Nest Searching and Territory Mapping in Sierra Nevada Meadows - Lead and Technicians

A crew leader and two technicians are needed for avian nest searching, nest monitoring, territory mapping, and vegetation and habitat surveys in meadows of the Sierra Nevada of California, with Point Blue Conservation Science. Individuals from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Duration: 3 May through 6 August, 2021 (start date may be flexible DOE)

Description: This program offers a unique opportunity to explore and observe birds in some of the most beautiful landscapes in California, while collecting data to guide restoration and stewardship of mountain meadows. Two positions will be based out of Chester, CA, and work primarily in Childs Meadow. One position will be based out of Truckee, CA, and work primarily in Van Norden Meadow.

Primary duties include, but are not limited to: Territory mapping, nest searching, and nest monitoring for 8 passerine species; vegetation and habitat surveys; data entry and proofing; navigating cross-country in complex wetlands. The people positioned in Chester may run and/or assist, DOE, with banding and extracting birds at two MAPS stations. Work weeks vary from 5-6 days and are typically 40-50 hours, but vary from 35-60 hours.

Compensation: Positions pay an hourly wage of $14-18/hour DOE with overtime pay according to California State law.

Housing: Shared housing and utilities are provided at a cost of $202/month. For the position in Truckee, applicants who are able to secure their own housing are preferred.

Covid-19 precautions: We expect leads and technicians to follow Point Blue safety protocols, including any local and state mandates to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Those hired may be required to quarantine and have a negative COVID-19 test prior to start date.


  • Previous experience nest searching and territory mapping for passerine species, preferably in the Western US.
  • All candidates must feel confident in their ability to hike and navigate cross-country in uneven, complex, beaver-modified wetland habitats with dense shrub cover.
  • We require self-motivation, enthusiasm, good sense of direction, the ability to cope with inclement weather, willingness to spend long hours in the field observing birds and their habitat, with additional time in the office 5-6 days/week, and the ability to work well independently and in a group living situation.
  • Ideal candidates will have a background in ecology, environmental studies, or related field.
  • For the crew leader position, previous supervisory experience and experience teaching nest searching, territory mapping, and bird identification is preferred.
  • Successful candidates must be able to identify 10 bird species by sight and sound following 2 weeks of training. We will provide species lists, audio recordings and links to learning resources before positions begin.
  • Successful applicants will need a valid U.S. driver’s license, at least two years of driving experience, and will be asked to provide information to verify their good driving record with one or fewer moving violations in the last three years.
  • Position may require the use of a personal vehicle. If a personal vehicle is used, you must have proof of insurance. We reimburse for mileage at the Federal rate ($0.58/mile in 2020) for using a personal vehicle for work.

To apply: Send a single document (PDF preferred, or Word Doc) including a cover letter describing previous nest searching, territory mapping, banding, and other bird survey experience, interest in this position, specific dates of availability, a resume, and contact information for three references to BRENT CAMPOS (bcampos AT pointblue DOT org). Type in the subject line: Nest Searcher Application. Only those qualified applicants who we desire to interview will be contacted starting December 14. Qualified candidates will be hired as they are identified.

Point Blue is committed to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion. We strongly encourage applications from people with backgrounds that are under-represented in the conservation community.

Point Blue is an equal employment opportunity employer and does not discriminate against applicants or employees because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, citizenship status, disability status of an otherwise qualified individual, membership or application for membership in an uniformed service, or membership in any other class protected by applicable law and will make reasonable accommodation for applicants  with disabilities to complete the application and/or participate in the  interview process.