FLORIDA GRASSHOPPER SPARROW FIELD AND HUSBANDRY TECHNICIAN (1) – Avian Husbandry and Radio Telemetry
Duration: 31 January-17 September 2020
Job Type: Seasonal
Application Deadline: 1 December (or until filled).
Job Description: One experienced seasonal field technician is needed to provide avian care and conduct demographic research of the critically endangered Florida grasshopper sparrow with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission ($15.00/hr, plus option of state-sponsored health insurance; January 31 through September 17, 2020). The candidate will help with the transport of birds from the captive breeding facilities to the field aviaries, will monitor and care for birds during the acclimation period in field aviaries, and will help with the effort of releasing birds into the wild. In addition to animal care responsibilities, technician will conduct radio-tracking of released birds and assist field staff with collection of important demographic field data. This will be the second year of the release effort to conserve one of the most threatened birds in the United States, and field technicians will be inextricably involved with the collaborations necessary to achieve success. Florida’s rare and unique dry prairie habitat offers breathtaking grassland sunrises and frequent encounters with some of Florida’s finest wildlife. A video highlighting the project can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-UX2_QCPzI, press coverage can be found here: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/racing-to-save-the-florida-grasshopper-sparrow/, and more recent coverage found here: https://www.npr.org/2019/09/23/763521144. Pay is $15.00/hr (40hrs/week) and eligible for state group insurance (must meet eligibility requirements. Consult with People First or the servicing Human Resource Office for details), with air-conditioned shared housing and 4x4 vehicles provided on site.
Duties include: Tending to birds in field aviaries prior to release (feeding, health monitoring, behavioral observation), conducting radio telemetry and point count surveys, resighting color-banded individuals, collecting samples for disease analysis, finding and monitoring grassland bird nests with nest cameras, protecting nests with predator deflection fencing, conducting behavioral observations, data entry, equipment maintenance, and implementing adaptive conservation biology protocols. Husbandry technicians will be expected to contribute fully to demographic fieldwork (e.g., intensive nest searching and nest protection) between holding and release phases.
Qualifications: Candidates should have extensive experience safely handling small passerines. Husbandry training will be provided, but previous work in an animal care facility is preferred. Ideal candidates should be skilled with radio telemetry, point count surveys, resighting color-banded birds using a spotting scope, and searching for and monitoring grassland bird nests. Previous experience trapping, banding, and affixing radio-transmitters on passerines is desired. Technicians must be organized, motivated, and adaptable to detailed fieldwork and data management protocols. Tolerance for high temperatures and extreme humidity is essential, as is the ability to live happily in a rural setting and in close quarters with other field researchers. Applicant must have a valid U.S. driver's license and be authorized to work in the United States. Previous experience driving 4x4 trucks and ATVs in wet conditions is also preferred. Dedication, sensitivity, and attention to detail when working with a critically endangered bird is a must. A master’s degree and/or several years of relevant experience is a plus.
To Apply: Candidates must submit in ONE document (.doc, .docx, or .pdf) a brief cover letter, CV, and the contact information for three professional references to Juan C. Oteyza at FWCbio@gmail.com. Please state in the subject line of the email the title of the position you are applying for: “FGSP field and husbandry technician”. Applications will be accepted until December 1st or until the position is filled.