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  • SEASONAL BIOLOGIST – Avian Point Counts in Southwestern National Parks

    • Employer: The Institute for Bird Populations
      Location: Southwestern National Parks (Four Corners region)
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: No value
      Open Until Filled: Yes



    SEASONAL BIOLOGIST – Avian Point Counts in Southwestern National Parks

    We have one opening for an experienced point counter during spring/summer 2021 on our Southern Colorado Plateau Network Avian Monitoring project.

    PROJECT DATES (tentative): Early April – Late June 2022.

    TRAINING: The field season will begin with a three-week training session in project protocols for conducting multi-species point counts, including estimating horizontal distance data, and conducting basic habitat assessments. Surveyors are required to already be able to identify southwestern birds by sight and sound and have conducted point counts; applicants with previous experience leading field crews and working in backcountry conditions will be strongly preferred.

    RESPONSIBILITIES: Working as part of a team of two, the biologist will visit and survey point count stations across a variety of habitat types on National Park Service lands throughout the Four Corners region. On a typical day, surveyors will wake up before dawn and spend the morning conducting multi-species distance surveys (point counts) and rapid vegetation surveys at each survey site. The afternoon will then typically be spent traveling to, and scoping out, the next day’s surveys sites. Work will be physically demanding, sometimes involving several-mile hikes into survey sites and the occasional short (1-4 day) backpacking trips to access survey sites far from roads. Off-trail travel will be required at many survey sites. The typical work schedule will be 7-days on followed by 3-days off. Additionally, the seasonal biologist will be tasked, in conjunction with IBP staff, with coordinating the work of 1-2 additional volunteer surveyors, including organizing survey logistics and scheduling and entry of point count data.

    REQUIREMENTS:  We are looking for a candidate with prior birding experience and familiarity with the songs and calls of southwestern birds, ranging from desert scrubland to montane conifer forest. Prior point count experience is mandatory. Other requirements include a sense of humor, a love of adventure, a desire to learn more about avian natural history, and the ability to live and work with a diverse field crew. Crew members will be camping most nights in front-country campgrounds or in the backcountry on the occasional back-country trip. 

    Survey work will be distributed across national parks in three states (Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado) in the Four Corners region of the Colorado Plateau, requiring substantial car travel and willingness to lead a nomadic life for a few months. The biologist will be based out of the Flagstaff, Arizona area. A willingness to face the rigors of fieldwork with good humor is important. These rigors include (but are not limited to!) physically demanding work traversing steep topography, long workdays that may begin well before dawn, both cold and hot weather, venomous snakes, occasional contact with bears, and less-than-glamorous housing. Successful candidates must be in excellent physical condition and must be comfortable with off-trail hiking and orienteering (training provided).

    EQUIPMENT: Biologist is expected to provide their own binoculars and camping/backpacking gear, including hiking boots, tent, sleeping bag, raingear, etc. A personal automobile is a required for this position.

    COMPENSATION: Surveyors will be considered seasonal IBP staff and will receive payment of $2,800 per month (before payroll taxes) and project-related travel mileage and lodging and campground fee reimbursement, but no fringe benefits. In addition, campground fees will be reimbursed.

    MORE INFORMATION: For more information about this IBP program, please see our Southwest Science and Conservation Webpage.

    TO APPLY: Please email a resume, cover letter, and the names, phone numbers and email addresses of three references to Mandy Holmgren, Biologist at: mholmgren AT birdpop DOT org.

    IBP values diversity and encourages people from all backgrounds to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation.

    Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required.

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