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  • Point Count Technician

    • Employer: The Institute for Bird Populations
      Location: California State Parks
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 02/29/2020
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    We have 2 openings for experienced point counters during spring/summer 2020 on our project monitoring bird populations within California State Vehicular Recreation Areas (SVRAs).

    PROJECT DATES (tentative): mid-April to early July

    TRAINING: The field season will begin with a training session in project protocols for conducting multi-species point counts. Surveyors are required to already be able to identify California terrestrial birds by sight and sound; previous point count experience is required.

    RESPONSIBILITIES: Often working in a team of two, biologists will visit and survey for birds at California State Parks specifically intended for motorized vehicle recreation (State Vehicular Recreation Areas – SVRAs). On a typical day, surveyors will wake up before dawn and spend the morning conducting multi-species point counts, often alongside SVRA staff. The biologists will identify and count birds while the park staff provide access to survey points by vehicle. The afternoon will then typically be spent entering and proofing data, traveling to the next SVRA, or meeting with park staff the day prior to surveys for logistical planning. Biologists may be asked to assist with deploying automated recording units (ARUs) at a select number of parks and annotating birds heard on ARU recordings. Work may be physically demanding, sometimes involving short hikes to survey points through dense vegetation and up steep slopes. Surveyors will sometimes be exposed to poison oak and high temperatures (> 100° F). Off-trail travel will be required at many survey sites. The typical work schedule will be 7- days on followed by 3-days off.

    REQUIREMENTS: We are looking for candidates with prior birding experience and familiarity with the songs and calls of western birds. Prior point count experience is mandatory. Other requirements include a sense of humor, a love of adventure, and an appreciation for rugged landscapes. Crew members will spend their nights in campgrounds, park temporary housing, and occasionally hotels when outdoor conditions are particularly extreme or campgrounds are unavailable. Survey work will be distributed across SVRA parks in California, requiring substantial car travel and willingness to lead a nomadic life for a few months. California SVRAs are located within a wide variety of habitats that include: the edges of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, coastal dunes of California, chaparral, oak woodland, and annual grassland. 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 may begin well before dawn, extreme temperature (both cold and hot), and widely varying housing and camping options. Successful candidates must be in good physical condition.

    EQUIPMENT: Biologists are expected to provide their own binoculars and camping/backpacking gear, including hiking boots, tent, sleeping bag, raingear, etc. A personal automobile is a required for each member of the two-person team.

    COMPENSATION: Surveyors will be considered seasonal IBP staff, and will receive payment of $2,500 per month (before payroll taxes) and project-related travel mileage reimbursement ($0.37/mile), but no fringe benefits. In addition, campground fees and hotel stay will be reimbursed.

    TO APPLY: Please email a resume, cover letter, and the names, phone numbers and email addresses of two references to Mandy Holmgren, Biologist at: mholmgren AT birdpop DOT org.

    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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