The Avian Ecology Program at Archbold Biological Station conducts basic and applied research on the behavioral ecology and population dynamics of threatened birds through ecologically and evolutionarily meaningful time spans and across the varied landscapes, including those altered by humans, of upland habitats in central Florida. Our research is primarily focused in the following areas: avian population biology, demography and population regulation, evolution of cooperative breeding, behavioral ecology, urban ecology, landscape ecology, and endangered species management and conservation. We are seeking to fill a one-year, grant funding Research Assistant to help with endangered species management for projects at Avon Park Air Force Range, in central Florida and at White Oak Conservation Foundation, in northeast Florida.
For the first 5 months of the position, from hire to late -September, the selected candidate would be based at White Oak Conservation Foundation, in Yulee, Florida along the St. Mary’s River. White Oak conserves and sustains some of the earth’s rarest wild animals through innovative training, research, education, breeding and field programs that contribute to the survival of wildlife in nature. White Oak leads professional efforts to improve veterinary care, develop holistic animal management techniques, and better understand the biology of critically endangered species by providing excellent care and managing conservation programs for over 30 species of imperiled wildlife in large, naturalistic enclosures. In 2016, White Oak became one of only two institutions to manage captive populations of the endangered Florida grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum floridanus). Our staff member would assist White Oak with husbandry and conservation with any and all aspects of the avian breeding season, but with specific focus on the grasshopper sparrow program. Archbold’s staff member would work with the White Oak team and gain experience in:
* Basic husbandry- feeding, shifting, and animal observation in large enclosures with natural social organization and groupings, * Hand- rearing passerines, * Breeding introductions and Management, * Transport (in-house and external), * Veterinary care, * Reintroduction programs, * Identifying avian vocalizations, * Daily reporting, * Diet preparation, * Flight restriction management, * Assisted reproduction techniques, * Identifying individuals * Sample collection, * Guest interactions and education, * Enclosure landscaping and maintenance, * Camera trapping and video monitoring, * Research and scientific management Basics, * Sweeping for wild insects, * Avian capture and hand restraint, * Imprinting prevention * Artificial incubation and hatching, * Candling, * Pre-release conditioning, * Non-chemical fire ant control methods.
During the second phase of the position, the selected candidate would be based at Avon Park Air Force Range, in Avon Park, Florida. APAFR comprises over 106,000 acres of natural habitats and is a great example of Florida’s native habitats still subject to natural ecological processes and disturbance regimes. It supports populations of many threatened and endangered plants and animals. For over 20 years, the Avian Ecology Program at Archbold has conducted most of the research and monitoring on listed birds at APAFR, including the Florida grasshopper sparrow, Florida scrub-jay (Aphelcoma coerulecens) and red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis). The selected candidate would be engaged in listed species monitoring on these species, as well as others such as crested caracara (Caracara cheriway), the Florida bonneted bat (Eumops
floridanus) and others. The selected candidate will work in a team of several long-term RAs that lead some of the projects and other seasonal RAs.
Free housing will be provided for the selected candidate at both White Oak and at APAFR. At WO the candidate will share an apartment with an intern of the same gender and at APAFR share a house with 1-3 other RAs, both male and female. You may be required to share a bedroom, but only with RAs of the same gender. At both sites, the work schedule will include some weekends and holidays. Applicants must have a flexible schedule and availability to work a daytime or afternoon/evening shift as needed. The selected candidate will have access to select White Oak amenities including a fitness center and swimming pool. Housing for pets and/or spouses is not available. At APAFR, the applicant will work with a dedicated team of wildlife professionals. They will also be a member of Archbold’s Avian Ecology Lab, and will have access to the main research station in Lake Placid, about 40 miles away, where regular seminars are given within a robust scientific community of 60+ staff.
* Candidates with passerine hand-rearing and handling experience are preferred.
* Candidates must have the physical ability to identify color bands on small birds from a distance, and hear and identify very soft/quiet sounds.
* Candidates must be able to lift 50 lbs. without difficulty, work in adverse weather conditions including Florida’s summer climate, and remain on their feet for long periods of time.
* Candidates must be 18 years old and over.
* Candidates must have proof of a valid driver’s license.
* Candidates must pass a background search prior to being formerly offered the position.
* While at WO, candidates must abide by White Oak’s dress code, including covering of tattoos and natural hair color.
* Minimum of a bachelor’s degree in Biology, Ecology, Wildlife or a related field, along with previous field experience.
* US citizenship or a US work visa is required.
* Possession of a valid driver’s license with a clean driving record.
Applicants must bring their own vehicle for commuting.
* A willingness to work independently in remote areas of native habitats on a 106,000-acre military reserve.
* A good work ethic, a good sense of direction, highly motivated, excellent behavioral observation skills, and attention to detail.
* An interest in birds, experience in reading color bands, capturing, handling and banding birds, tolerance for a vast array of snakes and biting insects, and working long hours under hot-humid field conditions will be helpful, though not essential.
* Must be willing to work a non-regular schedule that will often include weekends.
How to Apply
All candidates will submit in ONE document a resume/CV, a list of 3 professional reference’s contact information, and a cover letter explaining their career goals and how this position will help them achieve those goals. Only electronic submissions will be accepted (.doc, .docx, or .pdf only). Salary is commensurate with qualifications but includes full benefits, including health and dental insurance, paid vacation and holidays. The position is available immediately and we will begin reviewing applications immediately upon receipt. Please send application materials to Reed Bowman at email@example.com with the subject line: ‘WO-APAFR_Monitoring_Tech’. The position is funded for one-year.