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  • Seasonal Mexican Spotted Owl Monitoring Technician

    Jennifer Blakesley
    • Employer: Bird Conservancy of the Rockies
      Location: Tucson, Arizona
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 04/30/2023
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Salary:                         $17.00 hourly, $18.00 for returning employees. Limited overtime hours may be required. In addition to pay, reimbursement for project-related travel and lodging up will be provided.

    Duration:                      9 weeks (early April into July)

    Benefits:                       Not eligible

    Start Date:                   April 3rd, 2023 (sooner the better)

    Purpose                       The seasonal technicians will conduct playback surveys to monitor Mexican Spotted Owl populations in U.S. National Forests in Arizona and New Mexico

    About the Organization:

    Bird Conservancy of the Rockies conserves birds and their habitats through an integrated approach of science, education and stewardship. Our work extends from the Rockies to the Great Plains, Mexico and beyond. Our mission is advanced through sound science, achieved through empowering people, realized through stewardship and sustained through cross-border collaborations. We monitor and identify population trends, research habitat needs, engage landowners and managers in wildlife and habitat stewardship, and inspire audiences of all ages to be better stewards of the land. Together, we are improving native bird populations, the land, and the lives of people. Learn more about our work and programs at our website: www.birdconservancy.org


    Project/Position Overview:

    Bird Conservancy of the Rockies is seeking field biologists to contribute to the long-term occupancy monitoring of the Mexican Spotted owl on US National Forests throughout Arizona and New Mexico. This is a unique opportunity to work on a federally-threatened species and to become intricately familiar with southwestern landscapes. Fieldwork entails navigating to established survey locations during daylight hours by driving on remote roads and hiking on- and off-trail. After dark, technicians follow a strict protocol of broadcasting Spotted Owl calls and listening for responses from owls at up to 5 survey points, approximately ½ to 1 km apart. Technicians hike between survey points and return to their camping locations in the dark. Campsites are usually primitive, often without cell phone service or facilities. Occasionally, overnight backpacking is required to access remote sites. Technicians work in pairs with the same individual during a 10-day work hitch, after which partners are switched within a team of four.


    Successful candidates will be passionate about wildlife conservation, comfortable hiking long distances off-trail at night, and enjoy living and working remotely for several months at a time. Work days can be long and strenuous, and the work schedule is highly variable with extensive driving time. Attendance to a 4-day training prior to the field season is mandatory. Technicians must be able to learn to identify all southwestern owls by sight and sound upon completion of the training. Review this blog post to hear about this position from a previous technician, and this blog post from the Project Coordinator to learn about why we do this work.   


    Essential skills and abilities:

    Applicants should be enthusiastic, physically fit, enjoy traveling, and be willing to work long hours in the field. The successful applicant will need to be comfortable hiking up to 12 miles a day while carrying a 30-pound backpack, and surveying areas with potentially hazardous wildlife including black bears, mountain lions and rattlesnakes. Applicants must enjoy working independently with multiple days of solitude and have enthusiasm work spending 3.5 months conducting fieldwork. Technicians will be required to pass an owl identification quiz at the end of training before starting field work. A valid driver's license, proof of auto insurance, camping gear, basic computer skills, a strong work ethic, and enthusiasm for conservation and conducting fieldwork are also necessary. Applicants with personal 4WD/AWD vehicles are strongly encouraged to apply; however, Bird Conservancy may be able rent vehicles for qualified applicants that do not possess 4WD/AWD vehicles if they are at least 21 years of age. Individuals with a basic first aid & wilderness first aid will be preferred. Desired qualifications include prior experience conducting avian surveys, working and living in the backcountry, and interacting with private landowners. Technicians must provide their own backpacking, hiking and camping gear as well as their own food.


    Education and certifications:

    ·         Ability to identify nocturnal avian species of the southwest by sight and sound is required

    ·         Experience navigating using topographic maps, compass and GPS unit

    ·         Driver’s license, proof of insurance, and experience driving 4WD vehicles

    ·         Experience camping, long distance hiking, and navigating off trail

    ·         Wilderness first aid & basic first aid certification desired


    Material and Equipment Directly Used:

    ·         Standard field equipment (e.g., GPS, Garmin inReach, broadcast unit, maps, compass and headlamp.

    ·         Smart phone for mobile data entry in the field

    ·         Standard office equipment (e.g., laptop)

    ·         Standard software (e.g., Excel, Word, Google Earth)


    Equal Opportunity Employer:


    Bird Conservancy of the Rockies is a bias-conscious employer. We ask that you please avoid the use of photos when submitting a resume and/or an application for employment. You will receive an email acknowledgment when you have successfully applied. Your completed application will be forwarded to the hiring manager. You will be notified if you are selected for further testing or interviews. Post-offer background check required.


    Studies have shown that underrepresented groups, including women and people of color, are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they can perform every job description task. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job from diverse backgrounds and with attention to lived experience. Bird Conservancy of the Rockies will consider an equivalent combination of knowledge, skills, education, and experience to meet minimum qualifications. If you are interested in applying, we encourage you to think


    broadly about your background and skill set for the role. Bird Conservancy of the Rockies is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants are considered for positions for which they have applied without regard to gender identity or gender expression, race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy or other characteristics protected by law. For the purpose of Bird Conservancy’s policy “sexual orientation” means a person’s actual or perceived orientation toward heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality.


    Bird Conservancy of the Rockies will make special communication arrangements for persons with disabilities.  Please call (303) 659-4348 for assistance.


    COVID-19 Policy:

    Bird Conservancy is committed to protecting and enhancing the welfare of its employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.  As a condition of employment, all newly hired employees must provide to Bird Conservancy’s human resources representative proof of full vaccination at employment start date.  In addition, Bird Conservancy may require employees to be tested for COVID-19 under certain conditions, including but not limited to, exposure to a person infected with the virus, experience of COVID-19 symptoms or travel outside of the assigned work area.  All employees must follow Bird Conservancy’s other safety protocols for COVID-19, which are based on current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.  Any proof of vaccination or test results submitted to Bird Conservancy will remain confidential.


    To Apply:

    Send a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references IN ONE DOCUMENT (.pdf or .doc) to spottedowl@birdconservancy.org. Name your application file as follows: Lastname_MSO2023_technician. Applications will be reviewed starting on January 1st 2023 and positions will be filled as suitable applicants are found.

    BCR Seasonal Technician Mexican Spotted Owl 2023.docx

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