Acorn Woodpecker Field Assistant
Employer: 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. Hastings is run by the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, UC
Berkeley. We have studied the behavioral ecology of color-banded Acorn Woodpeckers for
over 44 years at this site. 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 a
mule (All terrain vehicle) or a 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 housing.
Duration: 15 March 2018 to 15 July 2018 with one of the two positions extending to 1
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 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 wish 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 field housing situations is necessary,
and having a vehicle is highly desirable.
Interested applicants should submit a CV and the contact details of three references with an
appropriate cover letter as one PDF file to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate in your
cover letter if you are available to work through to 09/01/2018.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to visa constraints, field assistant positions are only available to U.S. &
Canadian citizens / permanent residents.
Contact: Sahas Barve, Postdoctoral Associate, Old Dominion University.