Biological Field Technician

Job Locations US-NC-Wilmington
Type
Seasonal, Full-Time
Job Category
Science
ID
2018-3489
City
Wilmington
State/Province
NC

Overview

Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action.  By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive.  And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level.  What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 23 state offices, 41 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country.  Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

 


 

Position Summary

A seasonal biological field technician is needed to manage and monitor Audubon North Carolina’s Coastal sanctuaries as required to adequately manage and protect the sanctuaries for nesting birds, as well as assist with other projects, including a federal grant which is currently being considered for funding. This position is essential to providing logistical support to the coastal biologist and to carrying out management activities that are Audubon North Carolina's responsibilities as the state of North Carolina's designated manager of Lea Island and the Cape Fear River Islands. Much of the work will focus on Lea-Hutaff Island, a four-mile long barrier island that hosts nesting American Oystercatchers, Piping Plovers, Wilson's Plovers, and Least Terns, as well as nesting loggerhead sea turtles, but will also include other sites as needed.

 

S/he assist the coastal biologist in monitoring and managing Audubon North Carolina’s sanctuary system for the purpose of providing habitat for nesting shorebirds, including American Oystercatchers. The technician will be responsible for monitoring oystercatcher, plover, and tern productivity on assigned island(s), collecting accurate data, maintaining and enforcing signage, educating the public, interacting with volunteers, and assisting with other related activities as needed. The technician will work long hours independently in adverse outdoor conditions and access most work sites by outboard motorboat.

 

The ideal candidate will enjoy working outdoors, have his/her own transportation, and be available to early to mid-March through August. This is a seasonal (i.e., temporary) job with no benefits and no housing provided.

Essential Functions

  • Monitor American Oystercatcher, Least Tern, and Piping and Wilson’s Plover productivity on barrier islands and other sites: locate, mark, and track nests to success or failure.
  • Post nesting areas and maintain postings throughout the summer: use post-hole diggers and carry up to 40 lbs.
  • Monitor sea turtle nesting activity: locate crawls and distinguish nests from false crawls.
  • Carry out protocols to monitor disturbance at nesting sites: remain alert and observant for long periods of time.
  • Maintain accurate, detailed data: keep a regular field journal, maintain data sheets and spreadsheets, produce a written report at the end of the season.
  • Conduct shorebird surveys: identify shorebirds and gulls and terns, use binoculars and a spotting scope.
  • Assist with other activities as needed, including volunteer events, educational activities, and colonial waterbird surveys.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in biology, wildlife management or related field preferred, or a current upperclassman pursuing a degree in biology, wildlife management, or related field.
  • Previous experience monitoring nesting shorebirds preferred; experience monitoring nesting sea turtles preferred.
  • Ability to identify shorebirds and waterbirds (terns, sandpipers, plovers, etc.).
  • Ability to operate outboard motorboats up to 23’ in inshore waters and ability to tow, launch, and recover outboard motorboats up to 23'.
  • Good written and oral communication skills, as well as strong organizational skills a must; ability to interact positively with the public and volunteers.
  • Proficient in MS Office suite.
  • Must possess valid driver's license and have the ability to pass NC boater's license test.
  • Must be physically able to walk up to 25 miles/week on a barrier island and be able to work outdoors in adverse conditions (cold, extreme heat, humidity, biting insects, etc.).
  • Comfortable working alone, unsupervised, on the water and on an uninhabited barrier island.
  • A flexible approach to work, with the willingness to start early (sometimes before sunrise), work long hours, and on weekends and holidays as needed.

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