Conservation Science Intern

Job Summary:

Tracy Aviary’s Conservation Science Program helps conserve birds and their habitats through community science. Focusing on key local habitats and pressing regional conservation issues, our goals are to gather novel information about local avian ecology, inform habitat restoration and stewardship, and engage a diverse community in scientific data collection. In summer/fall of 2021, Tracy Aviary is offering a 4-month internship that will provide on-the-ground experience in avian conservation science, with a focus on two of the Aviary’s research projects: 

1) Year-round Bird Monitoring in the Salt Lake Valley: Tracy Aviary conducts year-round community science bird surveys at 12 study sites throughout the Salt Lake Valley.  These surveys help answer questions about the impact of restoration, management, and habitat alteration on bird communities and provide a basis for recommendations on bird-friendly practices at these sites. The Conservation Science Intern will assist in data entry and analysis for all study sites and will attend non-breeding season surveys at various sites around Salt Lake County.

2) Salt Lake Avian Collision Survey (SLACS): Approximately two-thirds of all migratory bird species migrate at night, and many of these birds miss seasonal migratory cues, wander off course, and collide with buildings as a result of light pollution. In order to document light pollution and its impacts on birds in Salt Lake City, Tracy Aviary has created the Salt Lake Avian Collision Survey (SLACS). For this project, staff and community scientists conduct early morning surveys in downtown Salt Lake City during peak migration to document the birds that have collided with buildings overnight. This information is used to inform Lights Out Salt Lake: a grassroots conservation initiative where private residents, buildings, and businesses elect to turn out their lights at night during peak bird migration. The Conservation Science Intern will coordinate volunteers for SLACS, conduct collision surveys during September and October, and assist with outreach for Lights Out Salt Lake.

Position Dates:  ~August 30 –December 31, 2021 (4-month position, exact start and end dates flexible)

Primary Duties: 

  • Enter and proof bird and habitat data for breeding season point count surveys and vegetation surveys conducted during the 2021 season. Optional analysis project available depending on experience and interest.
  • Conduct morning bird-building collision surveys in downtown Salt Lake City during September and October.
  • Help coordinate and train volunteers for SLACS, and assist with outreach for Lights Out Salt Lake. 
  • Provide support for Tracy Aviary’s Birds of Utah class, including coordination and classroom setup. 
  • Assist in other duties related to Tracy Aviary’s Conservation Science Program as needed.

Stipend:  $400/month

Job Qualifications:  

  • Background and/or demonstrated experience in biology or ecology. 
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Experience working with volunteers/members of the public 
  • A good team player, but able to work independently
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office suite
  • Knowledge of bird identification and experience with bird/habitat survey methods preferred
  • Experience with data entry and analysis preferred (including ArcGIS, R, and/or other statistical software)

To Apply: Send a cover letter describing relevant experience and skills, a resume, and contact information for three references to Cooper Farr () by August 27, 2021. Applications will be reviewed as they are received.