Acorn Woodpecker Field Assistant Position 15-Aug 2017 – 01-April 2018

Acorn Woodpecker Field Assistant


Employer: Walters Lab, Old Dominion University


Location: Carmel Valley, California


Description: Two (2) field assistants are needed for ongoing long-term

studies of the behavioral ecology of the cooperatively breeding Acorn

Woodpecker at the Hastings Reserve in upper Carmel Valley, California. We

have studied the behavioral ecology of color-banded Acorn Woodpeckers for

nearly 50 years at this site, making this one of the longest running

vertebrate studies in the world. The research focuses on both ecological and

evolutionary factors involved in the evolution of cooperative breeding, and

includes using automated radio-telemetry techniques to track cryptic movement.

Assistants will participate in monitoring group composition via color-band

resighting, documenting feeding (for any nests) and roosting behavior, and

assist in woodpecker capture and experimental manipulations. Some portions

of field work may require the ability to drive an off road vehicle or truck.

The experience is designed to be one of total immersion, six days per week,

and provides the necessary training needed for those interested in applying

to graduate school.


Compensation: $600/month and on-site shared housing.


Duration: 15 August 2017 to 01 April 2018.


Qualifications: This job requires frequent strenuous physical activity;

applicants must be avid hikers who are comfortable hiking up and down hills

with equipment such as spotting scopes and blinds. Prior experience with

birds (especially the ability to read color bands) is desirable but not

required. Self-motivation, enthusiasm for the research questions, a

willingness to sit in a blind for up to 3 hours per session (in hot weather

with lots of annoying face flies), and an ability to tackle the rigors of

field work are a must. We especially encourage those applicants that plan to

attend graduate school in the near future and who are interested in

conducting an independent study during their tenure at Hastings. The reserve

is remote (about an hour from the nearest town), and therefore a good

attitude towards shared field housing situations is necessary, and having a

vehicle is highly desirable.


Interested applicants should submit a CV with an appropriate cover letter

and the names/affiliations of three academic references Please use “ACWO Field Assistant position” as the

subject of your email. More information on the project can be found at

PLEASE NOTE: Field assistant positions are only available to citizens or

permanent residents of the United States or its possessions. No exceptions

can be made.


Contact: Sahas Barve,; Subject: ACWO Field Assistant