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    Songbird Field Technicians - northern Minnesota


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    • Employer: Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota Duluth
      Location: northern Minnesota
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 01/10/2020
      Open Until Filled: No

    Spend your summer working in northern Minnesota – a region that supports some of the richest breeding bird diversity in North America! Field assistants (8) are needed from May to early August 2020 to assist with multiple avian research projects in northern Minnesota.

    Description: A typical day for POINT COUNTERS (2) will consist of rising very early (03:30-04:00) in the morning, safely driving to survey area, navigating to survey points to arrive 30 minutes before sunrise, completing nine to fifteen ten-minute unlimited distance point counts in a four-hour period, and data entry. Point count locations are scattered throughout the Superior and Chippewa National Forests and thus no permanent camp is possible; motels and camping are both used throughout the season as the crew travels throughout this region. Technicians will work every morning suitable for point counts (i.e. will have rain/wind mornings off). Point counters will ideally work with NEST SEARCHERS before and after the point count season. Point count training sessions will occur in late May.

    A typical day for NEST SEARCHERS (5) will consist of rising very early in the morning, safely carpooling to study areas, navigating to a plot, finding and following male and female birds to search for nests using behavioral cues, monitoring previously found nests, assisting with banding and placing transmitters on fledglings, tracking birds via radio telemetry, maintaining radio telemetry stations, vegetation surveys, and data entry. Focal species are Boreal Chickadee, Connecticut Warbler, American Woodcock, Veery, and Golden-winged Warbler. Nest searching positions will be based out of Floodwood, Big Falls, or Roosevelt, Minnesota.

    A TARGET NETTER (1) is also sought. This individual will target net adult female birds and deploy transmitters on both adult and fledgling passerines. When target netting is not required, this position will assume duties of a NEST SEARCHER (see above).

    Technicians will be expected to work six days/week during the height of the season and five days/week at the beginning and end. Salary is ~$2000- 2300/month depending on experience. Housing and work vehicle provided. Technicians are expected to provide binoculars, rubber knee boots, and rain gear. A personal vehicle is not required, but will be useful for days off and after-hours transportation.

    If interested in applying for one of these positions, please provide (in ONE document) a cover letter that details relevant experience and your interest in a position, resume, and three references to Dr. Alexis Grinde at nrribirdlab AT gmail.com. Please include your last name and “Songbird Field Tech” in the subject line. Also note if you have a preference for a POINT COUNTER, NEST SEARCHER, or TARGET NETTER position. Application deadline is January 10, 2020. Applications will be considered as they are received so we encourage interested individuals to apply promptly.

    Qualifications: All successful applicants must have the ability to identify over 100 species of eastern North American birds by sight and sound; this includes being able to pass a bird song identification exam with 85% proficiency and pass a hearing exam prior to the season.

    Experience with point counts, nest searching, and radio telemetry is preferred, as is a working knowledge of the ecology of northern Minnesota’s breeding birds.

    Experience with transmitter attachment as well as target netting, especially female passerines during the breeding season, is highly desired for the TARGET NETTER position.

    Each position requires a high level of physical fitness and a good sense of humor. Specific physical requirements include the ability to lift and carry equipment weighing 40-50 pounds and walk/hike in rough terrain for up to 8 hours/day during the 4 month field period. All successful applicants must be comfortable working and navigating independently off-road (i.e. bushwhacking) and be able to withstand wet, cold, and occasionally hot conditions with constant exposure to extreme numbers of biting insects. 

    A valid U.S. driver’s license is required. Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work in Minnesota and the United States in the summer of 2020. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment. The University of Minnesota is an Equal Opportunity Educator and Employer. Veterans and individuals from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

    Learn more about our research at z.umn.edu/nrribirdlab

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