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  • Migratory Bird Outreach Coordinator

    • Employer: Michigan State University
      Location: Mid-Michigan
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: No value
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    The Michigan State Bird Observatory (MSBO) is seeking an enthusiastic, self-motivated Migratory Bird Outreach Coordinator with strong interpersonal and organizational skills. The Outreach Coordinator communicates with visitors on-site during our field seasons and also conducts programs off-site year-round. The Outreach Coordinator should have expertise in bird banding and migratory birds. This is a unique position that requires a high degree of flexibility and availability, i.e., frequently working weekends during field seasons and willingness to travel locally to deliver programs and represent MSBO at events.

    The MSBO operates two bird banding stations for migration research on Nearctic-Neotropical landbirds during spring and fall field seasons; we also host and participate in other educational and promotional activities year-round. Our stations in mid-Michigan are approximately 1 mile apart: the Burke Lake Banding Station (BULA; www.burkelakebanding.com) and the Corey Marsh Ecological Research Center (CMERC; https://www.canr.msu.edu/cmerc/). These stations are 15 minutes from Michigan State University’s main campus in East Lansing, MI. During field seasons, banding occurs at one or both of these sites 30 minutes prior to sunrise to approximately 4 hours post-sunrise, 7 days a week, weather permitting. The site is operated with 1 primary bander, 2-3 mist-net assistants, 1 outreach coordinator, and up to 2 interns. Our organization has been operational since 2009. Our stations are unique in that they are open to the public and host many visitors.  Fall is our busiest time of year as far as visitors and captures, but education and outreach are a key part of our mission year-round. Note: Housing is not provided. This position is temporary/part-time (15-30 hrs/week, up to 6 days/week) for up to 9 months with the potential to become a FT position in the future (dependent on funding).

    Start Date: August 15 or sooner

    Salary: Based on prior experience, minimum $15/hr

    Minimum Qualifications:

    • Willingness to undergo a background check
    • Bachelor’s Degree
    • Valid driver’s license
    • Experience delivering education programs
    • Ability to extract birds from mist-nets
    • Willingness and availability to work a varied schedule including some weekends and early mornings.
    • Willingness to work outdoors in a variety of conditions

    Desired Qualifications:

    • 1-2 years of relevant experience working with diverse audiences (particularly youth) as well as migratory birds
    • Bird banding experience
    • Enthusiasm, strong communication skills, and a vested interest in community service
    • Experience facilitating experiential learning in the outdoors
    • CPR/First Aid Training
    • Ability to participate in physical labor


    Bird Banding Programs during field seasons

    • Deliver educational programs to diverse audiences
    • Extract birds from mist-nets and show birds to visitors
    • Develop programs related to migratory birds
    • Accompany visitors on net runs and communicate about how and why we are banding and processing birds (and other topics)
    • Train interns, volunteers, and new crew on outreach topics

    Conduct off-site events (year-round)

    • Develop and deliver in-school programs
    • Represent MSBO at exhibit/expo events  


    • Schedule group visits and off-site events
    • Find new outreach opportunities and audiences
    • Collect feedback from visitors and groups regarding program quality and interest
    • Manage volunteers for all outreach-related events and activities
    • Maintain inventory
    • Seek funding opportunities for outreach programs
    • Develop and distribute promotional and educational materials

    To apply, please submit a letter of interest, your résumé, and the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of 3 references familiar with your relevant experience to Dr. Jen Owen at burkelakebanding(at)gmail.com. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

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