Southern Sierra Research Station

...conserving biological diversity through research

2015 Research Opportunities


RESEARCH ASSOCIATE

Location: The South Fork of the Kern River situated in the foothills of the southern Sierra Nevada in southern California and Blythe CA.

Job Type: Full Time, permanent

Application deadline: Applications should be submitted by 1 March 2015.

Number of Openings: 1

Job Description: Research Associate (Data Management and GIS) position at the Southern Sierra Research Station, a small non-profit organization located in the Southern Sierra Nevada, Kern Co., CA. We primarily conduct avian research, but sometimes work with other taxa.

Primary duties include, but are not limited to: assisting staff with the Lower Colorado Yellow-billed Cuckoo project by (1) help manage and coordinate this project including supervision of assistants and field work (2) data management, report preparation and writing, (3) grant writing, and (4) other miscellaneous research station duties. The position requires living in Blythe for 3.5 to 4 months during the field season (housing provided) and in the Kern River Valley for the rest of the year.

Qualifications: Bachelor's degree (Masters preferred) in Biology, Ecology, or related field; Well-organized, able to multi-task and coordinate a small office; Detail oriented data collection and management skills; Proficiency with computer programs such as Word, Excel, Access and GIS; Experience with GPS; General knowledge of statistics and data analysis (using R programming language a plus); Experience with scientific report writing; Experience with bird-survey methods, nest searching, banding, and behavioral observations; Physically fit for field work. The field season is extremely hot in Blythe, and a tolerance for heat is important.

To apply, applicants should e-mail a single file (Word or Pdf) which includes: 1) Cover letter, 2) Resume, and 3) Names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of three references to: mjwhitfield.ssrs@gmail.com. Please include your name in the file name of your attachment (e.g. Darwin_C_application.doc) Position open until filled, preferred starting time between mid-March to mid-April. Salary is $31,000 to $35,000/year (depending on experience) with good vacation and health benefits. The Southern Sierra Research Station is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are unable to employ non-US citizens without a current Employment Authorization Document (EAD).


SOUTHWESTERN WILLOW FLYCATCHER FIELD ASSISTANTS

Location: The South Fork of the Kern River situated in the foothills of the southern Sierra Nevada in southern California

Duration: May to late-August. Start and end dates are somewhat flexible

Job Type: Seasonal

Application deadline: Applications should be submitted by 31 March 2015.

Number of Openings: 3

Job Description: Three field assistants are needed to assist with research on a population of Southwestern Willow Flycatchers (WIFL) along the South Fork of the Kern River in southern California. The study aims to understand factors affecting population dynamics and breeding success of this endangered subspecies. We also anticipate opportunities for field assistants to assist in SSRS Kern Yellow-billed Cuckoo research. The study site is situated in the foothills of the southern Sierra Nevada. Join us to work in this beautiful valley with these challenging birds.

Assistants will participate in WIFL population surveys, nest searching, target netting, resighting color-banded birds, cowbird trapping, vegetation sampling, and data entry. Probable cuckoo work involves conducting cuckoo surveys, assisting in banding, and nest searching. Enthusiasm for fieldwork, persistence, and ability to deal with hard field conditions (extreme heat, rough, uneven terrain) are more important than past experience or specific knowledge.

All applicants must be able to work independently and as part of a team. The positions will last from May to late-August. Start and end dates are somewhat flexible. Housing and work vehicles are provided and salaries are $1,500-$1,800/month for Assistants, according to experience.

Applicants should email a single file (word or pdf) which includes 1) cover letter stating their interest in the position, dates of availability, 2) a resume, and 3) names and contact information (email and phone) of three references to: Mary Whitfield (mjwhitfield.ssrs AT gmail.com) at the Southern Sierra Research Station (www.southernsierraresearch.org). Please include your name in the file name of your attachment (e.g. Darwin_C_application.doc). The Southern Sierra Research Station is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are unable to employ non-US citizens without a current Employment Authorization Document (EAD).


YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO FIELD TECHNICIANS

Location: The South Fork of the Kern River situated in the foothills of the southern Sierra Nevada in southern California

Duration: June 8 to Sept 8

Job Type: Seasonal

Application deadline: April 1st, 2015, but hiring will begin February 15 and continue until all positions are filled.

Number of Openings: 4

Job Description: We are looking for three field assistants to conduct Yellow-billed Cuckoo field research in the native riparian habitat along the South Fork of the Kern River, in the foothills of the southern Sierra Nevada of southern California. Join us to work in this beautiful valley with this challenging bird. On your days off, enjoy the surrounding region, there are 4 national parks within a 4-hour drive.

Primary duties include conducting Yellow-billed Cuckoo call-playback surveys, nest searching and monitoring, assist with mist-netting, tracking using radio telemetry, resighting color-banded cuckoos, vegetation/habitat sampling, and entering data. Field work starts in the early morning, often before dawn, and the workday usually ends by the early afternoon. The field sites are close and the drives short. We work 5 days on followed by 2 days off, but this is flexible because our work is often dictated by day to day cuckoo activity. Each day, we work 6-8+ hours in the field and then enter and proof data for ~1 hour. The position is based out of Weldon, CA. Housing and work vehicle provided.

Qualifications: Required: Applicants must be enthusiastic, have a strong work ethic, be physically fit, and have very good hearing and color vision. Applicants must also have the ability to deal with harsh field conditions (heat, rough and uneven terrain, flooded areas, and stinging nettle). Previous experience with bird surveys, nest searching, radio telemetry, resighting color-banded birds, and/or mistnetting birds is required. Meticulous data collection and data entry skills are expected. All applicants must be able to work independently and as part of a team. Qualified applicants should be able to use a map, compass, GPS unit, and computer. Applicants must have a valid driver's license. Preferred: Highly qualified candidates will have additional experience with mistnetting birds, resighting color-banded birds, and/or radio telemetry. Previous experience conducting field work under difficult conditions is also preferred.

Monthly salary (depending on experience) is $1600 - $1,900/month plus housing. To apply please email a cover letter, resume, contact information (names, email and phone) for three references as a single Word doc or pdf titled "yourlastname yourfirstname Kern YBCU" to John Stanek at jobs.ssrs@gmail.com. Last date to apply is April 1st, 2015. Hiring will begin February 15 and continue until all positions are filled. We are unable to employ non-US citizens without a current Employment Authorization Document (EAD).


YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO BANDER

Location: The position is based out of Blythe, CA with work conducted at riparian sites along the Lower Colorado River in AZ and CA.

Dates of Employment: June 15, 2015 to August 14, 2015 (some flexibility in start date).

Application deadline: March 30, 2015.

Number of Openings: 1

Job Description: We are seeking one (1) experienced bird bander to assist with population monitoring of the recently listed Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo on the lower Colorado River in AZ and California. Join us for an exciting field season working in remote desert riparian areas with one of the most interesting and challenging birds of the Southwest.

Required Qualifications: 1) Extensive avian mist-netting/banding experience, preferably MAPS or equivalent (please include number of birds processed - 500+ preferred - and all relevant banding training. All banding experience must be documented with references. 2) Experience leading banding crews. 3) Avian blood extraction experience. 4) At least one field season conducting other avian field work. 5) Must be enthusiastic, physically fit, and able to work in high temperatures / humidity / mosquito density, with a strong work ethic. 6) A valid US driver's license and personal cell phone. 7) An overall dedication to collecting high quality data, and willingness to solve problems and complete tasks effectively. Applicants must have a current First Aid/CPR Certification or be willing to complete a free course online (provided by employer) before June 1.

Other desired skills/experience: 1) Previous work with Yellow-billed Cuckoos or other secretive forest birds. 2) Field experience resighting color bands, nest-searching, nest monitoring. 3) Experience attaching data loggers to birds. 4) Training in avian first aid.

