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  • Black Rail field technician (North Carolina)

    • Employer: East Carolina University
      Location: Coastal North Carolina
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 04/01/2022
      Open Until Filled: No

    Highly motivated FIELD TECHNICIAN sought for research into the status of Black Rails in North Carolina. The Black Rail is a scarce and secretive bird whose populations have declined dramatically in recent years. The eastern subspecies is considered Threatened federally and at the state level. In collaboration with partners across the southeast, our research will deliver critical information about occupancy, habitat, and effects of land management, to inform conservation strategies in coastal wetlands. The technician will work with a graduate student conducting surveys. Duties will include conducting callback surveys to locate breeding rails, deploying and maintaining Automated Recording Units (passive acoustic recorders) and trail cameras, preliminary analysis of both audio and image data, collecting vegetation and hydrologic data and entering all data into a database. Training will be provided. This position requires physically demanding work at varying times of day, including pre-dawn start times and a non-traditional work week. Applicants should expect to spend long hours in the field, walking through thick marsh vegetation and/or kayaking between survey points, often under hot, humid conditions. Evening surveys may also be necessary. The position is for 12 weeks. May through July availability is required. Late April availability is preferred. Dates are negotiable prior to starting.


    Required: Candidates should have or be working towards a B.S. in biology, ecology, wildlife science, or a related field. Candidates must have a personal vehicle and valid driver’s license. Travel between survey sites using personal vehicle will be reimbursed. Hard working with a positive attitude, sense of humor, and an interest in wetland bird ecology a must! Must possess good organizational and record-keeping skills. Ability to lift 30 pounds above one’s head. Many  sites are accessible by kayak, so comfort working on and around water is essential. Must be able to follow direction and to work both independently and as a team member, sometimes in the presence of snakes and biting insects.

    Preferred: Prior experience working in wetlands. Prior experience with marsh birds. Prior experience with callback protocols and identifying avian vocalizations. Experience working in difficult terrain and under uncomfortable field conditions. Experience paddling a kayak.


    $450 per week and shared accommodation provided

    To Apply:

    Candidates should send a cover letter with 1. dates of availability, 2. description of field skills and qualifications, 3. reason for interest in the position, and 4. future career goals. Provide a resume including the contact information for three references. Please combine in a single file and send electronically to SUSAN McRAE at East Carolina University, EM: mcraes AT ecu DOT edu. Please use the following subject line: BLACK RAIL TECHNICIAN. Review of candidates will begin March 21st. Phone: (252) 328-6515

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