Maine Natural History Observatory

Censusing and Monitoring the Species and Habitats of Coastal Maine

Job Description: Breeding Bird Atlas Point Count Technician

Employer: Maine Natural History Observatory

Location: Sites across Maine

Country: United States

Last Date to Apply: January 20, 2018

Employment Dates: 14 May – 3 August (12 weeks)

Job Description: We are looking to hire 5 individuals for our 2018 spring/summer point count crew for the Maine Breeding Bird Atlas. Technicians will be responsible for conducting point counts every suitable morning between late May and early July. Field work will occur across Maine, although each technician will be primarily responsible for a particular region of the state. Some routes may be in very remote/back country regions in the state. Technicians will be responsible for recording all birds detected by sight and sound at pre-determined stationary points following appropriate protocols, conducting breeding bird surveys and coding breeding behaviors (e.g. atlassing) in remote atlas blocks, and recording all data into Excel spreadsheets and eBird. Some night work and working alone is required, as may be some off-road hiking or biking. The field season will begin with a 3 or 4 day training/calibration session in visual and acoustic bird identification skills, point count techniques, backcountry orienteering and safety, and wilderness camping skills before deploying to various locations throughout the state. Technicians can expect physically demanding work, long work days that may begin well before dawn, wet, cold weather, mosquitoes and blackflies, occasional contact with bears and other wildlife, and some areas with no cell service. End date can be flexible.

Qualifications: Point Count Technicians must be able to identify all Maine land and water birds by sight and sound. Prior experience with point counts is required. All technicians will be required to pass a birder certification test. All technicians must have valid driver’s license and, preferably, own a vehicle. Must be willing to work early mornings and long hours in a variety of conditions. Will be expected to work independently, follow all survey protocols, and navigate by GPS on and off-road.

Compensation: Each Point Count Technician will receive $6,600 ($550/week) for the completion of point counts and atlas block surveys from mid- May to early-August. If you work in more remote areas of Maine, compensation will be $7,200 ($600/week). All technicians are responsible for providing their own equipment, gear, lodging, transportation to and from Maine, and food, though efforts will be made to secure camping or free housing options throughout the state. Gas and mileage will be reimbursed for individuals using their own vehicles for surveys (preferable) or vehicles will be provided. Temporary housing is available (if needed) at the Maine Natural History Observatory offices in Gouldsboro for the mid-May training days.

To Apply: Electronic applications required. Send a cover letter indicating your interest, qualifications, identification test results for the Maine region (testing center:, a resume or CV, and the names and contact information (email and phone) of 3 references to Glen Mittelhauser, Please specify the regions of Maine that you prefer to work in and if you have a 4WD vehicle. Please provide application materials in one document and include “Breeding Bird Atlas Point Count Technician” in the subject line. Applications will be reviewed as they are received so some applicants may be selected before 20 January.