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  • Rusty Blackbird Field Technician


    Luke Douglas
    • Employer: University of Maine/New Hampshire Audubon
      Location: Eustis, Maine & Errol, New Hampshire
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: No value
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Salary: $12.15-12.81 DOE. Housing provided.

    Start Date: 5/9/2021

    Last Date to Apply: Open until filled

    Description: The University of Maine and New Hampshire Audubon are seeking four (4) field technicians to assist with Rusty Blackbird fieldwork in northern New England. Core responsibilities will include nest searching and monitoring, tracking of tagged fledglings via radio telemetry, taking vegetation measurements, and driving 4x4 trucks. Technicians will be hired for 12 weeks from early May to early August. Housing will be provided.

    COVID-19 Restrictions: To minimize the risk of any crew members contracting COVID-19, all personnel will be required to have a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to arrival or quarantine for 14 days prior to arrival at either job site, effectively creating a “quarantine bubble”. Once at the cabin, all personnel must remain at their respective field sites for the duration of fieldwork. The remote nature of the work will minimize chances for contact with those outside of the research group. Personnel from the same field cabin will travel together in a truck to field sites. Trips to town will be limited to essentials such as the grocery store, gas station, or laundromat. Protective facemasks must be worn while in public, and hand sanitizer or hand washing must be applied immediately after every visitation to any public building. Hand washing must be conducted immediately on every arrival at the field cabin. If any member of the crew must leave the region for a medical or family-related emergency, they will need a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to returning to a field cabin.

    Project Background: The Rusty Blackbird is a globally-threatened songbird species that nests in young or stunted spruce-fir stands near foraging wetlands. The species is believed to have declined by more than 85% since the 1970s, though the reasons for this decline are still poorly understood. This project is investigating how the species reacts to intensive forestry practices, such as precommercial thinning, within their breeding range. A recent TWS presentation detailing the project can be found here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANmlzBX1ck0&t=132s&ab_channel=InternationalRustyBlackbirdWorkingGroup

    Qualifications: Ideal candidates will have a Bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology, environmental science, forestry, or a related field, or be currently enrolled in such a program. Candidates must be willing and able to work for long hours in variable weather conditions and in challenging field situations including dense spruce-fir stands, alder wetlands, and along streams. Ability to identify birds by sight and sound, navigate using compass and GPS, and tolerate dense swarms of biting insects required. Previous experience locating nests and tracking via radiotelemetry are preferred.. Candidates must be comfortable driving a 4x4 truck over rough and poorly maintained logging roads, and working individually as well as in a team.

    How to apply: Interested individuals should send a single pdf document containing a cover letter, resume, and three references to the project lead (contact information below).

    Contact Person: Luke Douglas

    Contact Email: luke.douglas@maine.edu



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