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  • URGENT: VOLUNTEER FIELD ASSISTANT NEEDED (1) – Satin bowerbird behavior

    • Employer: Cornell University
      Location: Queensland
      Country: Australia
      Last Date to Apply: No value
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Job Description:

    One volunteer field assistant is needed for three months from late September, 2018 to Dec. 23, 2018 for a study of the social and reproductive behavior of satin bowerbirds in Queensland, Australia. This assistant will join an existing crew of two volunteers and one Ph.D. student.

    Male satin bowerbirds court females by dancing at courtship arenas called bowers, which they decorate with colorful objects including feathers, plastic, and flowers. The research will focus on monitoring interactions at bowers and conducting behavioral playbacks.

    The assistant will enjoy fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities (wallabies, kookaburra, echidnas, etc.) and hiking opportunities on their day off. Room and board will be provided; however, assistants must provide their own airfare to and from Brisbane, Australia.


    The study site is rugged, and stinging trees, paralysis ticks, feral pigs, and venomous snakes are common. Applicants must be able to hike rough areas off-trail, navigate treefalls, and maintain a positive and energetic attitude despite long hours in variable weather conditions (typically cold and wet). Encounters with the general public are common. Cell phone reception is limited, and assistants will often work alone in the field.

    Duties include bower searching and monitoring with video cameras, assisting with bird trapping and banding, counting bower decorations, and data entry. Previous experience with handling wild birds and re-sighting color bands is highly desired. Proficiency operating a manual transmission vehicle is preferred but not required. Work schedules and duties may vary, so flexibility is critical. This experience is most appropriate for applicants with previous field experience and interested in a career in behavioral ecology.

    # of Positions: 1

    Application Instructions:

    Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until position is filled. To apply, please send a cover letter detailing interests and previous experience as well as dates of availability, a CV, and a list of 3 references to LIZ BERGEN (EM: elb254 AT cornell.edu). Please feel free to inquire with any questions pertinent to the application process or on the project in general.

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