Black Rail

Black Rail

Southeast United States (coastal)

20 weeks

Job Type:

Application Deadline:

Job Description:
Six marsh bird point count technicians are needed to conduct marsh bird inventories on southeastern National Wildlife Refuges (refuges). Technicians will contribute to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service project that aims to quantify the status and distribution of secretive marsh birds on 21 refuges from North Carolina to Florida, primarily along the Atlantic coast. This project places particular emphasis on Black Rail and (MacGillivray’s) Seaside Sparrow, two candidate taxa for protection under the Endangered Species Act. Technicians will conduct passive and callback point-count surveys for marsh birds and vegetation surveys in selected marshes on refuges. Six (6) positions are available: two (2) each in North Carolina, South Carolina/Georgia, and Florida, with an initial training period for all technicians in Florida.

Applicant must possess (1) a valid driver’s license and good driving record, (2) a reliable personal vehicle adequate for gravel roads (4×4 preferred, but not required), and (3) patience and flexibility to handle the varying schedules/travel of the field season. Ideal applicants will also demonstrate: (4) a record of conducting and documenting field work reliably and independently, (5) a working knowledge of southeastern (especially marsh!) bird identification by sight and (especially!) sound, (6) prior experience with bird surveys (e.g., point-counts; callback surveys), (7) GPS experience, (8) a fanatical willingness to work long hours and walk several miles in remote marshes under harsh field conditions (biting insects, poking plants, deep mud, and heat), (9) a general knowledge of marsh vegetation, and (10) significant motorboat experience (for NC/SC/GA). North Carolina and South Carolina/Georgia applicants should specifically describe boat driving and trailering experience and include an additional reference that can attest to boating skills. Clearly a good sense of humor will go a long way too…

The salary is $480/week and includes housing and reimbursement for personal vehicle mileage ($0.54/mile). Housing will be very dynamic — technicians will move regularly among refuges for surveys (hence the need for flexibility). Housing will be provided primarily as refuge housing or the occasional hotel room. Positions will begin in early March 2017 and conclude mid/late July 2017 (approximately 20 weeks). Employment, payment, and reimbursement will occur via East Carolina University through a Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit agreement.

To Apply:

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter addressing applicant qualifications with three references to: adam_d_smith AT Please specify desired state(s) in subject line of email.

Number of Openings: