Southern Sierra Research Station

...conserving biological diversity through research

2019 Research Opportunities

Research Associate


Location: The position is based in Weldon, CA; job duties are mostly in southern CA

Dates of Employment: Permanent, beginning late January or late February 2019

Application deadline: We will accept applications until February 15 or until the position is filled. Review of applications will begin on January 2 and continue until the position is filled.

Number of Openings: 1

Position Description: The Southern Sierra Research Station (SSRS) is looking for a permanent full-time Research biologist to be based in Weldon, California. The Research Associate will assist the director to implement our mission of conducting research to inform land managers and other scientists for the conservation of biological diversity. Job duties include grant writing, partnership building, study design and project management, data management, statistical analyses, report and manuscript writing, community and scientific presentations, and field work as needed. Involvement in implementing field studies will be a component of this position and may include point count, spot-mapping, nest searching, mist-netting and bird banding, and species specific survey protocols.

Job Duties (to include, but not limited to):
  • Leads the development, design, and review of research studies
  • Responsible for grant writing and contract acquisition
  • Coordinates and manages field studies, including scheduling, data collection, data entry, data management, and program reporting
  • Recruits and hires project leads, field technicians, and /or interns
  • Provides for daily supervision, training, support, and coordination of project leads, field technicians, and/or interns
  • Performs field work as needed and associated data entry
  • Performs management and maintenance of field station housing, vehicles, and equipment as needed
  • Performs data analysis for reports and manuscripts
  • Writes project reports
  • Produces manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals
  • Ensures timely delivery of project deliverables
  • Markets science projects to partners and community
  • Communicates bird conservation objectives and scientific findings to land managers
  • Participates and holds leadership roles in local and regional professional networks
  • Presents research findings at scientific conferences
  • Participates in community outreach activities

Basic Qualifications: The Research Biologist must have a combination of education and experience equivalent to a Master's degree in the Natural Sciences and an additional two years of project management. The applicant should have experience with avian monitoring techniques and willingness to work as a team member for a growing non-profit organization. Qualifications include supervisory experience, excellent written and oral communication skills, data management, statistical analyses, report and manuscript writing, grant writing, and public speaking. This position requires good physical condition and the ability to work in the field hiking over rough terrain in implement weather.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
  • Experience and successful track record with grant writing and fundraising
  • Experience with study design and multiple avian monitoring methodologies (point count, area search, spot-mapping, nest searching, mist-netting and bird banding, and species specific survey protocols)
  • Experience in personnel management and supervision of field crews
  • Ability to develop, implement, track, and manage a budget for multiple projects within a program
  • Experience with current statistical methods and analysis of avian data
  • Proficient with data management and analysis programs (Access/Excel/R/PCord or Primer)
  • Proficient with ArcGIS for study design and spatial analysis
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including public speaking and technical science writing and publication
  • Good attention to detail and ability to multi-task in a busy work environment
  • Must have good organizational skills and ability to meet deadlines
  • Ability to work with others, both internally and externally
  • Ability and positive attitude to work long days in the field beginning before sunrise
  • Ability and positive attitude to hike in rough and steep terrain in inclement weather, in areas with stinging nettle, biting and stinging insects, rattlesnakes, black bears, and cougars
  • Willingness to live in a remote area and/or camp
  • Ability to drive on unmarked narrow forest roads
  • Knowledge of avian natural history and ecology

To apply: e-mail a cover letter, resume, and contact information of three references (name, phone number, and e-mail address) in a single file to Mary Whitfield at the following email address: jobs.ssrs@gmail.com. Please include your name in the file name of your attachment (e.g. Darwin_C_application). We will accept applications until January 11 or until the position is filled. Preferred starting time is late January or late February though a later start may be negotiable. Review of applications will begin on January 2 and continue until the position is filled. The Southern Sierra Research Station is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Salary: $37,000 to $40,000/yr plus benefits depending on experience.

Contact Person: Mary Whitfield

Contact Phone: 760-378-3345

Contact e-mail: jobs.ssrs@gmail.com


Riparian Songbird Survey Technician


Location: Weldon, CA and various areas across Southern CA

Dates of Employment: mid-April to late-August. End date is somewhat flexible

Application deadline: Applications should be submitted by 28 February 2019 for full consideration.

Number of Openings: 2

Job Description: The Southern Sierra Research Station (SSRS) is looking for two seasonal full-time riparian songbird survey technician for bird monitoring projects in Southern California (Kern County, CA, and at Anza Borrego Desert State Park, CA).

Monitoring Projects include: Bird Surveys on a riparian restoration project on the South Fork Kern River, Kern County, CA, which is located in the foothills of the southern Sierra Nevada. The technician will conduct avian surveys and monitor other special status species (Pond turtles, Monarch Butterflies, Tricolored Blackbirds) to assess response to restoration habitat efforts. Avian surveys include spot mapping, avian point counts, single species surveys (Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Willow Flycatcher), and vegetation sampling. The survey locations are within a five miles of the research station.

