Utah Bird Conservation 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 March – July  2021, Tracy Aviary, in partnership with the Utah Division of Wildlife (UDWR), is offering a 4-month internship that will provide on-the-ground experience in conservation science with a focus on two large-scale data collection projects. 

1) The North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) is the nation’s largest and longest running community science project. Since it began in 1966, BBS has provided important information on avian population trends across the continent; it is also instrumental for statewide bird conservation and management in Utah. Utah has 99 active BBS routes, a low number for such a large state. There is also a low survey completion rate, which, coupled with the low route density, means that Utah trend data are sparse: fewer trends can be calculated, and trends for Utah are less reliable and slower to show important changes.  Further, none of the five regions in Utah has complete coverage, which impairs our ability to document the current status or distribution for many bird species of greatest conservation need. The Bird Conservation Intern will assist with an ongoing project to recruit new volunteers to the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) in Utah and improve statewide data quality.

2) The Motus Wildlife Tracking System is a large network of researchers using automated radio telemetry receiving stations that simultaneously track tagged birds, bats, and insects. Motus is often used to investigate research questions about movement, migration, and population ecology, and can guide conservation efforts by helping scientists better understand land use, migration timing and patterns, and important stopover locations. Relatively few Motus receiver towers have been installed in the western United States, and there is a growing movement of researchers who would like to use Motus and who would benefit from a larger network of towers in the region. The Intern will assist with coordinating organizations and agencies within Utah that plan to install Motus towers. This coordination will ensure that Motus is used strategically within the state to meet individual project needs while providing a strong largescale network for effective data collection. 

Primary Duties:

  • Facilitate coordination and communication to current BBS surveyors in Utah: encourage communication between participants and the UDWR and provide resources so participants can connect before and after their BBS experience
  • Facilitate coordination and communication between agencies and organizations that plan to install and maintain Motus towers in the state of Utah
  • Gather and compile information about BBS route coverage and completion rates
  • Implement an outreach campaign to recruit participants to the BBS program and encourage survey completion by existing volunteers
  • Assist in data entry, management, and analyses
  • Assist in other duties related to Tracy Aviary’s Conservation Science Program as needed

Position Dates: Early March 2021 through early July 2020 (4 months, start and end dates flexible), 15 hours/week

Stipend:  $400/month

Job Qualifications:  

  • Background and/or demonstrated experience in biology or ecology
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to organization and coordinate large groups of people
  • Experience working with volunteers/members of the public 
  • A good team player, but able to work independently
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office suite
  • Knowledge of ornithology and field techniques 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 February 19, 2021. Applications will be reviewed as they are received.