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  • Seasonal Avian Field Biologists (Bell’s Sparrow)

    • Employer: Institute for Wildlife Studies
      Location: San Clemente Island, California
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 12/10/2021
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Job Description:  The Institute for Wildlife Studies (IWS) is seeking applicants for three seasonal field biologists to work on the San Clemente Bell’s Sparrow monitoring program. The San Clemente Bell’s Sparrow is a federally threatened subspecies endemic to San Clemente Island (SCI), located 68 miles off the coast of San Diego. These positions begin in early February and are expected to last up to six months.  We are seeking highly motivated and skilled field biologists with strong field work and research backgrounds who are committed to conservation and applied ecology. 

    Field Biologist duties include, but are not limited to:

    1.      Nest searching and monitoring;

    2.      Territory spot-mapping, conducting area surveys, and re-sighting of color-banded birds;

    3.      Data entry and management in ArcMap, Access, and Excel;

    4.      Day-to-day upkeep of the field station and IWS equipment;

    5.      Vegetation surveys, plant identification, and measurement


    Because this work is conducted on a military installation, all applicants must be citizens of the United States or be covered under a TN NAFTA work visa. Proof of eligibility to work in the United States is required. In addition, the Navy will perform a post-hire background check before issuing a base access credential. Applicants must have (or be willing to acquire before start date) a valid U.S. driver’s license..

    Covid-19 vaccine is required.

    The successful candidates will have earned a B.S. in wildlife biology, zoology, ecology, or a related field and have knowledge of, and experience with, avian biology.  Candidates should have experience in nest searching and monitoring, behavioral observations, and extensive hiking experience in difficult terrain.

    Preferred experience/qualifications: Three years field experience, threatened & endangered species monitoring, territory mapping, vegetation survey experience, and the ability to operate full-sized 4-wheel drive trucks on rocky and muddy roads.

    Applicants should expect to hike 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.

    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.

    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 the field station, including cleaning of work vehicles and shared kitchen/office space.  Employees work 10 days on SCI, and then take 4 off (on the mainland). 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.

    Hours and 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; off-island housing is not provided. Flights on and off the island via a twin-engine aircraft are provided at no cost. 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 cover letter, resume/CV and the names and contact information (including telephone number, email, and work address) of at least three professional references as ONE document to Susan Meiman at (sparrowjobs [AT] iws.org)  with the subject line “Sparrow Biologist Application”.  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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