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    Volunteer Avian Field Technician

    • Employer: Western Sydney University
      Location: Near Geelong, Victoria, Australia
      Country: Australia
      Last Date to Apply: No value
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Looking for a volunteer field technician to assist with a study of Grey Fantail breeding biology and vocal communication under the supervision of two PhD students. The field season is from October to January (end date flexible), and we require a minimum 2-month commitment. (Applicants who are available for the full field season will be given preference). The technician will develop skills in data collection and management, nest searching and monitoring, and acoustic recordings. Additionally, they will learn to analyse song and video recordings. Shared housing will be provided, which includes dinners on weekdays. The technician would be initially responsible for their flight to Melbourne, Australia, and visa costs. Reasonable flight reimbursements will be possible at the end of the field season for one volunteer, but is subject to funding.

    Duties will include (but are not limited to) nest searching and monitoring, set up and tear down of video and acoustic recording devices, acoustic focal recordings, re-sighting colour bands, assisting with mist-netting and experiments, data management, gear maintenance, and manual scanning and scoring of acoustic and video data. The technician may also be able to assist in other projects not outlined above.

    Applicants will be expected to work long days and early mornings under the Australian sun. Ability to navigate using a GPS is required, and the technician should be physically able to hike throughout the day, but also have the patience to watch single birds for extended periods of time. In some locations, cell phone service may be limited. Work is located in a national park, and technicians should be able to appropriately interact with the public regarding research. Applicants will be able to enjoy Australian landscapes and wildlife (kangaroos, koalas, echidnas, parrots, kookaburra, etc.) while gaining field experience for future endeavors.

    Qualifications: Ability to work independently and as part of a field team is required. Passion for birds, science, and/or field biology will be essential to success in this position. Physical fitness, enthusiasm, self-motivation, and ability to respectfully share living space are a must. Must be able to ask questions, follow data collection protocols, and possess a strong work ethic. 

    Preferred Qualifications: Experience in songbird nest searching and monitoring, recording avian vocalisations, bird banding, and re-sighting colour bands.

    Application Instructions:
    Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. To apply, send a cover letter detailing interests, relevant research/ field experience, and dates of availability, a CV, and contact information for 2 referees to Kristin White (kakovach.217AT gmail.com) and Nadya Sotnychuk (nadya.sotnychuk.2016ATowu.edu) with the subject ‘Grey Fantail Volunteer Opportunity 2019’. Serious inquiries regarding the project and position are welcome.

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