Wintering Longspur and Grassland Bird Technician – Location: Western/ Central Oklahoma, and Texas Panhandle. Job type: Full time, seasonal. Duration of position: December 2019 through February 2020. Application deadline: October 15, 2019. Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Salary: TBD and will based on qualifications (bunkhouse-style housing will be available at no charge).
DESCRIPTION: The Oklahoma Biological Survey (OBS) at the University of Oklahoma is seeking 2-3 seasonal technicians to assist with a project investigating the Wintering Ecology of Longspurs during the winter of 2019-20. The positions will begin December 1, 2019 and continue through February 29, 2020 (potential for extension through March). Primary research objectives include: assessing the wintering abundance and distribution of three focal species of longspurs and co-occurring grassland bird species, gathering vegetation data for habitat association models, and tracking Chestnut-collared Longspur landscape use. Technician duties will include: conducting distance sampling walking transects, tracking radio-tagged individuals, conducting vegetation sampling, capturing and banding of wintering grassland birds, maintaining research equipment, deploying and retrieving traps, operating 4-wheel drive trucks in remote areas, and assisting with other office and field work tasks.
Field surveys will be conducted across the state of Oklahoma and Texas Panhandle while the radio-telemetry study will occur in the areas around the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, a spectacular natural area that offers a variety of excellent wildlife viewing, birding and outdoor recreational activities. Shared bunkhouse-style housing at will be available at most of the wildlife management areas and refuges sites, although camping may be required at several of the more remote sites. The climate of Oklahoma during the winter is often mild, but can be extremely windy and cold, and some of the components of this project include walking long distances through thick grass. Bison, elk and longhorn cattle are also abundant at the primary study area. The office where the technicians will be based is located at the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge. Lawton is the closest city, and Oklahoma City is approximately an hour and a half drive away. A personal vehicle is highly recommended since the location is remote and there is no public transportation, although arrangements may be made to transport to and from Norman/OKC depots. Vehicles will be provided by the Oklahoma Biological Survey for field work duties.
QUALIFICATIONS: Applicants should have a strong interest in avian research, an excellent work ethic, a positive attitude about working outdoors in occasional cold and windy conditions, a high tolerance of sun, and should be capable of hiking long distances over relatively thick grasslands. Required skills and qualifications include: unimpaired or otherwise-corrected auditory and visual capabilities, valid US driver’s license and good driving record, prior field work experience, professionalism when interacting with people from different backgrounds. Preferred qualifications include prior experience with: identifying small drab nonbreeding grassland birds, operating handheld radio telemetry receivers, mistnetting passerines, and conducting distance-sampling bird surveys. Familiarity with Microsoft Excel and Access is highly desired. Applicants should be self-motivated and able to work independently and as part of a team. Must be a United States citizen or be legally authorized to work in the United States without sponsorship.
TO APPLY: Please send a SINGLE email attachment (PDF format) containing a cover letter describing any prior experience relevant to the position, a resume/CV, and contact information for three references to John Muller (firstname.lastname@example.org). File name should follow the format Lastname_Firstname_LongspurTech_2019. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and the positions may be filled prior to the application deadline.