The Ricketts Conservation Foundation (RCF) is working with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the Bridger-Teton National Forest on a long-term project to assess the impact of aspen regeneration projects and wildfires on songbird and small mammal communities.
In 2019, the RCF will conduct Monitoring of Avian Productivity and Survival (MAPS) banding and small mammal trapping in the Monument Ridge area, west of Bondurant. We will also be working within the perimeter of the recent Roosevelt Fire. We are seeking an enthusiastic and dedicated bander to fill this position. The bander will be responsible for running two MAPS stations (setting up and taking down nets, banding birds, overseeing volunteers, recording and entering field data) and setting up and running multiple small mammal trapping grids (placing and baiting traps, checking traps, identifying and marking trapped animals, recording and entering data). Most field work will be conducted in pairs due to bear safety concerns, but some individual work may occur.
Hours/Schedule: This is a full-time, seasonal position, starting on 23 May and completing on 14 August (12 weeks). Weather and other factors will determine the work schedule, although a 40-hour work week is required. Banding will follow the MAPS 10-day period schedule (https://www.birdpop.org/docs/misc/MAPSManual18.pdf). Small mammal trapping will require setting traps in the late afternoon and checking them early the following morning. All work will be conducted within a 15-mile drive from the provided housing location. We will work some weekends.
Field Conditions: Work will be conducted in and around Bondurant, WY and will be limited to weather conditions that allow for safe trapping and handling of target species. The study area lies at 7,000’ - 8,000’ elevation, so mornings can be frosty, even in summer. Some study sites are steep and up to a mile (1600 m) from the nearest road, so there is off-trail hiking. Habitat types encountered include aspen woodlands, mixed conifer (Englemann spruce, lodgepole pine and subalpine fir), sagebrush, and forb meadows. Several mammal trap grids and one MAPS site are in recently burned forest, so extra caution is needed when working there (e.g. downed logs and unsteady snags).
Shared housing and transportation for work is provided. Some field gear, including bear spray, is provided. Technicians will need to secure their own transportation to and from Bondurant, WY, but the RCF will assist with travel costs.
At a minimum, applicants should have held a Bird Banding Laboratory sub-permit or demonstrate sufficient banding experience to obtain a sub-permit. Experience in small mammal trapping is also needed, but this requirement may be waived at the employer’s discretion. Applicants should also possess a degree in wildlife biology, wildlife management, biology, zoology, ecology, or a related discipline or be working towards completing a degree program. A valid driver's license is required. Applicants should have a strong work ethic, be a quick learner, have good navigational skills, be able to work as a team player, and be willing to do new and often difficult tasks.
Preferred Job Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
• Courses and/or work experience in wildlife biology and conservation, preferably with passerines and small mammals.
• Experience identifying birds found in western North America.
• Experience using reference materials (i.e. Pyle) to age and sex birds. • Experience identifying and handling small mammals.
• Experience supervising employees and/or volunteers.
• Comfortable speaking about banding and research to children and the general public.
• Ability to work independently, as well as with a team of other researchers.
• Ability and willingness to live and work in close quarters with team members.
• A professional and positive approach to field work and interacting with study collaborators and the public.
• Ability and willingness to work in adverse environmental conditions.
• Excellent note taking and organizational skills.
• Working knowledge of Microsoft Office programs, including Word, Excel, and Access.
• Willingness and ability to work in a study area with the potential for bear encounters.
Physical Demands: This is physically demanding work requiring long hours in the field. Technicians must be in excellent physical condition and possess the ability to tolerate early mornings, off-trail hiking and not using mosquito repellents in the field (DEET and small animals don’t mix). Applicants should be able to lift up to 50 lbs, carry a heavy backpack for up to a mile off trail in steep terrain, and be comfortable working at altitude (7,000 – 8,000’).
To Apply: Send letter of interest, resume or CV, and at least 2 references to Walter Wehtje (firstname.lastname@example.org)