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  • Fall Migration Bird Bander

    CFMS Program Director
    • Employer: Alaska Songbird Institute
      Location: Fairbanks, AK
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: No value
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Who we are: The Alaska Songbird Institute (ASI) is a nonprofit organization based at Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in Fairbanks, Alaska. Our mission is to conserve Alaska’s boreal songbirds and their habitats through research and education. Our long-term avian research projects (30+ years) utilize a community-based model. They are open to the general public, and students, teachers, and community volunteers of all ages are involved throughout the research process. ASI strives to integrate diverse voices and perspectives committed to our shared vision and values throughout everything we do.

    Position Description: We are seeking an enthusiastic candidate to serve as the secondary bander for the fall banding season at the long-running Creamer’s Field Migration Station—North America’s northernmost songbird monitoring station—within the town of Fairbanks, Alaska. This position will be offered from July 24th – September 29th, 2023. Start and end dates are somewhat flexible.

    General Responsibilities: Mist netting and banding operations (approximately 60% of time and effort); data entry and proofing (15%); station logistics (15%); and community interaction (10%). Bander is expected to lead station banding operations alongside experienced volunteer assistants for up to two days a week, and assist bander-in-charge three days per week.

    Qualifications:  Bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology or related field preferred. The candidate must possess excellent bird identification skills, high competency at mist netting, aging, sexing and banding passerines (at least 750 songbirds in the past five years), and familiarity with fall molt patterns and handling non-passerine birds. Experience working at high-volume migration stations is a plus. A meticulous approach to collecting and recording data and excellent communication skills are required. The candidate must be able to assist with the supervision and training of interns and volunteers, and interact professionally with public visitors. Applicants must be in excellent physical shape, be able to traverse steep terrain and wade through waist-deep water, capable of making common sense decisions concerning wildlife interactions (e.g., moose, bear), have a high tolerance for dense mosquito activity, and be able to work independently and as part of a team. A positive attitude, ability to be flexible with dynamic fieldwork conditions, passion for communicating science, and genuine interest in working in Alaska’s boreal forest ecosystem are ideal. In addition, having access to personal transportation—whether that be automobile or bike—can be advantageous for living and commuting in Fairbanks.

    Physical Demands: Mist netting and banding requires good manual dexterity and eyesight, and involves long periods of being on your feet with few or no breaks. This position requires walking through vegetation and water up to several feet deep, stepping over logs, crossing uneven terrain, reaching, and carrying heavy objects, including a 25+ pound backpack. Must be able to climb stairs and access basement storage area, banding station and all nets. Must be able to walk briskly during frequent net runs covering up to 1/3 mile each, tolerate heavy insect activity, and all types of weather conditions including extreme temperatures.

    Hours: Approximately 40 hours/week (five days a week). Requires a flexible schedule and weekend days.  

    Status and Compensation: Seasonal. $17-18/hour depending on experience. Free or low-cost housing may be available, but is not guaranteed.

    To Apply: Please submit in a single document a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three references, addressed to Robert Snowden at ASI.science@aksongbird.org. Your resume must include the total number and type of birds extracted, handled, and banded. This position will be filled as soon as qualified applicants are found.

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