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  • South Sound Avian Field Technician

    Guest SStragier
    • Employer: Ecostudies Institute
      Location: Olympia, Washington
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 02/28/2023
      Open Until Filled: Yes


    Title:                             Avian Technician

    Reports to:                   Director of Avian Conservation

    Location:                      Olympia, Washington

    Position:                      Seasonal, Full-time, non-exempt; benefits (vacation/sick leave)                                    

    Compensation:            $17.50-19.50 Hourly – Dependent on Experience

    Application deadline:  February 28, 2022



    Ecostudies Institute is a 501(c)(3) scientific non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of native species and their ecosystems. We achieve our mission through effective partnerships, sound scientific research, strategic land management and ecological restoration.  At the core of our mission is a cooperative conservation model that strives to realize improved conservation outcomes by developing shared goals and vision through partnerships.  These partnerships, in turn, encourage information transfer, advances in cutting edge restoration techniques, and the development of integrated range-wide conservation approaches. The organization has offices based in Olympia, Washington and Eugene, Oregon, and currently employs over 35 permanent and seasonal staff.


    Ecostudies Institute is hiring 6-7 avian field technician positions to work on a team conducting a variety of bird monitoring and conservation projects in the Pacific Northwest. Projects may include: 1) monitoring nests and adults of the Oregon vesper sparrow and federally threatened streaked horned lark;  2) breeding season bird community monitoring in prairie and oak woodlands; 3) Oregon vesper sparrow conspecific attraction; and 4) Western bluebird reintroductions. Field work will primarily be conducted at prairie training sites and active airfields on Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). Technician will clearly collect data, meticulously manage it, and be detail oriented in observation and documentation. The technician should be able to identify local grassland and oak bird species by sight and ear, or quickly learn.  The technician will work closely with supervisor to communicate information about status and location of lark nests to site managers.


    Avian Field Technicians are full-time, seasonal, non-exempt positions supervised by senior Avian Conservation staff. Positions run from approximately 3 April to 28 July or 11 August 2023 dependent on role.  Dates may be adjusted depending on funding. Pay rate is $17.50-19.50/hr DOE, plus benefits (vacation and sick leave). 

    Successful applicants should have a keen interest in avian research and conservation, demonstrate excellent communication skills, be able to work independently and in a team setting, and be comfortable working on an active military base.  This position entails a sound work ethic, interpersonal skills, and positive attitude during long field days.  Development of positive and effective relationships with JBLM partners is critical. The Technician must also be able to work independently, completing substantial tasks without direct supervision or through the supervision of conservation partners, including federal and state agency personnel, such as the WA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and JBLM.

    The Technician is expected to be an integral member of Ecostudies Institute.  The Technician will need to effectively communicate with partners, volunteers and the public concerning specific work and the work of the Ecostudies Institute.


    -       Nest monitoring and territory mapping of imperiled birds following detailed protocols.

    -       Accurately re-sight color-banded birds in a variety of habitats and weather conditions.

    -       Conduct bird surveys including lark standardized surveys, point counts, and line transects.

    -       Meticulously maintain a field notebook including detailed observations and activity log for each day.

    -       Enter data on a daily basis into appropriate databases such as Access, Google Drive, etc.

    -       Track birds with binoculars and spotting scope, document and communicate their status and locations, and be sensitive to ground nests underfoot.

    -       Conduct quantitative and qualitative monitoring of grassland birds under the guidance of Avian Monitoring Team members and partner’s scientists.

    -       Operate equipment such as binoculars, spotting scope, GPS, two-way radios, and apps on mobile device such as Survey123 and FieldMaps.

    -       Conduct routine maintenance of all equipment used in implementing duties.

    -       Maintain state-of-the-art knowledge of the avian monitoring techniques utilized by the team. 

    -       Understand and be able to communicate clearly to staff and partners the value and benefit of bird, and specifically lark, conservation and recovery to the military mission.

    -       Work collaboratively with resource agencies, consultants, and other conservation organizations.

    -       Interact with military personnel and machines (helicopters, planes) on airfields and training areas.

    -       Hike 5-10 miles daily over challenging terrain in all weather conditions, beginning before sunrise

    -       Fulfill other duties as assigned.


    -       BA/BS/AS/Technical or vocational degree in science-related field or equivalent combination of education and experience.

    -       Ability to identify south Puget Sound grassland birds by sight and sound.

    -       Ability to hear high-frequency song of the streaked horned lark

    -       Have full spectrum color vision

    -       At least one year of experience with avian survey techniques which may include: point count surveys, nest monitoring, territory mapping, etc

    -       Experience working with or knowledge of natural systems; ability to recognize plant and animal species as required to complete preserve management activities. Knowledge of ecological land management principles.

    -       Ability to follow provided protocols and instructions from colleagues.

    -       Ability to manage time and diverse activities under deadlines while delivering quality results.

    -       Ability to work independently with limited supervision and demonstrate strong initiative in completing tasks.

    -       Ability to perform physical work, sometimes under adverse conditions or in inclement weather.

    -       Working knowledge of common software applications (e.g.; Word, Excel, Web browsers)

    -       Must have and maintain a valid  state driver’s license and safe driving record.

    -       Must have access to a working vehicle that can be used to drive to and from work locations every day.


    -       Wildlife handling experience

    -       Familiarity with ArcGIS Pro and other database systems such as Access

    -       Knowledge of ecological land management principles.


    -       Regularly works outdoors in natural and wildland areas, often across uneven ground or in inclement weather; occasionally works indoors in an office setting and.

    -       Frequently communicates with others through emails, voice conversations, and meetings.

    -       Works within an organizational context of both traditional and virtual offices

    -       Occasionally works in conditions involving pesticides or prescribed fires.

    -       Some evening and weekend responsibilities, including travel.

    -       Occasionally lifts, positions, or otherwise moves objects weighing up to 50 pounds.

    -       Frequently works alone with minimal supervision.

    -       Regularly walks long distances of up to 5-10+ miles per day on uneven ground.

    -       Field work is performed in all weather conditions and often in rough terrain.


    -       Full vaccination for Covid-19 is required for employment at Ecostudies Institute.



    See webpage for a full Position Description and other job openings https://www.ecoinst.org/about-us/work-with-us/

    Qualified applicants should provide a detailed letter of interest, current résumé or curriculum vitae, and three professional references (names, affiliations, and contact information only). Please also specify if you have a preference between focused species nest monitoring or general breeding bird survey monitoring.  Application package should be combined into one file. All applications will be acknowledged. Applications will be accepted and reviewed until the position is filled. Preference will be given to those applications that are submitted before February 28th, 2022.

    Email these materials to:  Stephanie Augustine at saugustine@ecoinst.org with South Sound Avian Field Technician in the subject line.                                        


    Ecostudies Institute is an Equal Opportunity employer. Personnel are chosen on the basis of ability without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, marital status or sexual orientation, in accordance with federal and state law.

    The above statements are intended to describe the general nature of the work being performed by people assigned to this work. This is not an exhaustive list of all duties and responsibilities. Ecostudies Institute management reserves the right to amend and change responsibilities to meet business and organizational needs as necessary

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