Agency: Oregon State University


Location: Newport, Oregon (central Oregon coast)

Job Category: Temporary/Seasonal Positions

Salary: $2,800 – 3,300 per month based on experience

Start Date: 9 April 2018

Last Date to Apply: 31 December 2017


The Oregon Marbled Murrelet Project at Oregon State University is hiring two (2) Aerial/Ground Telemetry Technicians from 9 April – mid-August 2018 (start and end dates may be flexible) for a large-scale, collaborative investigation of space use and nest success of the federally threatened Marbled Murrelet. In the early season (April-May), technicians will assist with capture and handling of marbled murrelets at-sea. For the duration of the season (May-August), technicians will alternate flight duties with ground-based fieldwork. Flights are conducted in single engine aircraft to relocate Marbled Murrelets over land and near-shore waters using radio telemetry techniques. Ground-based fieldwork will include use of radio telemetry, audio and visual equipment, vegetation sampling, and other observational survey techniques to collect data on nesting and space use. One position will be designated as the lead aerial technician with additional leadership responsibilities.

Technicians will be stationed in shared field housing on the central Oregon coast. The field schedule is variable including long days, early mornings, and night work, with limited time off. Extensive driving is required on unimproved forest roads with active logging as well as through paved but busy tourist towns. The use of CB radios is required and safety training is provided. Field work occurs in all weather conditions. Wind, fog, rain, biting/stinging insects, and poison oak will be encountered on a regular basis. All personnel should expect to carry loads of 50 lbs or more. Work will occur solo and in pairs depending on the nature of the work. Some travel out of state may be required.

Compensation is a monthly salary (range: $2,800 – 3,300) based on experience, plus shared field housing and use of 4-wheel drive vehicles for work activities.


Job Duties

Field Work:

  • Assist with night-time at-sea capture, banding, bleeding, and tagging of Marbled Murrelets in the nearshore Pacific Ocean from a large research vessel
  • Conduct radio-telemetry from single engine aircraft to collect inland and at-sea murrelet locations. Flights last 2 – 8 hours and may occasionally require overnight stays in Washington or California.
  • Conduct ground-based data collection:
    • VHF radio telemetry from established stations and remote, mountainous, densely forested terrain
    • Dawn nest watches
    • Point-counts using distance sampling methods
    • Observational data collection
    • Vegetation sampling
    • Set-up of remote video cameras, audio recording devices, and/or stationary telemetry receivers
  • Navigate off-trail in backcountry areas using topo maps and GPS devices over challenging terrain where there is no cell phone service
  • Camp overnight (for up to several days) in remote locations
  • Drive long distances in traffic and on unimproved roads using 4 wheel drive
  • Interact positively with the public while explaining research

Data Management:

  • Collect data using a variety of electronic and paper-based methods
  •  Enter and proof data according to protocols
  • Create maps in ESRI ArcGIS and Google Earth, and determine routes to access remote areas

Lead Technician Duties:

  • Supervise and manage one technician
  • Coordinate and communicate effectively with pilots, crew members, and supervisors verbally and in writing
  • Provide oversight and leadership on data collection methods
  • Conduct data quality assurance reviews and weekly data transfer to supervisors
  • Maintain positive and professional working relationships on the job and in shared housing
  •  Ability to use sound judgement, make decisions and communicate clearly under challenging field conditions
  • Regularly respond to voicemails, texts and emails
  • Attend and contribute to weekly planning meetings
  •  Delegate tasks including regular cleaning and maintenance of field gear
  • Create complex schedules
    • Use shared calendars, white boards and other tools
    •  Incorporate unforeseen tasks and compensate for mishaps on the fly
    • Balance competing priorities that change over the course of the season
  •  Ensure safety measures are followed by all crew members, including check-in/check-out procedures
  • Other duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications: Applicants should have a B.S. degree in wildlife biology or a related field. All applicants should have a minimum of 2 years of field experience (2 summer jobs = 2 years of experience). Competitive applicants for the lead aerial technician will have a minimum of 1 year of supervisory experience. U.S. Citizenship, a valid state driver’s license and a clean driving record are required for this position. Applicants must be able to pass a standard vision and hearing test.

Preferred Qualifications: Preference will be given to candidates with prior experience working in small planes, conducting aerial and ground-based radio telemetry, bird handling, banding, bleeding, and tagging, and working on boats in an ocean environment. Best qualified applicants will also have experience conducting marbled murrelet inland surveys, using radio telemetry in difficult terrain, and/or working in forests of the Pacific Northwest.

To apply: Applicants should create a single PDF or MS-Word file that contains: (1) a cover letter specifically addressing your qualifications as they relate to the duties and qualifications described in the position description; (2) a full-length resume or CV; and (3) the names and contact information (email and telephone) of three references who may be contacted. Email this document to with “AERIAL TECHNICIAN Application 2018” or “LEAD AERIAL TECHNICIAN Application 2018” in the subject line. Questions may be addressed to the same email. Positions will be filled on a rolling basis.

Contact Person: Faculty Research Assistant

Contact Email: