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  • Songbird Banding Field Crew Leader

    Univ of Montana Bird Ecology Lab
    • Employer: University of Montana Bird Ecology Lab (UMBEL)
      Location: Western Montana
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: No value
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Program Description: The University of Montana Bird Ecology Lab (UMBEL) contributes to knowledge of avian ecology through a combination of original research, long-term and ecological effects monitoring, education, and community engagement. We run two field-based songbird banding projects across the summer and fall seasons: the Bird’s-eye View Education Program (BEVEP) and Fall Migration Monitoring. During the breeding season, BEVEP operates MAPS stations along important river corridors in western Montana, where, in some cases, active restoration is a primary goal. The program is highly collaborative, with a large number of partner organizations working together to build an effective educational program. It demonstrates the importance of healthy riparian habitat using birds as a tool and teaches visitors about the natural world around them. We aim to provide experiential learning for participants to be stewards of the environment as well as to offer a “bird’s-eye view” of our wildlife. During the fall season, we monitor songbird migration using a standardized constant-effort mist-netting protocol. Initiated in 2011, the project not only provides valuable monitoring data, it also provides an opportunity to collaborate on a local and national scale to conduct and support migration research. For more information about our organization, please visit: https://hs.umt.edu/birdecologylab/default.php

    Position Description: The University of Montana Bird Ecology Lab (UMBEL) is hiring a Banding Field Crew Leader for the summer and fall seasons. This is a 6-month position beginning in April 2022. The position will entail roughly 70% banding field work and community outreach, 30% various reporting, data entry and management, and office tasks. The candidate will assist with our summer bird banding (MAPS) and fall migration bird banding. The ideal candidate will enjoy working in a number of diverse roles. Job duties include field work, outreach, data entry/management, reports and writing (both scientific and blog-style writing), and administrative tasks. The position is highly collaborative and includes working with a large number of partner organizations (Clark Fork Coalition, Montana Natural History Center, Clark Fork Watershed Education Program, Five Valleys Land Trust, US Forest Service, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, MPG Ranch, local Audubon groups, etc) in conjunction with the program directors to develop a cohesive and dynamic outreach program.


    ·       M.S. degree in ornithology, natural resources, wildlife science, biological sciences, or comparable field is preferred. B.S. required.

    ·       Strong interest and expertise in ornithology, applied ecological research and avian conservation.

    ·       Demonstrated experience with avian fieldwork is required.

    ·       Extensive songbird banding/handling experience is required, including the ability to lead a crew of varied experience levels in all aspects of station operation.

    ·       North American Banding Council (NABC) Certification as Bander or Trainer is preferred but not required.

    ·       Experience operating MAPS stations, including data entry/submission through MAPSPROG, is highly desired but not required.

    ·       A strong sense of ethics and knowledge of safety practices for mist-netting/banding songbirds is required.

    ·       Experience collecting brachial blood samples, fitting/deploying tracking units using a leg-loop harness, and application of color-bands is preferred but not required.

    ·       Experience teaching and public speaking to a varied audience from youth to adults is required.

    ·       Experience with banding demonstrations, outdoor classroom/environmental education is preferable.

    ·       Demonstrated experience working collaboratively with partner groups/agencies toward common conservation goals.

    ·       Excellent inter-personal communication skills and the ability to work in a team toward common goals.

    ·       Excellent critical thinking and writing skills.

    ·       Microsoft Office experience is required.

    ·       Highly desirable skills include database management and analytical skills using R.

    ·       Possess a valid driver’s license.

    Work Environment and Physical Requirements: Job duties are approximately 70% field work and 30% office work. Field work involves early mornings and routinely walking long distances each day to check nets in sometimes cold, wet, hot, or dry conditions. Must be willing to camp and travel occasionally. Must be able to lift up to 40 lbs. The majority of office time requires sitting at a desk and conducting routine computer and office tasks.

    Compensation: This is an hourly 6-month position which requires roughly 35-40 hours/week. Hourly wage is $15-17/hour DOE.

    To Apply: Please send an application as a single document/file (word or pdf is fine) which includes a brief cover letter, resume/CV, and contact information for 3 professional references. In the cover letter, please tell us why you are interested in this position, why you enjoy studying birds in the field, and describe any relevant experience that is not in your resume. Applications should be sent to Tricia Rodriguez at tricia.rodriguez@mso.umt.edu, with "Banding Field Crew Leader" in the subject line. Applicants with diverse backgrounds, experiences, ability and perspectives are encouraged to apply. AA/EEO/ADA/Veterans Preference Employer. We will begin reviewing applications January 1 and position will be filled as a suitable applicant is found.

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