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Chad Seewagen

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  1. Summer Research Internships Great Hollow is currently accepting applications for two paid internships for undergraduate or graduate students who are majoring in the natural sciences and have a strong academic record and an interest in field biology. Interns assist with our spring and summer research projects through which they gain experience with various field techniques and data collection methods. This year, interns will assist with a tri-trophic plant-insect-bird interactions project involving caterpillar sampling, vegetation surveys, bird surveys, and possibly bird banding, and a study of the effects of lighting on bats that will involve collecting and analyzing acoustic bat data. Interns will also be occasionally asked to help with invasive plant removal, trail maintenance, miscellaneous office duties, facility maintenance, care of our non-releasable birds of prey and other education animals, community events, and kids’ education programs, and otherwise contribute to the general day-to-day operation of Great Hollow. Internships begin in mid-May and last 8 weeks. Applicants must be available to start no later than May 20. Compensation includes a weekly stipend of $350 along with on-site, shared housing. Applicants with strong eastern bird identification skills and/or arthropod identification skills will be the most competitive. Prior experience conducting point-counts of eastern U.S. birds is a major plus. About Great Hollow Founded in 2016, Great Hollow is an environmental education and research center located in New Fairfield, Connecticut, a little more than an hour north of New York City. Great Hollow is dedicated to biodiversity conservation, applied ecological research, experiential environmental education, and passive outdoor recreation. Our staff and collaborators conduct integrative, conservation-driven studies of wildlife and plants within and beyond our preserve. Great Hollow also runs numerous education programs for both children and adults throughout the year, including school programs and a nature-based summer day camp. Our 825-acre preserve features five miles of hiking trails that are open to the public year-round for the exploration and enjoyment of nature. Minimum Qualifications -Completion of at least 2 full years of a 4-year university program, majoring in natural resources, conservation biology, ecology, wildlife management, or a similar field. -Ability to enjoy working outdoors under adverse conditions. -Physically fit and able to work long days on rugged terrain. -English fluency. -Ability to communicate effectively. -Ability to work independently and as part of a team. -Ability to live in shared, drug-free and smoke-free housing with respect for others. -Previous field biology experience and a familiarity with the flora and fauna of the Northeast. -Ability to identify eastern birds by sight and sound preferred. -Proof of health insurance coverage. -U.S. citizenship or current authorization to work in the U.S. The deadline for applications is April 1. Applications are reviewed in the order in which they are received. To apply, please email (as a single PDF) a cover letter that outlines your experience, interests, and goals; a resume/CV; and contact info and your relationship to at least two professional references to Chad Seewagen at cseewagen@greathollow.org. Please label the PDF as “Last name_first name” and put “Last name_2021 Internship Application” in the subject line of your email. Applications that fail to follow these basic instructions may be disqualified.
  2. RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP Great Hollow Nature Preserve & Ecological Research Center is pleased to announce a two-year fellowship to support a visiting scientist in residence at our preserve in New Fairfield, Connecticut. The Fellow will: (1) conduct independent research at the preserve and/or other appropriate study sites in the region, (2) assist with other research projects of Great Hollow’s, (3) coordinate Great Hollow’s summer internship program, and (4) contribute to the general day-to-day operation of Great Hollow as a member of our small staff, including occasional assistance with education and outreach programs. The ideal candidate will be an ecologist whose research is field-based, integrative, innovative, has a conservation application, and will complement Great Hollow’s current areas of study. Candidates may work in any discipline that is relevant to the biodiversity and ecological communities of New England, but wildlife ecologists will likely be the most competitive. The fellowship is primarily intended for early-career scientists who have completed their PhD within the past 5 years, but post-doctoral researchers at any career stage are eligible to apply. PhD candidates who expect to defend during the spring of 2021, have a strong publication record, and have an appropriate level of research and mentorship experience will also be considered. About Great Hollow Founded in 2016, Great Hollow Nature Preserve & Ecological Research Center is an environmental education and research center located in New Fairfield, Connecticut, a little more than an hour north of New York City. Its 825-acre preserve is contiguous or nearly contiguous with thousands of acres of additional protected land in Connecticut and neighboring New York State. The preserve is predominantly second-growth deciduous and mixed forest with a trout stream, beaver impoundment, vernal pools, and small patches of old field and shrubland. More than 4 miles of hiking trails extend through the western half of the preserve and are open to the public year-round. The other half of the preserve lacks trails and is closed to the public, but is usable for research. Great Hollow conducts conservation-driven studies of biodiversity in Connecticut and beyond to better understand human impacts to the environment and provide science that can help inform management decisions and public policy. Our research spans the fields of animal ecology, ecophysiology, and ecotoxicology as they relate to the effects of invasive species, land use change, and pollution on wildlife and habitat quality. We take a collaborative approach to