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    Fall Blackbird Research Technician - North Dakota

    • Employer: North Dakota State University (NDSU) and University of Oklahoma (OU) in cooperation with the USDA-APHIS-WS National Wildlife Research Center
      Location: Bismarck, ND
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: No value
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Salary: $10/hr + housing provided near Bismarck, ND.

    Start Date: 08/19/2019

    Last Date to Apply: Open until filled. Applications will be reviewed as they are received.


    One technician is needed from 19 August – 28 October, 2019 to assist an NDSU graduate student and an OU graduate student on blackbird (Icteridae) research projects. This is a unique opportunity to work on two separate blackbird research projects within the same time frame, gain valuable field skills, and make connections with multiple agencies.

    The research conducted by the NDSU graduate student will evaluate the response of wild flocks of blackbirds to UAS (i.e., drone) approaches. The research conducted by the OU graduate student will be using radar to study blackbird movements and foraging behavior on sunflower.  These projects will be part of on-going research to evaluate novel hazing techniques and tracking movements to mitigate the conflict between blackbirds and sunflower producers.

    This position is ideal for a recent graduate looking for a fall tech job that wants to gain a lot of experience and isn’t afraid of hard work. The technician will be a part-time employee through NDSU and OU, allowing a combined 40+ hours a week schedule. A typical week will be between 40-60 hours, weather depending. Work with the OU graduate student will occur during the week and work with the NDSU graduate student will occur during the weekend. However, there will be down time in the mornings or afternoon/evenings and days off provided. The technician will either be sharing housing at a local National Wildlife Refuge or sharing a new travel trailer with the graduate students.


    NDSU Project: The technician is needed to operate a small UAS (that will be on auto-pilot mode) while the graduate student is conducting approach trials with a larger UAS. The technician will need to take field notes when not operating the small UAS and help manage data collection. Duties will include, assisting the graduate student with UAS set up, operating a small UAS, acting as a field observer, monitoring blackbird flocks and their behavior, and using field equipment such as: binoculars, range finders, weather meter, sound meter, and other technology related to the UAS. Trials will most likely take place in the morning.

    Training will be provided so that the technician receives their FAA pt. 107 pilot’s license in order to fly a small UAS prior to the field season.

    OU Project: The technician will be assisting the graduate student with radar monitoring and bird identification in the field. The technician will need to take field notes and help manage data collection. Duties will include, monitoring radar movements, identifying blackbird flocks, recording behavioral observations, and using field equipment such as: binoculars and radar technology.


    Desired Qualifications:

    ·         Degree in Wildlife Biology, Natural Resources, Environmental Science, Zoology, Biology or other associated degrees.

    ·         Previous experience conducting avian field research.

    ·         Hard worker willing to commit to entire length of project.

    ·         Motivated, willing, positive, and dependable attitude.

    ·         Ability to work well on a small team, with constant car travel, in small shared housing.

    ·         Ability to work long/irregular hours.

    ·         Strong preference for applicant that has previous experience with small UAS.


    How to Apply: Send a single document (Word or PDF) that includes your cover letter, resume/cv, and contact information for 3 references to Mallory White at mallory.g.white@ndsu.edu and Bonne Clark at Bonne.A.Clark@ou.edu

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