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  • King rail field assistants

    • Employer: East Carolina University
      Location: Mackay Island NWR, coastal North Carolina
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 01/31/2020
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Highly motivated FIELD ASSISTANTS (3 positions) sought for research on the ecology and behavior of breeding king rails in support of their conservation in wetlands in and around Mackay Island NWR on the coastal North Carolina-Virginia border http://www.fws.gov/mackayisland/. Duties include conducting callback surveys to locate breeding rails in the surrounding region as part of a 10-year status assessment. The breeding ecology study will entail nest finding and monitoring, as well as catching, sampling and banding adults and chicks. Candidates will be required to collect data and observations and enter these into a database. Training will be provided. These positions require physically demanding work at varying times of day, including early morning start times and a non-traditional work week. Applicants should expect to spend long hours wading through water, mud and thick marsh vegetation under hot, humid conditions. Some evening work may also be necessary. Three 10-week positions are available with staggered start dates. May through June availability required. April availability preferred, but dates negotiable prior to starting.


    Required: Candidates should have or be working towards a B.S. in biology, ecology, wildlife science, or a related field. Hard working with a positive attitude, sense of humor, and an interest in wetland bird ecology a must! Ability to follow direction and to work both independently and with a team. Possess good organizational and record-keeping skills. Ability to lift 50 pounds above one’s head. Valid driver’s license and clean driving record. Must be comfortable working around water in the presence of snakes and biting insects.

    Preferred: Prior experience working in wetlands. Prior experience with marsh birds, mistnetting, bird handling, and nest-finding. Prior experience with callback protocols and identifying avian vocalizations. Experience working in difficult terrain and under uncomfortable field conditions. Experience paddling a kayak. Own vehicle preferred, but not required (please indicate upon application). Ability to operate a 4-wheel drive truck an asset.


    $300 per week. Comfortable accommodation in shared refuge housing with all basic amenities and utilities will be provided free of charge.

    To Apply:

    Candidates should send a cover letter with 1. dates of availability, 2. description of qualifications, 3. reason for interest in the position, 4. future career goals, 5. state whether you have a clean driver’s license, and 6. your own vehicle (not required for work). Provide a resume including the contact information for three references. Please combine in a single file and send electronically to SUSAN McRAE at East Carolina University, EM: mcraes AT ecu DOT edu. Please use the following subject line: KING RAIL ASSISTANTS. Review of candidates will begin January 31st, 2020, and continue until the positions are filled. Phone: (252) 328-6515


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