research, working closely with partners across academia, government, and other NGOs to most effectively and efficiently approach scientific studies of common interest. Great Hollow also operates as a biological field station that is open to external researchers. Facilities at the preserve include housing, offices, classroom space, and a basic wet lab. The lab is equipped with a -80° C freezer, refrigerator, fume hood, research-grade dissecting scope with camera, analytical balance, drying oven, Berlese funnels, autoclave, Soxhlet fat extraction apparatus, hemoglobin and hematocrit meter, water bath, microcentrifuges, vortexer, variable pipettes, and basic glassware. Applicants should specify whether the research they would propose conducting as the Fellow would require any specialized laboratory equipment or analytical capabilities that are not available at Great Hollow. Arrangements can often be made to use or have samples analyzed in the labs of other institutions with which Great Hollow collaborates or is affiliated. Primary Responsibilities The Fellow will be responsible for designing and conducting independent research at Great Hollow Nature Preserve and/or other appropriate sites in the region, and submitting that work for publication within the 24-month fellowship period. Projects that have a conservation application are preferred but not required. The Fellow will be expected to apply for extramural funding to help support their research (e.g., equipment/supplies, offsite lab analyses, field assistant wages), but the research should be designed to be accomplishable even if efforts to secure funding are unsuccessful. The Fellow will be provided with a modest budget of $2,500 per year for direct research expenses if external funding is not acquired. The other primary responsibility of the Fellow will be to coordinate Great Hollow’s 10-week summer internship program. This includes managing the internship application and selection process, and directly mentoring the two to four selected interns (who are usually undergraduates, but may sometimes include post-bac or graduate students) as they assist with Great Hollow’s research projects and/or conduct independent projects of their own. The Fellow will be encouraged to use the interns as field assistants in his/her research and may initially hire interns with particular skillsets and experience to be most helpful to them. For interns who are interested in conducting their own independent research, the Fellow will help them to design feasible projects, mentor them on data collection, data analysis, and scientific writing, and coordinate their daily activities. Timeline The term of the fellowship is 24 months, with minimal potential for extension or transition into a permanent position. The start date must be no later than April 1st. Qualifications Ph.D. in biology, ecology, natural resources management, conservation biology, or a related field, preferably earned within the past 5 years. Ph.D. candidates who expect to defend by the spring of 2021 will also be considered. Independent research experience that has included study design, field work, field crew supervision, data analysis, and publication of results. Strong quantitative skills and proficiency with biological statistics, including the use of R. A minimum of two first-author publications in relevant peer-reviewed journals. Demonstrated success securing grants or other extramural funding. Experience teaching or mentoring students, preferably with independent research projects. Familiarity with northeastern U.S. flora, fauna, ecosystems, and general principles of habitat management. Familiarity with a range of standard field research techniques that will enable the Fellow to mentor interns on projects outside of his/her area of expertise. English fluency and an ability to effectively communicate with other staff, interns, and members of the public. Ability to work well with others as part of a small team. Ability to live in shared, smoke-free and drug-free housing with respect for others. U.S. citizenship or authorization to work in the U.S. Valid driver’s license. Compensation The Fellow will receive: (1) free on-site housing and utilities (valued at ~ $12,000 per year), (2) reimbursement for personal enrollment in the ConnectiCare health insurance program, (3) a research budget of $2,500 per year if efforts to secure external funding are unsuccessful, and (4) a salary of $40,000 per year. The housing includes a private bedroom with a queen bed in one of two shared houses at Great Hollow Nature Preserve. Both houses are newly renovated and furnished, and have a fully equipped kitchen, cable tv, and wireless internet. A washer and dryer are also available on-site. One house has one full-time occupant year-round; the other house has up to three seasonal occupants during the summer and is empty the remainder of the year. Pets are allowed under most circumstances but need to be approved in advance by the executive director. Application Instructions Please submit the following to apply. 1) A single PDF containing: Cover letter Curriculum vitae Research statement that includes a description of how your research experience fits the fellowship and Great Hollow’s mission, and up to three ideas for potential projects that you would conduct as the Fellow (no more than 3 pages single-spaced) Contact information for, and relationships to, three professional references 2) PDFs of up to three selected publications that are the most relevant to the area of research you would conduct as the Fellow Applications will be reviewed as they are received and accepted until January 21, 2021. Applications should be addressed to Great Hollow’s executive director Chad Seewagen and emailed to cseewagen@greathollow.org. Please put “RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP [Last name_First name]” in the subject line. Great Hollow is an equal opportunity employer. We are dedicated to providing a non-discriminatory and harassment-free environment for all employees, volunteers, members, and program participants. Discrimination or harassment because of age, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, nationality, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or any other status is not tolerated and is strictly forbidden.
