory birds, and these habitats are increasingly threatened as water is diverted away from the lake while the region suffers an ongoing drought. While conditions worsen, we are faced with limited information about these birds and where they are moving. Using a network of Motus Wildlife Tracking stations that have recently been built throughout Utah, and the existing stations established throughout the Pacific flyway and beyond, we have a unique ability to gather essential fine-scale and large-scale information to help conserve birds that are especially threatened by changing climate conditions. In spring and summer 2024, we will capture and Motus tag a number of shorebird species to gain a comprehensive understanding of their usage of Great Salt Lake and movement to other regions. The Bird Conservation Field Technician will support capture and tagging efforts at sites around Great Salt Lake.


    3) Snowy Plover Nest Monitoring: The Western Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus) has sustained population declines across their range. The South Shore of Great Salt Lake, a popular recreational area adjacent to one of the most populous areas in the state, has been identified as the most important of two critical breeding grounds in North America for the interior population of Snowy Plover. This project collects baseline survey data on Snowy Plover populations and breeding success and investigates whether human-associate disturbances in this region are negatively impacting Snowy Plover nest success. The Bird Conservation Field Technician will conduct nest searches and nest monitoring surveys, and will install cameras at select nest sites. These surveys may be completed solo or with community scientist volunteers.


    Position Dates:  April 1 – July 31, 2024 (4-month position, exact start and end dates flexible)


    Primary Duties:

    ·         Conduct early morning point count surveys at riparian and wetland study sites throughout the Salt Lake region.

    ·         Assist with capturing, banding, and tagging shorebirds

    ·         Assist with maintenance related to the recently installed Motus Network

    ·         Participate in nest searching and monitoring of reproductive success for Snowy Plovers

    ·         Assist in other duties related to Tracy Aviary’s Conservation Science Program as needed.


    Stipend:  $2800/month


    Job Qualifications: 

    ·         Background and/or demonstrated experience in biology or ecology.

    ·         Ability to identify Utah’s bird species by sight and sound, especially riparian, wetland, and shorebird species

    ·         Experience with bird/habitat survey methods

    ·         Excellent written and oral communication skills

    ·         Experience working with volunteers/members of the public

    ·         Bird handling experience

    ·         Experience locating cryptic nests

    ·         Mist netting experience

    ·         Experience working on open playa and wetlands in hot conditions


    To Apply: Send a cover letter describing relevant experience and skills, a resume, and contact information for three references to Cooper Farr (cooperf@tracyaviary.org) by March 15, 2024 Applications will be reviewed as they are received.


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