Who we are: The Alaska Songbird Institute (ASI) is a nonprofit organization based at Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in Fairbanks, Alaska. Our mission is to conserve Alaska’s boreal songbirds and their habitats through research and education. Our long-term avian research projects (30+ years) utilize a community-based model. They are open to the general public, and students, teachers, and community volunteers of all ages are involved throughout the research process. ASI strives to integrate diverse voices and perspectives committed to our shared vision and values throughout everything we do.
Position Description: We are immediately seeking an enthusiastic individual to serve as a secondary bander for the fall banding season at the long-running Creamer’s Field Migration Station—North America’s northernmost songbird monitoring station—within the town of Fairbanks, Alaska. This position will be offered from August 1st – September 30th, 2022, and time commitment/work days required is flexible.
General Responsibilities: Research & monitoring (approximately 80% of time and effort); station logistics (10%); and community interaction (10%). The bander is expected to assist station banding operations alongside the bander-in-charge and experienced volunteer assistants. This position may also contribute to data entry and proofing at the individual’s discretion, but these tasks are not required.
Qualifications: The bander must possess excellent bird identification skills, high competency at mist netting, aging, sexing and banding passerines (at least 750 songbirds in the past five years), and familiarity with fall molt patterns and handling non-passerine birds. Experience working at high-volume migration stations is a plus. A meticulous approach to collecting and recording data and excellent communication skills are required. The bander must be able to assist with the supervision of interns and volunteers, and interact professionally with public visitors. Applicants must be in excellent physical shape, be able to wade through waist-deep water, be capable of making common sense decisions concerning wildlife interactions (e.g., moose, bear), have a high tolerance for dense mosquito activity, and be able to work independently and as part of a team. A positive attitude, ability to be flexible with dynamic fieldwork conditions, passion for communicating science, and genuine interest in working in Alaska’s boreal forest ecosystem are ideal. Candidates must already reside in the Fairbanks area or be able to account for their own accommodations and transportation to, from, and within the area.
Physical Demands: Mist netting and banding require good manual dexterity and eyesight, and involve long periods of being on your feet with few or no breaks. This position requires walking through vegetation and water up to several feet deep, stepping over logs, crossing uneven terrain, reaching, and carrying heavy objects, including a 25+ pound backpack. Must be able to climb stairs and access basement storage area, banding station and all nets. Must be able to walk briskly during frequent net runs covering up to 1/3 mile each, tolerate heavy insect activity, and all types of weather conditions including extreme temperatures.
Hours: Hours are flexible and can be adapted to the bander’s schedule. Preferably, the bander would be available 1-3 days (~7-20 hours) per week, including weekends, through September, but need is greatest during August. We are willing to consider individuals who may only be available for a portion of the two-month banding season.
Status and Compensation: Seasonal. $16-18/hour, depending on experience.
To Apply: Please submit a resume and a brief letter detailing your interest, experience, and availability for this position to Robert Snowden at ASI.email@example.com. Your resume must include the total number and type of birds extracted, handled, and banded. Review of candidates will begin immediately.