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The Institute for Bird Populations

Black-Backed Woodpecker Radio-Telemetry on Sierra Nevada National Forests

We have 4 openings during spring/summer 2011 on our Sierra Nevada Black-backed Woodpecker radio-telemetry project.


Mid April  -  Mid July (extact dates to be determined)

TRAINING: The field season will begin with training in capturing and placing radio transmitters on Black-backed Woodpeckers. Once birds have been marked, interns will be trained in using radio-telemetry to locate birds, and collecting foraging and habitata data. The first few weeks of the field season will likely be extremely busy with minimal time off. 

RESPONSIBILITIES:  Interns will visit study sites to collect  Black-backed Woodpecker location and foraging data on a daily basis. On a typical day, interns will be assigned to collect data on several marked birds at a study site.  The field day may begin before dawn and continue into late afternoon. Work will be physically demanding, and will involve off-trail hiking to locate marked birds. The typical work schedule will be 7-days on followed by 3-days off. We will likely work at multiple, widely separated study sites in the Sierra Nevada, requiring frequent travel between sites, and perhaps at camping at the more remote sites for several days at a time.

REQUIREMENTS: We are looking for candidates with prior field experience; radio-telemetry experience and mist-netting experience are big pluses, as is experience with field work in rugged mountainous environments.  Other requirements include a sense of humor, a love of adventure, a desire to learn more about Black-backed Woodpecker natural history and fire ecology, and an appreciation for recently burned montane landscapes. A willingness to face the rigors of fieldwork with good humor is important. These rigors include (but are not limited to!) physically demanding work, long work days that may begin well before dawn, wet, cold weather (early in the season), dry, hot weather (late in the season), mosquitos, occasional contact with bears, and perhaps extended camping at remote sites. Successful candidates must be in good physical condition and must be comfortable with off-trail hiking and orienteering (training provided).

EQUIPMENT:  Interns are expected to provide their own binoculars and camping gear. Although not required, a personal automobile is desirable.

COMPENSATION:  Like all IBP internships, our radio-telemetry  internships are fundamentally volunteer positions. Primary compensation includes the valuable skills you will develop, the satisfaction of joining important bird conservation efforts, and the joy of working with fun-loving people in a fantastically beautiful environment. Additionally, we will provide you with a per diem of $39 (amounts to $975 per month) to cover food and general living expenses, mileage reimbursement for all project-related travel, and free shared housing.

HOW TO APPLY: Please email resume, cover letter, and names, phone numbers and email addresses of two references to Bob Wilkerson, Biologist at: bwilkerson AT birdpop DOT org

Electronic applications are preferred, if that is not possible please email or call for a mailing address.
Ph: (415) 233-0684
e-mail: bwilkerson AT birdpop DOT org