  3. Great Hollow Nature Preserve & Ecological Research Center is seeking a songbird bander/field assistant to help with various projects involving birds and other wildlife at its research sites in Danbury, CT, New Fairfield, CT, and Pawling, NY from mid/late May through July/early August, 2020. Applicants must be experienced with songbird mist-netting and banding to the extent that they are demonstrably qualified and able to do so without direct oversight (i.e., able to safely extract, band, age, sex, measure, and weigh birds on his/her own in a timely manner). One project will require target-capturing male ovenbirds using song playback to investigate return rates of previously banded birds at the study site. This is part of a larger study of the effects of the invasive shrub, Japanese barberry, on ovenbird habitat quality, diet, and other factors. The other project involves capturing migrating and breeding songbirds to sample them for the newly introduced and invasive Asian long-horned tick and other tick species as part of a regional tickborne disease monitoring program in collaboration with the Tickborne Disease Prevention Lab at Western Connecticut State University. In addition to these projects that involve mist-netting and banding, the selected person will conduct visual/aural bird surveys at Great Hollow Nature Preserve and other nearby areas for the Connecticut Bird Atlas Project. Strong eastern bird identification skills (by sight and sound) are required. Other duties will include data entry and conducting weekly drag-samples for ticks as part of a regional black-legged tick population monitoring effort. The field assistant may also occasionally be asked to help with miscellaneous office duties, community events, and otherwise contribute to the general day-to-day operation of Great Hollow. Great Hollow Nature Preserve & Ecological Research Center is a newly established environmental education, conservation, and science institute located in New Fairfield, Connecticut, approximately one hour north of New York City. The preserve totals 825 acres and is contiguous or nearly contiguous with thousands of acres of additional protected land in Connecticut and neighboring New York State. Five miles of trails wind through the western side of the preserve and are open to the public year-round. Great Hollow also operates as a biological field station that is open to external researchers. Minimum Qualifications -Songbird banding experience as outlined above, with a minimum of 100 extractions. -Strong eastern bird identification skills. -Completion of at least 2 full years of a 4-year university program, majoring in natural resources, conservation biology, ecology, wildlife management, or a similar field. -Ability to enjoy working outdoors under adverse conditions. -Physically fit and able to work long days on rugged terrain. -English fluency. -Ability to communicate effectively. -Ability to work independently and as part of a team. -Ability to live in shared on-site housing with respect for others (for applicants in need of housing). - Proof and continuous maintenance of health insurance coverage during employment. -U.S. citizenship or authorization to work in the U.S. -Valid driver’s license and own transportation. Compensation includes a weekly stipend of $375, plus free on-site, shared housing and utilities (electric, heat, cable tv/internet/phone) at Great Hollow Nature Preserve. To apply, please email as a single PDF (1) a cover letter that describes in detail your field experience with birds (particularly with mist-netting and banding, including an estimate of the number of birds extracted), (2) a C.V., and (3) contact info and relationships to at least 2 professional references who can attest to your mist-netting and banding experience to Dr. Chad Seewagen at info@greathollow.org. Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received.
