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  • Temporary Field Assistant: Common Tern Research on Oneida Lake, NY

    • Employer: Cornell University
      Location: Bridgeport, NY
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 03/03/2023
      Open Until Filled: No

    Employment Dates: 9 weeks; approximately 28 May – 31 July, 2023

    Full-time position (40 hours/week)


    Job Description: Cornell University Department of Natural Resources and the Environment is hiring a skilled waterbird fieldworker as coordinator of a small team for long-term, NYSDEC-funded research and monitoring of Common Terns breeding at Oneida Lake, NY.

    The field assistant will help facilitate visits to nesting sites and drive the field team by boat from the Cornell Biological Field Station (CBFS) to the breeding islands several miles away, ensuring safety and appropriate seamanship. The field assistant will take a leadership role and will help organize island management and data collection during island visits, including: maintaining infrastructure, gull nest control, marking and following individual tern nests, banding and recapturing chicks, and potentially trapping, banding and recapturing nesting adults. On days off the islands, the field assistant will ensure data entry, maintain/construct field equipment, and perform data analysis/report writing, as required. The field assistant may have the opportunity to participate in tern research projects if desired.

    This position will be directly supervised at Cornell Biological Field Station and in the field by Cornell and Penn State University faculty, Profs. Jennifer Arnold and Paul Curtis, and Dr. Stephen Oswald, who have undertaken waterbird research for ~30 years. CBFS is an active field station, providing potential research collaborations, weekly seminars, and networking opportunities. This is a great opportunity for someone considering graduate school or a career in a wildlife discipline to engage directly in a long-term field study.


    ·         Completed one or more seasons of fieldwork with terns, gulls or similar colonial waterbirds or seabirds, and have experience banding birds.

    ·         Must have prior boat handling experience for small motorcraft (12-18 ft).

    ·         Must be able to work independently and as part of a team,

    ·         Willing to work early mornings, weekends, and long hours in a variety of conditions.

    ·         Must be physically fit and able to swim.

    ·         Must be able to work under varying climatic conditions.

    Preference will be given to candidates that: possess an active bird banding permit or sub-permit or have sufficient banding experience to apply for a sub-permit; have direct experience working with terns; and are considering a career in waterbird research.

    Compensation: $15.30/hour (housing is available for a small fee at CBFS, Bridgeport, NY).

    To Apply: Electronic applications are required via Cornell’s Workday system which can be found here: https://cornell.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/CornellCareerPage/job/New-York-State-Other/Temporary-Field-Assistant--Common-Tern-Research-on-Oneida-Lake--NY---CALS-Department-of-Natural-Resources-and-the-Environment_WDR-00035555-1.  Please include a cover letter and resume or CV indicating your interest and qualifications, and the names and contact information (email and phone) of 2-3 references that can attest to your fieldwork experience. Any enquiries, please contact Jennifer Arnold at jma368@cornell.edu.

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