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  • Wading Bird Technician - Coastal South Carolina


    Christy Hand
    • Employer: South Carolina Dept of Natural Resources
      Location: Green Pond, SC
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 11/22/2021
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    WADING BIRD TECHNICIAN – Location: Coastal South Carolina. Job type: Full time, seasonal. Duration of position: February through September 2022. Application deadline: November 22, 2021. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and the position may be filled prior to the deadline. Salary: $14 per hour pre-tax, 40 hours per week, optional shared housing available at no charge.

     

    DESCRIPTION: The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) plans to hire one seasonal technician to assist with the SCDNR Wading Bird Project. The SCDNR Wading Bird Project focuses on monitoring Wood Stork (federally threatened) population trends and productivity and the distribution of wading birds throughout the state.

     

    Wading Bird Technician responsibilities will include monitoring nesting Wood Storks on a weekly basis throughout the breeding season (using spotting scope, March – August), assisting with aerial surveys from a small plane (optional), survey rookeries from canoes, climbing trees and capturing stork chicks for banding, using a computer to count wading bird nests from aerial photographs, data entry, and assisting biologists with miscellaneous office tasks. Aerial surveys typically take place on 4-8 days of the season. The technician assists by spotting colonies and holding open a window to facilitate aerial photography during flights. This activity would not be enjoyable for someone prone to motion sickness, but an alternate crew member is willing to assist with the flights as needed, so it is optional.

     

    This technician will also assist with the SCDNR Black Rail Project, which is working to increase the limited knowledge about the management needs of a rare and fascinating marsh bird that was recently listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act by the US Fish & Wildlife Service (Eastern subspecies). Activities will include processing camera trap photographs and acoustic files in the office, maintaining camera traps and acoustic data recorders, conducting marsh bird surveys, conducting vegetation surveys, and assisting with habitat management. Some aspects of the position are very physically and mentally demanding. The position requires carrying up to 15 pounds of batteries and equipment while walking in difficult saltmarsh terrain, manually clearing shrubby vegetation to improve habitat conditions, operating 4-wheel drive trucks in remote areas, focusing for long periods of time while meticulously processing data on computers, and troubleshooting complicated field equipment.

     

    We are looking for a highly motivated person who is willing to work a flexible schedule that often varies from day to day. Early morning, night and occasional weekend work will be required. The climate of coastal South Carolina during the summer can be extremely hot and humid, and many of the components of these projects include carrying equipment in difficult terrain. Spiders, snakes, alligators, mosquitoes, and other biting insects are abundant in the study area.

     

    The SCDNR office and many of the survey sites are located in the ACE Basin of South Carolina, a spectacular undeveloped area that offers a variety of excellent outdoor recreational activities. The office where the technician will be based is located in Green Pond, SC (Donnelley Wildlife Management Area). Shared dormitory-style housing at a remote Wildlife Management Area approximately 30 minutes from the office is expected to be available at no cost to the technician. The nearest grocery stores are approximately 45 minute away and Charleston is approximately an hour drive away. A personal vehicle will be required since the location is remote and there is no public transportation, but we plan to provide vehicles for most work duties.

     

    QUALIFICATIONS:

     

    REQUIRED SKILLS/EXPERIENCE:

    - Applicants should have a strong interest in wildlife research and conservation, and a positive attitude about working outdoors in buggy conditions as well as indoors completing repetitive tasks. Desire and ability to be part of an inclusive and supportive team.

    - Two or more seasons (totaling 6+ months) of previous field work experience on environmental research/monitoring project(s). Ability and willingness to work outdoors in very challenging conditions (full sun, high heat and humidity, biting and stinging insects, venomous snakes, alligators, adverse weather conditions, long days/variable schedule) and to carry equipment (15-20 pounds) in swamp and salt marsh conditions. Ability to load and unload canoes into trucks.

    - Exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail. Ability to follow complicated and detailed protocols. Ability to meet deadlines, work independently, and manage time effectively in the field and in the office.

    - Ability to maintain concentration and accuracy while completing tasks using a computer. Proficiency using Microsoft Office programs including Excel, Access, and Word. Ability to learn to use additional programs such as Survey123, acoustic file analysis software, and photo management software.

    - Excellent interpersonal skills. Ability to relate to a diverse range of people from different backgrounds, accept direction and constructive feedback, and maintain professionalism.

    - Knowledge of principles and practices of research and of data management best practices.

    - Valid US driver’s license, good driving record, experience operating 4-wheel drive trucks, and ability to independently change tires and jump start vehicles.

    - Must be a United States citizen or be legally authorized to work in the United States without sponsorship.

     

    PREFERRED SKILLS/EXPERIENCE:

    B.S. or B.A. in wildlife biology/management or related field.

    Prior experience demonstrating proficiency at skills and tasks described above. Experience managing large datasets. Experience working with threatened and endangered species and/or on projects collecting sensitive data.

     

    TO APPLY: Please send a SINGLE email attachment containing a cover letter describing prior experience relevant to this specific position, a resume/CV, and contact information for three references to Christy Hand (handc@dnr.sc.gov). Include your name and “Wading Bird Technician” in the file name. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and the position may be filled prior to the deadline. The position is scheduled to start in late February or early March.

     

    Information about Project:

    https://sccoastalresources.com/home/2016/12/6/beautiful-aerial-photos-of-wood-storks

    https://sccoastalresources.com/home/2017/6/27/dispatches-from-the-swamp-two-updates-on-wood-stork-season

    https://sccoastalresources.com/home/2020/9/28/behind-ghost-bird-key-discoveries-about-the-elusive-black-rail




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