Waterbird Biological Field Technician – PRE-ANNOUCEMENT
Position duration: one 3 months (Oct-Dec) and two 6 months (Oct-Mar) with possible extension (funding dependent)
Duty Station: USGS San Francisco Bay Estuary Field Station, Vallejo, CA then Moffett Field, CA
Background: The San Francisco Bay estuary serves as a significant migratory bird nexus on the west coast of North America for long-distant migrants (Ramsar and an international hemispheric shorebird reserve site), winter aggregates (a recognized major wintering area for waterfowl), and local nesting species. However, the estuary is also home to eight million people and has lost more than ninety percent of the original wetlands to development in the past two centuries.
The primary focus of the USGS San Francisco Bay Estuary Field Station is on avian ecology and wetland ecosystems of the San Francisco Bay and beyond. Our Field Station has a long history of research focused upon avian migration and winter ecology within the estuary through studies of foraging ecology and benthic prey, salt marsh ecology, and restoration of tidal wetlands (including former salt production ponds). We have conducted extensive migratory bird studies related to space-use, movement patterns, habitat selection, diet, body condition, and applied ecology inferences of landscape-level wetland habitat management.
Applicant will gain experience in a wide range of wildlife research field methods using a variety of ecological data collection and analysis techniques. Regular duties may include waterbird species identification, counts, behavioral observations, capture, and banding. Other general field tasks may include benthic invertebrate/sediment collection, water quality sampling, data proofing and management, and vegetation and elevation surveys involving hiking through rough terrain. Waterbird counts may be conducted from vehicles or on foot, and water quality measurements are taken from the ground or from small boats. Other duties include some data entry and light general maintenance tasks. The ideal candidate has strong spatial and waterbird ID skills, is detail-oriented, responsible, self-motivated, and willing to work long hours in muddy conditions. Must be comfortable working on small (8’ – 19’) boats and kayaks (operation experience is desired, but not required), in shallow water, and mud. Field sites are located in the heavily urbanized San Francisco Bay, so you must have a valid driver’s license and be comfortable driving government-owned vehicles in heavy traffic between field sites.
Duties: Field work will mostly be done in the San Francisco Bay estuary. Main duties will include: shorebird and waterfowl surveys, waterbird capture and banding, elevation surveys with an RTK GPS and vegetation surveys, water level logger monitoring/troubleshooting, vegetation surveys, invertebrate sampling, data entry using Microsoft Excel and ArcGIS and other office duties as assigned.
Requirements: Applicant should enjoy working outdoors year-round and have good waterbird identification, handling, and capture skills. Applicant should possess a willingness to work in conditions that require hiking long distances in wetlands. Applicant should be comfortable on small boats and in heavy, urban traffic conditions. Experience with the operation of large 4WD vehicles, small boats, summary statistics, GIS, and file management encouraged. Applicant may work independently with little supervision.
Technician may be asked to work long hours (including early morning or evening hours and some weekend days) to accomplish fieldwork. Some travel may be required. Good physical condition, a current driver's license, and a good driving record are required. Good communication, data integrity, and time-management skills are important. Applicants must be able to walk in muddy conditions, carrying 40+lbs of equipment.
To Apply: Send one document (preferably a pdf) named LastName_FirstName_WaterbirdTech2018 to Stacy Moskal at smoskalATusgs.gov . This document should contain a cover letter, resume, and three references. Applications will be considered as they are received.