  4. Great Hollow Nature Preserve & Ecological Research Center is seeking an avian research intern to help with various projects involving birds and other wildlife at its research sites in Danbury, CT, New Fairfield, CT, and Pawling, NY from mid/late May through July/early August, 2020. One project involves target-netting male ovenbirds using song playback to investigate return rates of previously banded birds at the study site. This is part of a larger study of the effects of the invasive shrub, Japanese barberry, on ovenbird habitat quality, diet, and other factors. Another project involves capturing migrating and breeding songbirds to sample them for the newly introduced and invasive Asian long-horned tick and other tick species in collaboration with Western Connecticut State University. For both projects, the intern will assist with setting up and taking down mist-nets, recording data, and other tasks. Previous experience with mist-netting and bird banding is preferred but not necessary to apply. In addition to these projects, the avian research intern will conduct visual/aural bird surveys at Great Hollow Nature Preserve and other nearby areas for the Connecticut Bird Atlas Project. Experience conducting bird surveys and strong eastern bird identification skills (by sight and sound) are required. Other duties will include data entry and conducting weekly drag-samples for ticks as part of a regional black-legged tick population monitoring effort. The research intern may also occasionally be asked to help with miscellaneous office duties, community events, educational programs, and otherwise contribute to the general day-to-day operation of Great Hollow. Great Hollow Nature Preserve & Ecological Research Center is a newly established environmental education, conservation, and science institute located in New Fairfield, Connecticut, approximately one hour north of New York City. The preserve totals 825 acres and is contiguous or nearly contiguous with thousands of acres of additional protected land in Connecticut and neighboring New York State. Five miles of trails wind through the western side of the preserve and are open to the public year-round. Great Hollow also operates as a biological field station that is open to external researchers. Minimum Qualifications -Strong eastern bird identification skills and experience conducting bird surveys. -Familiarity with mist-netting and banding birds. -Completion of at least 1 full year of a 4-year university program, majoring in natural resources, conservation biology, ecology, wildlife management, or a similar field. -Ability to enjoy working outdoors under adverse conditions. -Physically fit and able to work long days on rugged terrain. -English fluency. -Ability to communicate effectively. -Ability to work independently and as part of a team. -Ability to live in shared on-site housing with respect for others (for applicants in need of housing). - Proof and continuous maintenance of health insurance coverage during employment. -U.S. citizenship or authorization to work in the U.S. -Valid driver’s license and own transportation. Compensation includes a weekly stipend of $325, plus free on-site, shared housing and utilities (electric, heat, cable tv/internet/phone) at Great Hollow Nature Preserve. To apply, please email as a single PDF (1) a cover letter that describes in detail your experience with birds and any other relevant field experience (if you have experience with mist-netting and banding, please include an estimated number of extractions), (2) a C.V., and (3) contact info and relationships to at least 2 professional references to Dr. Chad Seewagen at info@greathollow.org. Applications will be accepted until April 10 and reviewed in the order in which they are received.
  5. Great Hollow Nature Preserve & Ecological Research Center offers up to $5,000 in grants each year to support biological research at and beyond our preserve in New Fairfield, Connecticut. The maximum amount awarded to a single project is $2,500. All areas of field biology are eligible, but those with a conservation application are the most competitive. Great Hollow Nature Preserve may be the only study site or may be one of multiple study sites used in the research. Applicants may be students or professionals of any age and career stage, but they must be affiliated with an educational institution or other non-profit organization. The grants may be used for field assistant wages or direct expenses such as field and lab equipment and supplies. Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of their novelty, scientific merit, soundness of the methodology, and ability to contribute significant new information to the published literature on the subject. Great Hollow has all of the facilities of a biological field station, including short-term housing, which may be available to awardees during their field season(s). Please note in your application if you would like to be considered for housing. Applications are due March 1st and awardees are announced by April 1st of each year. To apply, please provide a brief cover letter, C.V., and a proposal of no more than 3 pages single spaced (not including references) that includes the project need, research question(s), methods, predicted results, detailed budget and other sources of funding, and the expected contribution of the study to the relevant field. Email applications as a single PDF document to info@greathollow.org with “GRANT APPLICATION_[Last Name]” in the subject line.
  6. Great Hollow offers two grants each year in the amount of up to $2,500 each for biological research to be conducted at our preserve in New Fairfield, CT. All areas of field biology are welcome, but those with a clear conservation application are the most competitive. Great Hollow Nature Preserve may be the only study site or may be one of multiple study sites used for the study. Applicants can be students or professionals of any age and career stage, but they must be affiliated with an educational institution or other non-profit organization. The grants may be used for field assistant wages, field and lab equipment and supplies, or direct expenses. Proposals will be evaluated by their novelty, scientific merit and soundness of the methodology, and likelihood to contribute significant new information to the published literature on the subject. Applications are due December 1st and awardees are announced by February 1st of each year. To apply, please provide a brief cover letter, C.V., and a proposal of no more than 3 pages single spaced (not including references) that includes the project need, research question(s), detailed methods, detailed budget and any other sources of funding, predicted results, and expected contribution of the study to the relevant field. Email applications as a single PDF document to cseewagen@greathollow.org with “GRANT APPLICATION_[Last Name]” in the subject line.
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