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  • Black Rail Field Technician

    Bart Paxton
    • Employer: The Center for Conservation Biology, William and Mary
      Location: Barrier islands of North Carolina (Hatteras and Ocracoke)
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: No value
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Position Description:
    The Center for Conservation Biology is seeking two (2) field technicians to conduct crepuscular surveys for Black Rails, any other secretive marsh birds in marshes associated with North Carolina barrier islands. Responsibilities include conducting crepuscular call back surveys, data collection, entry and management. Surveys will be conducted by truck, foot, and kayak during the 2 hours before and after sunrise and sunset. This is a full time temporary position. Dates of employment are approximately 1 May-15 July 2023. Surveys will occur primarily on Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands with a few surveys on Portsmouth Island and north of Oregon Inlet. Due to the large survey area, lodging will consist of camping and motels near survey routes. Travel advances will be provided to cover costs incurred for motels and campsites. All field and camping equipment (tents, stoves, coolers, thermacells, bug suits, etc.) will be provided.

    Ideal candidates should be willing and able to work independently for approximately 4 hours around sunrise and 4 hours around sunset. The majority of survey points will from road side or a short walk through dune sand, coastal scrub or high marsh. Some points may require longer walks or access via kayak. Applicants should be willing and able to walk moderate distances in loose sand, marshes and scrub vegetation.  Applicants should be able to identify Black Rails and other Rallidae species by sound, or have the ability to quickly learn new bird calls. Previous experience with marsh bird surveys or call back surveys is highly desirable. Expected work schedule is 5 days on, 2 days off (40-hour workweek). However, weather will be the primary factor in determining work schedule so the ideal candidate will be flexible and capable of managing their workload to maximize the number of call back surveys conducted per day to adhere to the project timeline. Must be able complete tasks and maintain a good attitude in less than ideal conditions. While Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands are beautiful and offer many natural and recreational opportunities, you may be challenged by wet, windy, hot, sandy, and buggy conditions.

    Preferred Attributes:

    ·         Experience conducting avian surveys.

    ·         Knowledge of Black Rail and other Rallidae species vocalizations.

    ·         Flexibility and experience leading or working independently on a field research project.

    ·         Willingness to travel along the island chain camping at NPS campgrounds and staying in motels near survey routes.

    ·         Willing and physically capable of walking several miles in sand.

    ·         Experience with the safe operation of sit on top kayaks.

    ·         Experience conducting nocturnal surveys or other nighttime field research.        

    ·         Experience with the operation of 4wd vehicles in sand.

    Additional Qualifications for Crew Leader position.

    ·         Experience working independently on field research projects.         

    ·         Experience supervising other fieldworkers.       

    ·         Ability and experience communicating with project staff and partners to keep them informed about project status.        

    ·         Experience managing project tasks and timelines.


    Pay Rate: $15.50-$18/hour depending on experience.


    To apply:

    Visit Field Technician position at https://jobs.wm.edu/postings/51656

    Visit Lead Field Technician position at https://jobs.wm.edu/postings/51654

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