American Bird Conservancy
Kaua‘i Endangered Forest Bird Field Associate
Title: Kaua‘i Endangered Forest Bird Field Associate
Supervisor: Hawai‘i Program Director and Kaua‘i Endangered Forest Bird Field Supervisor
Location: Hanapepe, Kaua‘i
Employment Type: Full time
Works independently in conjunction with a field crew conducting research and management projects for the recovery of ‘Akeke‘e (Loxops caeruleirostris), ‘Akikiki (Oreomystis bairdi) and Puaiohi (Myadestes palmeri). Participates in carrying out research activities to determine factors influencing forest bird population dynamics, especially factors limiting populations, and management activities for the recovery of these species. Work is done in the Alaka‘i Wilderness Preserve, Nā Pali Kona Forest Reserve, Hono o Nā Pali Natural Area Reserve, Kaua‘i. Conducts surveys to document distribution, relative abundance and survival of birds; and management tasks, including rodent trapping and mosquito control. Enters field and Geographic Information System (GIS) data into computer files for information summary and reporting. Helps maintain electronic records and databases. Requires a high degree of attention to detail for data collection and equipment management, often under difficult field conditions. Has regular supervision from senior project members, but often works independently on routine assignments. Meets regularly with Research Project Coordinator and Field Supervisor to discuss progress of work. May be overseen by the Field Crew Leader. Interacts regularly with land managers and cooperators. Interacts and communicates (verbally, in written form or electronically) respectfully and professionally with supervisors, co-workers and others at all times. Assists with equipment and vehicle management and maintenance. Participates in conscientious adherence to all safety and research protocols, and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Requires irregular working hours, with many duties occurring in the early morning and on weekends. Frequent helicopter and occasional inter-island travel, and frequent camping for up to ten (10) days in remote field sites required as part of duties.
- Assists Kaua‘i Forest Bird Recovery Project (KFBRP) Field Supervisor in research activities to determine factors influencing ‘Akeke‘e, ‘Akikiki, and Puaiohi population dynamics. Works independently to survey distribution, abundance, and reproductive success of Kaua‘i forest birds; observe and record movements, breeding activity, dispersal, and other behaviors of forest birds; captures birds to mark, attach radio transmitters, and obtain morphometric data and blood samples; and quantifies critical resources and threats pertinent to forest birds, such as abundance of food or rodents.
- Participates in research for management activities for enhancing and expanding populations of endangered forest birds in Kaua‘i, such as (but not limited to) maintaining rodent trap stations and assisting with mosquito surveys. Participates in conscientious adherence to all safety and research protocols and SOPs.
- Assists senior project staff with training and overseeing the KFBRP Endangered Forest Bird Field Assistant(s), volunteers, and interns in the field.
- Enters field and GIS data into computer files for information summary and reporting. Helps maintain and manage electronic records of program operations. Helps maintain databases. Helps prepare preliminary summaries and analyses of field data.
- Operates a motor vehicle and a variety of equipment for field studies. Maintains, repairs, and inventories project equipment, tools, and vehicles. Assists with preparation for field research activities. Drives project vehicles and rides helicopters for field work.
- Helps KFBRP develop and present materials for outreach and environmental education. Maintains good relationships with land managers and cooperators.
- Performs other duties as assigned.
- Associate’s Degree from an accredited community college in a related terrestrial biological or natural resource science.
- One to three (1-3) years of (paid or unpaid) experience in biological fieldwork (unpaid experience can include volunteer work or field study, and must be documented and verifiable). Experience must include one to three (1-3) years’ experience mist netting, banding, and collecting blood samples from passerines; and experience with one (1) or more of the following techniques: radio-tracking and re-sighting marked birds; conducting forest bird surveys and identifying birds by sight and sound; nest searching and monitoring; quantifying avian food resources; operating song meters or trail cameras. Demonstrated experience working in remote areas.
- Experience entering and proofing data.
- Proficient knowledge of the principles of avian population ecology and conservation. Familiarity with monitoring Kaua‘i’s endangered forest birds and threats to forest birds. Familiarity with Kaua‘i’s Alaka‘i Plateau.
- Computer literacy and proficiency with Microsoft programs (e.g., Excel, Word, Access). Familiarity with mobile data collection apps (i.e., Survey 123). Proficient ability to enter and manipulate data using spreadsheets and databases.
- Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
- Ability to identify individual birds by color bands and, locate and identify Hawaiian birds by sight and sound.
- Demonstrated ability to navigate and hike off-trail in dense forest with compass, map, and GPS.
- Must possess a valid driver’s license (and if use of personal vehicle on the job is required, must also have valid personal driver’s insurance equivalent to Hawai‘i’s No-Fault Driver’s Insurance) and maintain throughout the duration of employment. Must be able to drive a 4-wheel drive vehicle with manual transmission. Demonstrated ability to safely drive a 4-wheel drive vehicle on unimproved roads.
- Must be able to complete basic helicopter safety course (A100) and external sling load course (A219) within six (6) months from date of hire. Must possess the American Red Cross Certification in First Aid/CPR (or be able to obtain the certificate following the training provided within three (3) months from date of hire) and maintain throughout duration of employment.
- Ability to hike up to eight (8) miles on obscure trails with up to fifty (50) pounds unassisted. Must be able to live and conduct fieldwork with other crew members in isolated field camps under inclement weather conditions for up to ten (10) days at a time on a regular basis. May require strenuous physical exertion and heavy lifting. Must be able to work at elevation up to 4,500 feet.
- Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited four (4) year college or university in Biological, Natural Resource Sciences, or related field.
- Possess strong interest and background in forest bird ecology and conservation. Experience sampling insects and plants, and controlling invasive plants and animals. Experience working with native Hawaiian flora and fauna, especially Hawaiian forest birds, and familiarity with local conservation issues.
- Ability to maintain and upgrade computer hardware and software. Familiarity with GIS software (AGOL, ArcGIS 10.x etc.) and database software (Access, PostGres, FileMaker Pro, etc.).
- Possess basic mechanical and electrical skills to assist in maintaining project equipment, field camps, and vehicles.
- Experience developing and performing public outreach/environmental education activities.
- Authorized to work in the U.S.
- Background screening required.
- Benefits include medical, dental, flexible spending accounts, and retirement savings.
- Paid vacation days, holidays (10+), and sick leave
At American Bird Conservancy, we believe that a diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills makes us more effective. We are committed to creating a respectful and inclusive work environment for all of our employees.
As an equal opportunity employer, ABC is committed to ensuring that employees and applicants for employment have equal opportunities regardless of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other factor unrelated to the requirements of the position.