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  • Nest Survey Technician in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, California

    Lee Bryant
    • Employer: The Institute for Bird Populations
      Location: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, California
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: No value
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    We have 1 opening to be filled immediately for a nest surveyor mid-May through early August 2024 to join our 4-person crew assessing the impact of wildfire management on understory nesting birds in sequoia groves and roadside corridors.

    PROJECT DATES: Mid May–Early August 2024 (immediate start date, flexible end date)

    TRAINING: The field season will begin with a brief training session in project protocols for conducting nest surveys for understory species, vegetation assessments, and multi-species point counts (depending on prior experience). The Field Technician is required to already be familiar with bird ID by sight and sound; applicants with previous experience identifying Sierra birds and nest surveying will be preferred.

    RESPONSIBILITIES: Primary duties will involve surveying for understory species nests and conducting vegetation assessments in sequoia groves and the 2021 KNP Complex fire scar along roadway corridors. Depending on experience, the Technician may also conduct multi-species point counts. Data will be collected on tablets using the Field Maps application but some manual data entry will be required.

    On a typical day, the Technician will wake up before dawn for travel (drive and/or hike) and spend the morning into early afternoon surveying for understory species nests, then conduct vegetation surveys at all nests found. Afternoons will be spent preparing and assessing needs for the next day’s survey sites. Some days may start with conducting multi-species point counts before vegetation surveys (depending on prior experience). Work will be physically demanding, sometimes involving several-mile hikes into survey sites and a possible backpacking trip (hiking in up to 15 miles with up to 7 days of back-country camping) to access survey sites far from roads. Off-trail travel will be required at all survey sites.

    REQUIREMENTS: We are looking for a candidate with prior birding experience; applicants who are proficient in identification of western forest birds, and/or have nest-surveying or point count experience will be preferred. Other requirements include a love of adventure, a desire to learn more about and contribute to wildfire management in sequoia groves, and an appreciation for recently burned forested landscapes.

    Survey work will be distributed throughout Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and will require staying up to 5 nights per week (Sunday/Monday–Thursday) at front-country campgrounds, and possible backcountry camping on the occasional backpacking trip. A willingness to face the rigors of fieldwork with good humor is important. These rigors include (but are not limited to!) physically demanding work, long work days that will begin well before dawn, wet/cold weather, mosquitos, occasional contact with bears, and less-than-glamorous housing. Successful candidates must be in excellent physical condition and must be comfortable with off-trail hiking and orienteering. A personal vehicle is highly desirable but not strictly required.

    SCHEDULE: Typically 5 days on (Monday–Friday) and 2 days off (Saturday–Sunday), but this schedule is subject to shift depending on wildfire management implementation. Backcountry trips will require longer work weeks, typically 7 days on.

    EQUIPMENT: The Technician is expected to provide their own binoculars and other necessary gear including raingear, hiking boots, a daypack, and front-country camping/backpacking gear (tent, sleeping bag, cooking gear, etc.). Some gear may be available for borrowing.

    COMPENSATION: The Technician will be considered a seasonal IBP staff member, and will receive payment of $16.75 per hour, about $2,900 per month (before payroll taxes). Shared housing in a shared bedroom (one other roommate) will be provided. A personal vehicle is a plus but not strictly required; all project-related travel mileage will be reimbursed at $0.50 per mile. No fringe benefits are provided.

    TO APPLY: Please email a resume, cover letter, and the names, phone numbers and email addresses of up to three references to Lee Bryant, Biologist (lbryant AT birdpop DOT org). Professional references are preferred, but one reference may be a character reference. Many times, references are slow to reply; we encourage submitting more references so that your application can be quickly processed.

    IBP values diversity and encourages people from all backgrounds to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation.


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