Three round of point count surveys will be conducted along Anza Borrego Desert State Park desert riparian areas from late April to early June. Surveys are primarily conducted in beautiful cottonwood riparian areas with a mesquite understory.

All avian projects will require meticulous data management skills (Data entry and proofing of collected data will be a daily duty), and punctuality to begin avian surveys just before dawn.

Required Qualifications: Must be able to identify western songbirds by sight and sound, familiarity with western flora, a valid driver's license, and attention to detail is a must. Training for all survey protocols will be provided, but prior bird identification skills are required. Applicants with prior experience performing avian point count surveys and spot mapping will be given preference. Applicants must be in good physical condition, as long hours in the field will be required in sometimes difficult terrain.

The applicant is expected to work well as a team member, and independently, to accomplish project tasks on schedule. The technician will also have opportunities to work on other projects including: Southwestern Willow Flycatcher surveys, Yellow-billed Cuckoo Surveys, Brown-headed Cowbird trapping, Flammulated Owl nest box checking, and assistance on a MAPS banding stations.

Applicants should email a single file (word or pdf) which includes 1) cover letter stating their interest in the position, dates of availability, 2) a resume, and 3) names and contact information (email and phone) of three references to: John Stanek at the following email address: jobs.ssrs@gmail.com. Include your name and job you are applying to in the file name of your attachment (e.g. Darwin_C_application.doc) and in your email subject line. The Southern Sierra Research Station (www.southernsierraresearch.org) is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Salary: Salary: is $2,000-$2,400/month DOE. Housing and field vehicle are provided. Shared housing is provided at the Research Station headquarters in Weldon, CA.

Contact Person: John Stanek

Contact Phone: 760-378-3345

Contact e-mail: jobs.ssrs@gmail.com

Backcountry Riparian Song Bird Survey Technician


Location: Los Padres National Forest and the South Fork Kern River, California near Weldon, CA.

Dates of Employment: Early April through June with possible extension depending on interest. Start and End dates somewhat flexible.

Application deadline: Applications should be submitted by 28 February for full consideration.

Number of Openings: 2

The Southern Sierra Research Station (SSRS) is looking for two seasonal full-time riparian songbird survey technicians to conduct backcountry point counts in remote sites in Los Padres National Forest (LPNF) with secondary duties involving several riparian avian projects on the South Fork Kern River, Kern County, CA, which is located in the foothills of the southern Sierra Nevada. Each technician will be responsible for conducting 6 point count transects, surveyed 3x each from mid-April to end of June. The project aims to collect baseline data for assessing response to future restoration efforts. Technicians will also be responsible for conducting vegetation assessments in LPNF, and entry and proofing of all point count and vegetation data collected.

Work in Los Padres National Forest will be conducted in rugged mountainous terrain with transects located in remote locations. Work in this area can be hot in June. Technicians should be prepared for adventure, as the duties of this position will involve camping in a tent close to the start of the next day's transect, hiking up to 1 hour on hiking trails to the start of the transect possibly in the dark over rough terrain, early mornings in order to arrive at the start of the transect before sunrise, and traveling between point counts on unmaintained roads. This is a position for someone who is independent, a self-starter, and a problem-solver.

Point count technicians will also have the opportunity to conduct field work on the South Fork Kern River when not in LPNF which could include point counts, Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Willow Flycatcher surveys, nest searching for Common Yellowthroats, Yellow Warblers, and Song Sparrows, MAPS banding, Brown-headed Cowbird target-netting, and vegetation sampling depending on experience and interest.

The applicant is expected to work well independently, accomplish project tasks on schedule, follow field survey and safety protocols, coordinate their own field activities, and communicate well with fellow technicians and project supervisors.

Required Qualifications: Must be able to identify western riparian songbirds by sight and sound, have familiarity with western flora, a valid driver's license, must possess camping equipment and backpacking gear, and be able to work closely with other technicians. Training for all survey protocols will be provided, but prior bird identification skills are required. Applicants with prior experience performing avian point count surveys and with backpacking experience will be given preference. Applicants must be in good physical condition.

Applicants should email a single file which includes 1) a one-page cover letter including an example of problem solving skills and a backcountry experience of note (feel free to get creative) and dates of availability, 2) a CV/resume, and 3) names and contact information (email and phone) of three references to: John Stanek at the following email address: jobs.ssrs@gmail.com. Please include your name and position being applied for, e.g., "Darwin_C_backcountry_point_count_technician" in the file name of your attachment and the position you are applying for in the email subject line. The Southern Sierra Research Station (www.southernsierraresearch.org) is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Salary: Salary: is $2,200-$2,500/month DOE. Field vehicle are provided and shared housing is provided at the Research Station headquarters in Weldon, CA. Field technicians will be camping while conducting surveys at the LPNF.

Contact Person: John Stanek

Contact Phone: 760-378-3345

Contact e-mail: jobs.ssrs@gmail.com