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  • Red-headed Woodpecker Research Technician

    Elena West
    • Employer: Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis and University of Minnesota
      Location: Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve; East Bethel, Minnesota
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 01/10/2020
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Description: The Red-headed Woodpecker Research and Recovery Project, a long-term citizen science project run by the Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis in cooperation with the University of Minnesota’s Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve (ESR), is hiring full-time research technicians for the summer 2020 field season. These positions will run from approximately late April/early May 2020 to early or mid-September 2020 (exact dates will be determined with the final candidates as the dates are somewhat flexible). Additional work may be available through September or early October. Salary: $15/hour, paid 40 hours per week. On-site shared field housing at Cedar Creek ESR will be provided at no cost. Cedar Creek ESR is in an exurban area about 40 miles north of Minneapolis, MN.

    The Red-headed Woodpecker Research and Recovery Project has been working at Cedar Creek ESR since 2008, and has focused on characterizing suitable Red-headed Woodpecker (RHWO) habitat, as well as studying traits that contribute to individual nesting success and survival. The oak savanna areas of Cedar Creek ESR, a large, diverse and well-respected research station with 75 years of scientific history to its name, is home to one of the largest remaining breeding populations of Red-headed Woodpeckers in the Midwest. Research in 2020 will take place primarily at Cedar Creek ESR and will explore movement ecology, behavior, nest productivity, and juvenile survival.

    Primary responsibilities include: locating and monitoring RHWO nests and broods, capturing, banding, and collecting tissue samples from woodpeckers, marking woodpeckers with GPS units and radio-transmitters, tracking woodpeckers using VHF radio telemetry equipment, assisting with nest cavity trail camera monitoring and maintenance, working with citizen-science volunteers, and daily data entry. Additional work may also include behavioral observations of woodpeckers, and collecting vegetation data related to nest site locations.

    Qualifications: Ideal candidates will possess an exceptional work ethic, ability to work both alone and as part of a team, willingness to adjust to a flexible schedule, and great attention to detail. Minimum qualifications include a love of nature, excellent observation skills, willingness to get dirty, and the ability to ignore one's phone for multiple consecutive hours. Preferred qualifications include experience with radio telemetry, and previous experience capturing, banding, and bleeding birds. This job requires people who are resourceful and creative, comfortable going with the flow, and are in excellent physical condition. Successful candidates should be prepared to work irregular hours on a sometimes-shifting schedule (including early mornings and weekends) with some long days in variable field conditions (e.g., extreme heat, humidity). The successful candidate must be comfortable with and tolerant of frequent encounters with ticks, biting insects, and the occasional nonvenomous snake. Successful candidates will be living and working very closely with other technicians at Cedar Creek ESR, so a positive attitude and ability to get along well with others is a must. A valid driver’s license and the ability to climb ~30’ ladders for nest checks are essential. Required safety training, including defensive driving, will be provided.

    Dr. Elena West, Postdoctoral Researcher
    Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve
    University of Minnesota

    Interviews will begin as resumes from qualified applicants are received. Applicants must apply via email. To apply, please send the following (in a single PDF or Word file) to Elena West at elenahwest@gmail.com:

    1) Letter of interest summarizing your previous experience, relevant field skills, how you will contribute to this position and why this job will benefit you. Please include the date you are available to start.

    2) Resume or CV that outlines your academic achievements and employment history.

    3) A transcript (unofficial is acceptable).

    4) Contact information for at least 2 professional references.

    Indicate the following in your subject line, “2020 RHWO Field Technician.” Applications will be reviewed as they are received. If you have any questions, please email Dr. West at elenahwest@gmail.com.

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