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  • Shorebird & Wetland Ecology Technician (Fall Migration)

    Shelby McCahon
    • Employer: University of Idaho
      Location: North & South Dakota
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 03/10/2023
      Open Until Filled: No

    Start/End Date: Approximately July 5th to August 31st, with potential to start during spring migration (April 13th to May 15th)

    The Idaho Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (University of Idaho) is hiring 2 technicians in support of a graduate research project focused on measuring the effects of insecticides and agricultural practices on shorebirds and invertebrates in North and South Dakota. Technician will help conduct shorebird abundance and behavior surveys, collect invertebrate and water samples for insecticide analysis, and conduct habitat surveys.


    Technicians will drive a project vehicle to sites around North and South Dakota to sample from cropland-dominated and grassland-dominated wetlands, mostly on private land. Fieldwork duties will include: 1) identifying and counting shorebirds along road transects, 2) sampling water and invertebrates for insecticides, 3) quantifying shorebird behavior, 4) collecting benthic invertebrate samples, and 5) measuring a variety of wetland characteristics (e.g., area, depth, vegetation, etc.). Additional duties include shorebird abundance surveys, plant identification, game camera deployment, communicating with landowners, and data entry. Technicians will need to work early morning hours and may need to work weekends. Field lodging is provided and will include shared bunkhouses, motels, and camping.

    This position offers opportunities to gain experience in wetland research, shorebird ecology, and invertebrate ecology. Technicians will gain experience communicating with landowners and working in small teams. 


    Candidates must be self-motivated, enjoy working outdoors, have a positive attitude, and have an interest in ecology. Candidates must be able to work in small teams of two and get along well with others. They must also be willing to work, wade, and sit in muddy wetlands for extended periods watching shorebirds through binoculars and spotting scopes. Candidates must also be willing to drive for extended periods conducting road transect surveys and scoping out sites. Preferred candidates include those with at least one year of fieldwork experience. Ideal candidates include those with birding, wetland, and invertebrate sampling experience. All candidates must have a valid driver’s license and be able to pass the University’s required criminal background check.


    • High school diploma or GED

    • 18 years of age or older

    • A valid driver’s license

    • Ability to pass a criminal background check

    • Self-motivated with ability to maintain a positive attitude

    • Ability to work in small teams and get along well with others


    • B.S. (or working towards one) in wildlife, natural resources, or related fields

    • One year of work experience in natural resources or related field

    • Experience collecting field data or following established field protocols

    • Experience using hand-held GPS equipment

    • Experience working in wetlands

    • Experience with invertebrate and habitat sampling

    • Experience using binoculars and/or spotting scopes for behavioral surveys

    • Experience communicating with landowners

    • Knowledge of shorebird identification is desirable


    To apply, please submit a cover letter demonstrating your interest and experience, resume or CV, and contact information for three professional/academic references to Shelby McCahon at smccahon@uidaho.edu.

    **Hiring will be completed on a rolling basis

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