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  • Kirtland's Warbler Tour Guide

    Michigan Audubon
    • Employer: Michigan Audubon
      Location: Grayling, MI
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: No value
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    SUPERVISORS: Lindsay Cain (Michigan Audubon) and Craig Kasmer (Hartwick Pines State Park/MDNR)

    LOCATION / DATES: Grayling, Michigan, May 23 – June 30, 2022, with potential for temporary extension through Hartwick Pines

    EMPLOYMENT STATUS: Temporary/Seasonal Independent Contractor

    COMPENSATION: A rate of $2,200 for the contract period, paid in biweekly installments. Guides average 28 hours of work per week for Michigan Audubon. Lodging included at Camp Wa-Wa-Sum during period of employment.

    Position Overview:

    The Kirtland’s Warbler Tour Guide (hereafter “guide”) is a contracted employee by Michigan Audubon who will assist Michigan Audubon in leading Kirtland’s Warbler tours for the public at Hartwick Pines State Park located in Grayling, Michigan.

    The guide will be responsible for developing a high level of knowledge of all aspects of Kirtland’s Warbler identification, biology, history, and management in preparation for leading public tours throughout the guide’s employment period.

    The guide is also responsible for leading the tour in all types of conditions, including biting insects and cold, windy weather. At times, it may be necessary to wait up to 2-3 hours with participants to see a Kirtland’s Warbler. Typically, about 98-99% of participants get a view of a Kirtland’s Warbler, and the guide will be responsible for maintaining this level of excellence. Additionally, the guide may process payments for tours from visitors and maintain competency and integrity with regard to accepting payments. 

    The guide will be expected to represent Michigan Audubon in a courteous, professional manner, and to answer questions regarding the organization to their best ability. Communication, education, and outreach are key components to this role in sharing the Kirtland’s Warbler and its habitat with visitors.


    • Demonstrated expertise in Kirtland’s Warbler management, biology, identification, and history, or willingness to obtain it.
    • Ability to work as part of a team as well as independently with little supervision, to accept guidance from a supervisor, and to maintain consistent communication with supervisors throughout the contract period.
    • Ability and willingness to represent Michigan Audubon in a professional, knowledgeable, positive, and friendly manner.
    • Ability to identify and train tour participants in the identification of non-Kirtland’s warbler species present in the Jack Pine community (e.g. Hermit Thrush, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Yellow-rumped Warbler, etc.).
    • Ability to tolerate adverse weather (rain, snow, fog, cold, etc.) and adverse conditions (mosquitoes, black flies).
    • Ability to lead groups of people over rough terrain and under harsh conditions with clear and skillful communication.
    • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
    • Ability to live in a remote area / at a great distance from major metropolitan areas.
    • Ability to drive a vehicle in sandy conditions and/or rough terrain.
    • Willingness to perform other related duties in support of the entire Kirtland’s Warbler project as needed and assigned.


    • Possession of current CPR/First Aid certification, or willingness to obtain it. The guide will be responsible for acquiring CPR/first aid certification.
    • Willingness to provide own transportation for use during the tours. The guide is required to possess a valid state driver’s license and their own vehicle. Mileage reimbursement during work hours will be provided.
    • Schedule: the guide will work up to seven days a week for the entire contract period. The guide averages 28 hours a week but may need to work up to 40 hours per week.

    Housing: Arrangements for housing will be made with Michigan State University, which operates Camp Wa-Wa-Sum, located east of Grayling. The guide will not be responsible for lodging costs. There will likely be other groups and researchers staying at Wa-Wa-Sum, so the guide must be willing to live in close quarters with others. Please note that the camp is located in a remote area, approximately 15 miles from Grayling, and in a town populated by < 1,800 people. Cellular and internet service at the Camp is limited.

    To Apply

    To apply for this position, send an email to Education Coordinator Lindsay Cain at lcain@michiganaudubon.org. Use the subject line “KIWA Tour Guide Application” and attach as a single PDF your cover letter, resume, and a minimum of two professional and/or academic references (names, length of time known, phone numbers, and email addresses).

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