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  • Wildlife Technicians (2)


    Josh Lefever
    • Employer: Ricketts Conservation Foundation
      Location: Bondurant, WY
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 01/31/2024
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    We are hiring two wildlife technician positions to work on a project assessing the impact of aspen regeneration projects and wildfires on songbird and mammal communities in the Monument Ridge area near Bondurant, Wyoming. Specifically, we are looking for persons knowledgeable with songbird mist netting and banding, familiar with or willing to be trained in the Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions (IMBCR) point count protocol, comfortable hiking off trail in mountainous areas, and excited to assist as needed with other research projects. There will also be the opportunity for one technician to stay on as a mist net assistant for our fall bird banding operations. 

    Duration and Salary:
    Mid-May to late-August with possibility of extension to mid-November
    $1300 biweekly 
    $20 per diem for work-related travel
    Up to $350 reimbursement for moving expenses both to and from Bondurant.

    ***Free housing is provided in a beautiful mountain valley, adjacent to a working ranch with Bison and Horses. ***

    ***One of these positions will be split with the Greater Yellowstone Loon Project. ***

    The technicians will be responsible for assisting at MAPS stations (setting up and taking down nets, extracting birds, recording, and entering field data). They will also conduct IMBCR bird surveys, monitor passerine nest boxes, check cameras traps, conduct vegetation surveys, and assist with Clark’s Nutcracker and Common Loon research projects in the surrounding area. 

    Full-Time Monument Ridge - Spring/Summer Responsibilities (May - August):
    MAPS songbird mist netting and banding (55%)
    IMBCR point counts (20%)
    Vegetation Surveys (5%)
    Camera trap monitoring and maintenance (10%)
    Passerine nest box monitoring (4%)
    Yellowstone Clark’s Nutcracker Surveys (1%)
    Data entry and proofing (5%)
    Other office tasks (net repair, gear cleanup, nest box maintenance, inventory, etc.)

    Split Common Loon/Monument Ridge - Spring/Summer Responsibilities (May - August):
    MAPS songbird mist netting and banding (44%)
    IMBCR point counts (5%)
    Common Loon monitoring (44%)
    Camera trap monitoring and maintenance (1%)
    Yellowstone Clark’s Nutcracker Surveys (1%)
    Data entry and proofing (5%)
    Other office tasks (net repair, gear cleanup, nest box maintenance, inventory, etc.)


    Fall Responsibilities (September – November, tentative):
    Owl migration mist netting and banding (60%)
    Songbird migration mist netting and banding (20%)
    Camera trap monitoring and maintenance (5%)
    Yellowstone Clark’s Nutcracker Surveys (10%)
    Data entry and proofing (5%)
    Other office tasks (net repair, gear cleanup, nest box maintenance, inventory, etc.)

    Hours/Schedule: These are full-time, seasonal positions with somewhat flexible start and end dates. The work schedule is typically 10 days on and 4 days off with extra days for some federal holidays, but weather and project requirements will ultimately determine the schedule. Hours worked beyond the 80-hour/period requirement accrue as comp time to be used later in the season as paid days off. 

    Field Conditions: The study area lies at 7,000’ - 8,000’ elevation, so mornings can be frosty, even in summer. Habitat types include aspen woodlands, mixed conifer, and sagebrush steppe. Grizzly bear encounters are possible. Shared housing and transportation for work is provided. Occasional use of personal vehicles for work occurs but is not required. Fuel expenses are reimbursed. Technicians will need their own camping equipment and field gear as well as secure their own transportation to and from Bondurant, WY. Bondurant is a remote town with a population of less than 100 year-round residents. The closest amenities are in Jackson and Pinedale, each a 45-minute drive from town. Recreational opportunities in the surrounding area are truly limitless, with world class fly fishing, backpacking, rafting, climbing and two national parks. 

    Qualifications: Excellent hearing, sight, and the willingness to learn to identify western birds by sight and sound are non-negotiable requirements. Familiarity with Rocky Mountain species of birds, trees, and shrubs is helpful but not required. Some previous experience extracting passerines from mist nets is a must (minimum 200 birds extracted). For those interested in staying for the fall season, experience using playback and mist nets to capture and band owls is desirable but not required. Experience using reference materials (i.e. Pyle) to age and sex birds, familiarity with both WRP and HP aging systems, maintaining camera traps, monitoring nest boxes, and handling nestlings is also highly desirable.

    Applicants should have earned a degree in wildlife biology, related discipline or be working towards completing a degree. A valid driver's license is required. The ability to drive a manual transmission is a plus. Applicants should possess a strong work ethic, be a quick learner, have good navigational skills, be a team player, and willing to share living spaces with coworkers. Ideally, candidates have some experience backpacking with camping and survey equipment into remote areas and knowledge of bear avoidance protocols. Technicians must be in excellent physical condition, able to lift 50 pounds, hike up to 15 miles off trail at high altitude, tolerate early mornings and late nights, long hours, adverse weather, large areas of deadfall, and be comfortable not using mosquito repellents in the field (DEET and birds do not mix). 

    Loon/Monument Ridge Specific Qualifications: Experience driving large, 4WD trucks while towing small watercraft is highly desirable. The split technician should also be comfortable operating canoes and inflatable outboard motorboats on large, cold lakes. Because the loon work predominantly takes place near Yellowstone National Park, encounters with Grizzly Bears are much more likely for this position. More backcountry camping is required for the loon work, so experience backpacking is a must. 

    To apply: Send a cover letter and resume detailing how your experience and interests make you a suitable candidate as well as three references. Specify your desired start and end dates and whether you are interested in continuing through the fall season. Applicants should include a banding resume detailing locations where experience was obtained as well as rough totals of birds extracted and birds processed. Please send all materials to Josh Lefever at jlefever@rickettsconservationfoundation.com. Applications will be reviewed upon receipt; suitable applicants may be hired before closing date (January 31st). 
     




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