Southern Sierra Research Station

...conserving biological diversity through research

2016 Research Opportunities


YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO BANDER/SUPERVISOR

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- June 15, 2016 to August 30, 2016 (some flexibility in start date).

Application deadline: March 30, 2016.

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 - 350+ 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 - $2,800 DOE. 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: lcrjobs2016 (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, 2016 to August 15, 2016 (some flexibility in start and end date).

Application deadline: March 30, 2016.

Number of Openings: 7

Job Description: We are seeking 7 surveyors or banding assistants 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, resighting color-bands, assisting with mist-netting and data entry.
Banding Assistants- June 15th to August 15 (some flexibility in dates) Primary duties include: assisting with 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 $2,200 per month - $2500 DOE. 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: lcrjobs2016(at) gmail.com) by March 30, 2016. 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.


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 2016.

Number of Openings: 5

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. Previous experience mistnetting and/or the ability to identify western birds by sight and sound is a plus. There may be opportunities to participate in our Flammulated Owl nest box monitoring program and riparian bird point counts.

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 $1,600-$1,900/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).