Avian Field Technician for Spring/Summer 2019

Job Title: Avian Field Technician

Agency: West Virginia University/U.S. Forest Service

Location: Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia

Job Category: Temporary/Seasonal Position

Salary: $1,500-2,000/month for 3 months (April 8 to July 5). Housing and a field vehicle provided.

Start Date: 04/08/2019

Last Date to Apply: 1/31/2019

Description: Seeking a highly motivated avian field technician to assist with game bird surveys from April 15 to May 5 and avian point count surveys from May 10 to July 5. The data will be collected as part of research on avian use of wildlife openings in the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia. In addition, the point count data will continue a 25-year dataset of breeding bird surveys that is being used to assess long-term change in avian communities and abundance.

Fieldwork entails conducting evening modified singing-ground surveys for American woodcock, morning modified drumming/gobbling surveys for ruffed grouse and wild turkey, and 10-minute morning point count surveys for breeding songbirds. All survey protocols will be reviewed prior to conducting the surveys, but the field technician should have prior experience conducting point counts. Additional work will include deploying autonomous recording units and game cameras, vegetation sampling, data entry, and data proofing. The technician will be working closely with the supervisor, Hannah Clipp, to access field site locations, but actual game bird and point count surveys will mostly be conducted alone. The technician should expect to work 5-7 hours per day; because we are counting birds, field days will start early (before sunrise) and will likely involve work on weekends, with days off during inclement weather. Free housing and a field vehicle will be provided. The field technician should expect rugged housing accommodations (just the basics, no Internet), ranging from bunkhouses and cabins to campgrounds. First aid/CPR training and driver safety training will also be provided at no cost to the field technician.

To apply, please email a cover letter and resume/CV with 3 references to Hannah Clipp at hlclipp@mix.wvu.edu. Applications will be reviewed as they are received.


1.     Ability to identify eastern USA birds by sound and sight, as well as previous experience with avian point count surveys

2.     Earned (or are working towards) a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife science, natural resources, or a similar field

3.     Ability to navigate in the field and deal with challenging, difficult terrain (a lot of steep slopes)

4.     Comfortable working in a remote outdoor setting

5.     Ability and willingness to work in a two-person team and individually during early morning and late evening fieldwork

6.     Valid driver’s license with a clean driving record

7.     Positive attitude and strong work ethic

Contact Person: Hannah Clipp

Contact Email: hlclipp@mix.wvu.edu