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  • Black Rail Field Technician (North Carolina)

    • Employer: East Carolina University
      Location: near Beaufort, North Carolina
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 03/10/2023
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Highly motivated FIELD TECHNICIAN sought for research into the status of Black Rails in North Carolina. The Black Rail is a shy 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, conducting vegetation surveys, collecting hydrology 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 will also be necessary. The position is for 12 weeks. May through July availability is required. Exact 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 should have a personal vehicle and a valid driver’s license. Travel between survey sites using personal vehicle will be reimbursed. Hard working with a positive attitude, good sense of humor, and an interest in wetland bird ecology is a must! Must possess excellent organizational and record-keeping skills, and ability to lift 50 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 comfortable 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. Phone: (252) 328-6515.

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