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  • Fall Migration Counter

    • Employer: Shaver's Creek/Penn State University
      Location: State College, Pa
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 09/01/2021
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Penn State`s Outdoor Education Field Lab and Nature Center—Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center—is looking for two energetic Hawk Counters that can provide accurate raptor identification and reporting, while providing informal interpretation to site visitors at the local fall hawk watch.  

    These positions are part of a team conducting special single-season hawk watches on Bald Eagle Mountain and Tussey Mountain. Located near State College, Bald Eagle Mountain and Tussey Mountain are the northernmost ridges in Pennsylvania’s ridge-and-valley province that raptors encounter when they fly south from the Allegheny Plateau.  

    The 2019 Bald Eagle Mountain fall season documented the most golden eagles recorded in the eastern flyway (https://view.publitas.com/hmana-1/hawk-migration-studies-vol-46-no-1/page/12-13). The 2021 goal is to verify the 2019 results on Bald Eagle Mountain; document for the first time the significance of the fall raptor flight on Tussey Mountain; and together with hawk watches on nearby Stone and Jacks Mountains, document the extent of the fall raptor flight through Pennsylvania’s western Ridge & Valley Province, especially for golden eagles.  

    Duties: Identify and count all migrant raptors, waterfowl, and songbirds; Identify and record golden eagle age, time of observation, height of flight, flight type, flight path, and any behavioral observations; Record hourly weather data; Enter daily count into HawkCount database of the Hawk Migration Association of North America (HMANA); Post daily results to the State College Bird Club listserv; Attend the State College Bird Club meeting once per month; Interpret the natural history of raptor migration and communicate with the public at large; Independently make decisions on delay or cancellation of count due to weather patterns. 

    These positions require a familiarity with bird identification. A background in identifying eastern raptors in flight is preferred. Successful applicants will need to be able to endure long days in the field, often in cold, hot, and windy conditions, and have the independence to make daily decisions on cancellation of count due to weather. Experience interacting with the public and excellent interpersonal skills are highly preferred. Although these positions are 40 hours a week, applicants should expect irregular hours, including some weekends, due to unpredictable weather patterns. A personal pair of binoculars and spotting scope is preferred. Must be computer literate and capable of entering and managing data (computer access can be provided.) Applicants must have transportation to and from both hawk watch locations with a valid driver`s license. Successful completion of a motor vehicle records check will be required in addition to standard background checks. This is a part-time position that runs from September 10 through December 15.  

    Pay $9/hr with OT opportunities plus housing.

    Applicants must apply through the Penn State career page (https://hr.psu.edu/careers).

    Please email Jon Kauffman (jvk5019@psu.edu) with any questions about the position or how to apply.


    To review the Annual Security Report which contains information about crime statistics and other safety and security matters and policies, please go to https://police.psu.edu/annual-security-reports, which will also explain how to request a paper copy of the Annual Security Report.  

    Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.  


    Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Pennsylvania Act of 1988, Penn State publishes a combined Annual Security and Annual Fire Safety Report (ASR). The ASR includes crime statistics and institutional policies concerning campus security, such as those concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. The ASR is available for review at https://police.psu.edu/annual-security-reports.

    Employment with the University will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies. 

    EEO is the Law

    Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applications without regards to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. If you are unable to use our online application process due to an impairment or disability, please contact 814-865-1473.

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