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  • River Point Count Technicians

    • Employer: University of Montana Bird Ecology Lab
      Location: Montana
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 03/01/2023
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    We are looking for 2 experienced avian point count technicians to conduct songbird surveys in riparian habitats on the scenic Madison and Missouri Rivers of Montana. These positions offer an incredible opportunity to explore Montana’s rivers while contributing to research on riparian bird populations. 

    SCHEDULE: mid- May – end July, full-time 40 hours/week. Technicians will typically work 5 days on, 2 off and will be expected to camp most of the week.

    TRAINING: Work will begin with a paid training session covering project protocols, river skills, and field safety.

    RESPONSIBILITIES: Technicians will hike,  canoe, or kayak to long-term monitoring locations to survey breeding birds and conduct rapid habitat assessments on Montana’s largest river system, from the Madison River headwaters near Yellowstone National Park to the wild and scenic Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument. Technicians will also conduct targeted surveys for Black-billed and Yellow-billed Cuckoos using automated recording units and playbacks. Daily work activities will include shuttling boats to public access points, paddling downstream, and hiking off-trail within the river floodplain to survey locations. Several multi-day overnight canoe camping trips will be required to access roadless river sections. Technicians will be responsible for daily logistics planning, obtaining landowner permissions, and data entry and management. This position entails working on public and private lands, and collaborating with partners from multiple agencies and NGO's.


    • Ability to identify the majority of western songbirds by sight and sound.
    • Point count survey experience is preferred, but other songbird field work will be considered.
    •  Ability and willingness to paddle and hike daily, camp out for much of the season, and work in remote areas with wildlife.
    • Ability to navigate with GPS and maps to reach off-trail locations.
    • Excellent organization skills and experience managing data using spreadsheets.
    • Ability to communicate well with the public, enthusiasm for field studies, and a strong work ethic.
    •  A valid driver’s license, clean driving record, and ability to safely drive a 4WD vehicle.

    COMPENSATION: $18.50-21.00 per hour, DOE. Housing will be provided in Helena, Montana. Optional rental vehicle or reimbursement for personal vehicle mileage at the current state rate (~$0.60/mi).

    TO APPLY: Please email your application as a single document (word or pdf) that includes a cover letter addressing qualifications specific to this position, a resume, and contact information for three references. Applications should be sent to Anna Noson (anna.noson@umontana.edu) with “River Point Count Technician” in the subject line. If you are applying for more than one job with UMBEL, please submit a separate application for each position.  Applicants will be considered as they are received.

    Applicants with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives are encouraged to apply. AA/EEO/ADA/Veterans Preference Employer.

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