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  • Rusty Blackbird Technician

    Araks O.
    • Employer: Arkansas Tech University
      Location: Russellville, Arkansas
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 10/31/2019
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Two full-time technicians are needed to assist a graduate student at Arkansas Tech University with their work on the winter ecology of Rusty Blackbirds in Arkansas. The Rusty Blackbird is one of the most rapidly declining songbirds in North America, and the goal of this research is to determine the factors which may be influencing that decline. The research will focus on sex- and age-specific survival, habitat use, and home range size.

    Specific duties include locating birds, setting up and taking down mist nets in Rusty habitat, extracting birds from mist nets, banding and processing birds, attaching radio transmitters to birds, and using radio telemetry to monitor birds. We will be capturing and tracking birds at various sites throughout the state, so there will be some travel involved.

    While some training will be provided, experience with setting up mist nets, extracting and banding birds, and radio telemetry is strongly desired.


    Preferred qualifications and experience include:

    -identifying Rusty Blackbirds by sight and sound

    -using binoculars and spotting scopes

    -resighting color-banded birds

    -ageing and sexing birds in hand

    -color banding birds

    -synsacral transmitter attachment

    -conducting vegetation surveys

    -conducting field work on private land and communicating with land owners

    -working independently with minimal supervision

    -living in remote areas, with basic amenities, for extended periods of time

    -flexible and positive attitude


    A valid driver’s license and good driving record are required. A university vehicle will be available for job-related travel, but a personal vehicle is recommended for non-work use. The field season will be December 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020 (tentative). Housing will be provided in the form of a bunkhouse or trailer. The salary will be $10/hr.


    To apply, please send a cover letter detailing your interest and qualifications, a resume, and contact information for three references in a single PDF or Word document to Araks Ohanyan at aohanyan@atu.edu. Please include “Rusty Blackbird Technician” in the subject line. Selected applicants will be required to complete an employment application through Arkansas Tech University, and will need to pass a background check to qualify for employment. The deadline to apply is October 31, 2019. Applications will be reviewed as they are received.


    Please contact Araks Ohanyan at aohanyan@atu.edu if you have any questions.

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