Duties: 1) Banders will lead a crew of 1-2 people. 2) Banding crews will erect canopy nets and target-capture Yellow-billed Cuckoos (specialized training will be provided). 3) Banders will collect blood and meticulously record morphological data, and enter into Trimble GPS units. 4) Netting will begin very early each morning, and crews will move nets several times during each morning based on current cuckoo activity. 5) Banders may be required to carry heavy equipment over long distances and set up in difficult terrain or in dense vegetation. 6) Crews will often drive or hike long distances pre-dawn to banding locations. 7) When not netting, banders will conduct other field work including color-band resighting, nest searching, and radio-telemetry.

Monthly salary is $2,600 - $2800. Housing and field vehicle are provided. Shared field housing is based in Blythe CA.

To apply, email a cover letter stating your interest in the position and dates of availability, and a resume which includes names and current contact information (email and phone) of 3 references (please include your name in email subject and filename of attachment) to Diane Tracy (EM: lcrjobs2015 (at) gmail.com) by March 30. Hiring will begin as suitable applicants are identified and will continue until the position is filled. Please make sure your references are able to comment on your banding and avian field capabilities. We are unable to employ non-US citizens without a current Employment Authorization Document (EAD). No pets are allowed. Southern Sierra Research Station is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO FIELD TECHNICIANS

Location: The position is based out of Blythe, CA with work conducted at riparian sites along the Lower Colorado River in AZ and CA.

Dates of Employment: June 1, 2015 to August 15, 2015 (some flexibility in start date).

Application deadline: March 30, 2015.

Number of Openings: 7

Job Description: We are seeking 7 crew members to conduct population monitoring of the newly listed Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo on the lower Colorado River. Join us for an exciting field season working in remote areas with one of the most interesting and challenging birds found in the Southwest. Technicians must be available from June 1 until August 15. Primary duties include: conducting Yellow-billed Cuckoo surveys using call playback, nest searching, resighting color-bands, telemetry, assist mist-netting and data entry.

Qualifications: Required: Applicants must be enthusiastic, have a strong work ethic, be physically fit, and have excellent hearing and color vision. Previous avian field work (1 year) and the ability to use maps, compass and GPS is required. Meticulous data collection and data entry skills are expected. Applicants must have a valid driver's license and a personal cell phone. Desired: Experience with Trimble units, conducting bird surveys, working with secretive birds, resighting color-bands, mist-netting and radio telemetry. Applicants must have a current First Aid/CPR Certification or be willing to complete a free course online (provided by employer) before June 1.

Work Conditions: 1) Shared field housing is based in Blythe CA. The position requires the ability to hike off-trail through desert/riparian habitats, while carrying moderately heavy packs. Technicians must be able to tolerate adverse conditions including dense vegetation and exposure to high temperatures and humidity. Technicians may encounter wild animals, venomous snakes and biting insects including mosquitoes. All field work involves early morning rising (driving or hiking in the dark). Technicians may work in teams or alone in remote areas.

All technicians will work 5 consecutive days followed by 2 days off, but must be available to work any of the 7 days each week with the understanding that the schedule is subject to change with little or no notice. We work 7-10 hours in the field daily in temperatures ranging from 80 - 110 F. Data is entered daily during and after returning from the field. Field housing and vehicles provided. We cannot accommodate pets. Starting salary is $2,000 per month. Qualified couples are welcome to apply.

To Apply: Applicants should email a cover letter stating their interest in the position, dates of availability, a resume, and names and contact information (email and phone) of 3 references to: Diane Tracy (EM: lcrjobs2015(at) gmail.com) by March 30, 2015. Documents should be combined (cover letter / resume) with your name in the email subject line/file name. Applications will be reviewed as received and hiring will begin as soon as suitable applicants are found. Foreign applicants should not apply unless they already hold documentation to work in the USA. Please make sure your references are current and able to comment on your field work capabilities. The Southern Sierra Research Station is an Equal Opportunity Employer.