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    Seasonal Avian Field Biologist (Loggerhead Shrike)

    • Employer: Institute for Wildlife Studies
      Location: San Clemente Island, CA (off San Diego)
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 12/15/2020
      Open Until Filled: No

    Job Description: The Institute for Wildlife Studies (IWS) is seeking one seasonal field biologist to assist with the release and monitoring of the San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike (SCLS), a federally endangered, endemic subspecies on San Clemente Island (SCI), California.  SCI is the southernmost of the California Channel Islands, located 68 miles off the coast of San Diego.  These are 6.5-month (approx.) positions starting 15 January 2021 and running through July.  Contingent on performance and funding availability, seasonal employees may be offered promotions to full-time positions.


    Field Biologist duties include, but are not limited to:

    1.      Nest searching and monitoring;

    2.      Behavioral observation and color-band re-sighting of wild and captive shrikes;

    3.      Releasing captive-origin shrikes, and providing supplemental food to shrikes;

    4.      Trapping and banding (depending on permitting qualifications)  nestling and adult shrikes;

    5.      Cage construction and maintenance;

    6.      Data management in Microsoft Access and Excel, and in ArcView GIS; and,

    7.      Day-to-day upkeep of the field station and IWS vehicles and equipment.  


    Qualifications: Candidates should have experience in nest searching and monitoring, behavioral observations, and extensive hiking experience in difficult terrain.

    This position requires extreme patience, sharp observation skills using spotting scopes and binoculars, and the ability to hike daily in steep, rugged terrain.


    Because this work is conducted on a military installation, each applicant must be a citizen of the United States or be covered under a TN NAFTA work visa and possess (or be willing to acquire before the position starts) a valid U.S. driver’s license. In addition, the Navy will perform a post-hire background check before issuing a base access credential.


    Applicants must be detail-oriented, personable, dependable, and able to perform their duties independently when necessary. Preferred qualifications include multiple seasons of experience with: nest searching and monitoring, behavioral observation, color band identification, passerine banding, and the operation of 4-wheel drive vehicles on primitive roads.  Applicants should be in excellent physical condition and be comfortable hiking alone for 3–5 miles with a 30–40 pound pack in steep, rocky, cactus-covered terrain and in temperatures ranging from 40–100°F. 


    Applicants should enjoy living as part of a small research community in a busy field station, interacting with biologists working on other projects, and working with military personnel and members of other organizations who may have varying missions, opinions, and personalities.  Additionally, applicants must be willing to participate in the day-to-day upkeep of a busy field station, including cleaning work vehicles and shared kitchen/office space.  All employment offers are contingent on the insurability of the applicant by IWS and applicants will be asked to provide information to verify their driving record.  Additional information regarding IWS research on SCI is available on the IWS website (www.iws.org).  Note: No pets are allowed on SCI.


    SCI is owned and operated by the U.S. Navy as a training facility, and personnel are required to follow protocols and rules established by the Navy and IWS, including a drug-free work and living environment while on federal property. In addition, the Navy and IWS have developed COVID-19 safety protocols that must be followed by IWS employees while on SCI.


    Compensation: The work schedule is 10 days on San Clemente Island, and 4 days off-island. Compensation is based on an hourly rate of $15.00 per hour, although scheduled overtime will result in average gross earnings of approximately $3,260 per month. Room and board are provided while working on the island (trailer/bunkhouse). No off-island housing is provided. Flights on and off the island via a twin-engine aircraft are provided at no cost; secure parking available on the mainland. Benefits for seasonal employees include employer-paid health insurance and sick leave. Grocery staples are provided while working on SCI, and you will be eligible for a food reimbursement of up to $10.50 per SCI work day.


    Application Procedure: To apply send a SINGLE file containing a combined cover letter, resume, and names and contact information for 3 professional references. Please state the number of adult and nestling passerines you have banded. Banding experience is strongly preferred, but not required.  Send application materials to Justyn Stahl: jstahl [AT] iws.org.  Please indicate “Shrike Biologist Application” in the subject heading.  Applications will be reviewed in the order they are received and we therefore encourage interested parties to apply promptly.  This announcement will be open until all positions have been filled. 

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