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Ornithology Exchange

    • Employer: Oregon State University
      Location: Newport, Oregon (Central Oregon Coast)
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 01/03/2020
      Open Until Filled: Yes


    The Oregon Marbled Murrelet Project at Oregon State University is hiring one (1) Crew Lead from 4/20/20 to 8/14/20 (17 weeks, start and end date may be flexible, possibility of extension) to assist with a long-term, large-scale study of space use and nest success of the federally threatened Marbled Murrelet. This work is being conducted as part of the Forest Animal Ecology Lab at Oregon State University and is led by head PI, Dr. Jim Rivers.

    The Crew Lead will manage the field crew and lead field work using radio telemetry, point counts, electronic audio and visual equipment, and vegetation sampling to collect data on nesting and space use of Marbled Murrelets. The crew will be stationed in shared field housing on the central Oregon coast. The field schedule will be variable and includes long days, very early mornings, and night work, with limited time off. Extensive driving is required on unimproved forest roads with active logging, as well as through paved but busy tourist towns. The use of CB radios is required and all safety training is provided. Field work occurs in all weather conditions. Wind, fog, rain, biting/stinging insects, and poison oak will be encountered on a regular basis. All personnel should expect to carry loads upwards of 50 lbs. in steep, loose terrain. Physical fitness is necessary for safe transport of heavy and expensive equipment to off-trail forest locations; prior experience hiking and backpacking is an asset. Work will occur solo and in pairs depending on the nature of the work. Some travel out of state may be required.  Compensation is a weekly salary, based on experience, plus shared field housing and use of 4-wheel drive vehicles for work activities.


    $650 - $750 per week based on experience


    Job Duties


     - Supervise and manage the field crew in cooperation with the lead aerial technician

    - Use sound judgement, make decisions and communicate clearly under challenging field conditions

    - Coordinate and communicate effectively with other field crew members and supervisors verbally and in writing. This includes regularly responding to voicemails, texts and emails throughout the season

    - Ensure safety measures are followed by all crew members, including check-in/check-out procedures

    - Attend and contribute to weekly planning meetings

    - Delegate tasks including regular cleaning and maintenance of shared housing, vehicles and gear

    - Create complex schedules

    - Use shared calendars, white boards and other tools

    - Incorporate unforeseen tasks and compensate for mishaps on the fly

    - Balance competing priorities that change over the course of the season

    - Other duties as assigned

    Field Work:

    - Train and supervise the field crew in data collection and protocols

    - Search for tagged birds on nests in remote, mountainous, densely forested locations up to 80 km from coast

    - Participate in all field data collection:

    - Ground-based VHF radio telemetry from established stations and remote, mountainous, densely forested terrain

    - Dawn nest watches

    - Corvid point-counts using distance sampling methods

    - Observational data collection

    - Vegetation sampling

    - Set-up of remote video cameras, audio recording devices, and/or stationary telemetry receivers

    - Cut and maintain trails in densely-vegetated terrain

    - Transport heavy monitoring equipment in the forest to off-trail locations

    - Navigate off-trail in backcountry areas using topo maps and GPS devices over challenging terrain where there is no cell phone service

    - Camp overnight (for up to several days) in remote locations

    - Drive long distances in traffic and on unimproved forest roads using 4 wheel drive

    - Interact positively with the public while undertaking research  

    Data Management:

    - Provide leadership on data collection using a variety of electronic and paper-based methods

    - Enter and proof data according to protocols, and train field crews in these tasks

    - Conduct data quality assurance reviews and weekly data transfers with supervisors

    - Create maps in ESRI ArcGIS and Google Earth, and determine access routes in remote areas



    Minimum Qualifications:

    - Bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology or a related field

    - Ability to work in the United States

    - Valid driver’s license and a clean driving record

    - 4 years or more of field experience (1 summer job or volunteer position = 1 year of experience)

    - Basic bird identification skills

                - Computer skills including Microsoft Office and Google Suite

    - Proven track record of working in a safe and efficient manner 

    - Ability to work well with a team and independently

    - Demonstrated ability to hike long distances over uneven, steep, challenging terrain

    - Ability to lift and carry 50lbs

    - Capable of working long hours and variable schedules, including nights and early mornings, in inclement weather with limited time off

    - Must be comfortable driving and camping in remote locations, without cell reception

    - Applicants must have normal vision and hearing

    - Applicants should be detail-oriented and have good time management

    Preferred Qualifications:

    - Experience leading crews and creating work schedules

    - Experience working in forested and/or mountainous locations

    - Experience conducting Marbled Murrelet inland surveys

    - Intermediate to advanced bird identification skills, particularly with Western U.S. forest species

    - Familiarity maintaining/troubleshooting remote camera systems and audio recording units used for wildlife research, and working with video and audio data files

    - Ability to read maps, orienteer, use hand-held GPS devices, and hike alone in the backcountry

    - Ability to interact positively with the public while undertaking research 

    - 4-wheel drive experience

    - Previous experience working in backcountry as part of a research project or trail building crew


    To Apply:

    Applicants should create a single PDF file that contains:

    (1) a cover letter specifically addressing your interest in the position and your qualifications as they relate to the duties and qualifications described in this announcement;

    (2) a full-length resume or CV

    (3) the names and contact information (email and telephone) of three references who may be contacted.

    Email this document to osumamujobs@gmail.com with “MAMU CREW LEAD Application 2020” in the subject line. Questions may be addressed to the same email. Positions will be filled on rolling basis, so it is best to apply early. Send separate applications if applying to more than one position.

    Contact Person

    Jon Dachenhaus and Ethan Woodis

    Contact Email




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