Job Title: Field Technicians for study on birds at army ant swarms in Panama
Location: Gamboa, Panama
Website: www.tarwaterlab.com, www.kelleylab.org
Salary: $700 per month plus housing, utilities, shared use of vehicle, and flight to Panama.
Start date: January 17, 2023
End date: ~Aug 11, 2023
We are seeing field technicians to work on a research project in central Panama studying army ant following birds. The project is investigating the costs and benefits of attending army ant swarms, how costs and benefits alter swarm attendance, how birds recruit to swarms, and how bird species vary in their roles within a swarm across a precipitation gradient. In particular, this project will include two experiments. One experiment will be a recruitment experiment where we play calls of different bird species and examine who comes into the playback. The second experiment will include finding ant swarms, behavioral observations of birds at swarms to evaluate food and competition at swarms, and mist netting of birds at swarms. Field technicians will also help with a long-term mist netting project for 1 week in March and July (the Limbo Project). Field work will include point counts of army ant following birds, behavioral observations, mist netting, banding, and surveying of ants. Data entry and maintenance of equipment will also be required. The candidate selected for this position will work on a large field crew. Candidates will live in Gamboa, Panama, home to one of STRI’s research facilities. Gamboa is a small town along the Panama Canal full of researchers and locals, located 45 minutes outside of Panama City. Work weeks will be 5 days a week and technicians are expected to enter data upon returning from the field.
Qualifications: A bachelor’s degree in biology, natural resources, wildlife management, ecology or a related field. Applicants must be responsible, organized, and comfortable living and working as a team. An enthusiasm for research and fieldwork is essential, as well as patience and a strong work ethic. Applicants must be in good physical condition and be able to handle hot and wet conditions, steep terrain, and biting insects. Candidates must have experience in one of the following - mistnetting, point counts, or behavioral observations of passerine birds. Ideal candidates would have experience in all three, in addition to experience in the tropics. Ideal candidates would have proficiency in Spanish and English as the crew will likely be bilingual. Ideal candidates would be able to drive a manual truck. International people are encouraged to apply.
Contact: Application must include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and contact information (email and phone) for 3 references familiar with your field work experience as a single PDF or word document. Applicants will submit the pdf and fill out a google form - https://forms.gle/1nyBPRCGjHxbsWTc8- specifying their field skills.