Utah Breeding Bird Survey Intern

Tracy Aviary’s Conservation Science Program helps conserve birds and their habitats through citizen 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 winter/spring of 2019, 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.

The North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) is the nation’s largest and longest running citizen 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. We also have a low survey completion rate, which, coupled with our low route density, means that Utah trend data is sparse: fewer trends can be calculated, trends for Utah are less reliable, and slow 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 Utah Breeding Bird Survey Intern will assist with an ongoing project to recruit new volunteers to the understaffed Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) in Utah, improve statewide data quality, and replace an aging volunteer corps. 

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
  • Gather and compile information about BBS route coverage and completion rates
  • Gather and compile information about the barriers that current or potential participants face in order to address these with resources and training
  • Implement an outreach campaign to recruit participants to the program and encourage survey completion by existing volunteers
  • Develop tools that can be used to improve statewide BBS data quality
  • Assist in an ongoing project to assess potential species and habitat gaps in BBS route coverage across the state
  • Assist in other duties related to Tracy Aviary’s Conservation Science Program as needed

Position Dates: Mid-February 2019 through mid-June 2019 (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
  • 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 January 15, 2019. Applications will be reviewed as they are received.