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  • Songbird Nest Searching/Banding & Bleeding Technician


    Guest Bridger Creel
    • Employer: University of Montana Bird Ecology Lab
      Location: Western Montana
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 04/15/2022
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Project Overview

    The University of Montana Bird Ecology Lab (UMBEL) is hiring one experienced songbird technician to assist in a PhD project studying the impacts of mine wastes on riparian songbirds. This position provides an exciting opportunity to contribute to cross-disciplinary, integrative research using songbirds as a model system to assess environmental impacts at multiple scales. Study sites are located along the Upper Clark Fork River within the largest EPA Superfund site in the United States. This research addresses fundamental questions in aquatic-terrestrial food web transfer of contaminants, and will guide future restoration and management practices for riparian wildlife within the Superfund site. 

    Primary duties include: locating and monitoring songbird nests of five focal species (Yellow warbler, Song sparrow, Gray catbird, Red-winged blackbird, and Willow flycatcher), and banding and bleeding songbird nestlings. Work will entail extensive daily hiking in rugged, buggy, and marshy terrain and requires keen observational skills to detect bird behavior. Data collection and navigation are fully digital, using ESRI’s Field Maps/Collector and Survey123. Additional duties may exist, including terrestrial and aquatic arthropod sampling, target netting songbirds, and data entry in Excel and Access.

    Work will begin mid May 2022 and continue through late July/early August, with some flexibility for start/end date. Pay will be $10-14/hr for 40 hours a week depending on experience. We will have two shared housing options available near Anaconda, MT and near Missoula, MT but these will not always be available. The hired technician should expect to camp multiple days a week (there are many nice options near field sites). We also provide a work vehicle to get to/from the field sites and/or mileage reimbursement.

    Qualifications
    It is highly preferred that applicants have at least one season of nest searching and monitoring experience and songbird banding/bleeding experience.

    It is preferred but not required that applicants have previous experience with western songbirds (particularly our 5 focal species).

    Applicants must be physically capable of hiking several miles a day and carrying field equipment (up to 20 lbs). You must be capable of working alone in challenging field conditions and making independent decisions about daily job duties/time management. You must also be willing to communicate effectively on a daily basis and be passionate about songbird behavior and ecology. Valid driver’s license required. Non-U.S. citizens are welcome to apply but need to be eligible for a work visa at the time of hire.

    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 Bridger Creel at bridget.creel@umontana.edu, with "UCFR Tech Application" in the subject line. 

    Applicants with diverse backgrounds, experiences, ability and perspectives are encouraged to apply. AA/EEO/ADA/Veterans Preference Employer. 

    We look forward to receiving your application! Feel free to contact Bridger with any questions. You can find out more about our organization and our projects on UMBEL's website, or follow us on Facebook/Instagram!




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