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Missouri River Bird Observatory

  • TBD, El Dorado Springs, MO
  • mrbo.org

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Grassland Field Technicians (2)


min experience

salary range

$1.8k - $1.8k / month

Additional Job Details

International Applicants Allowed?
Work Visa Sponsoring Available

Job Overview

The Missouri River Bird Observatory (MRBO) is seeking two Grassland Bird Technicians for line-transect surveys and nest-searching/monitoring from April 25th – July 31st, 2022. MRBO’s grasslands project is entirely conservation-focused and target species include some of the most precipitously declining birds in North America such as Eastern Meadowlark, Henslow’s Sparrow and Grasshopper Sparrow.

After a training period, technicians will be nest-searching and monitoring on two native prairies near El Dorado Springs, Missouri where shared housing is provided. Nest searching is conducted via independent behavioral observations (e.g., watch-and-wait), use of extendable searching-sticks, as well as part of a team through coordinated rope-dragging. Nest-searching and monitoring will take place from late-April through the end of July.

From approximately May 10th through the end of June, technicians will conduct surveys by 400-m transect that document all bird species by sight and sound. The transect surveys involve covering more than 50,000 acres on 40+ public and private grasslands throughout western Missouri, from the Iowa border down to Joplin.

All survey and nest-monitoring data are collected on smartphones/devices using ArcGIS Field Maps. This is a good opportunity for gaining experience working in a threatened habitat and employing innovative technology for conservation purposes in the ArcGIS Online platform. Additionally, submitting results of each morning’s survey on eBird will be required.

Technicians should expect walking 5-10 miles a day in a variety of grassland landscapes, including hilly, uneven terrain often thick with briar. Chaps will be provided.

If time allows, at various points in the season technicians may also be asked to work for a few days on other MRBO field projects or assist in education/outreach events.


  • Excellent grassland bird ID by sight and sound, with proficiency in other
  • Patience, persistence, physicality, and determination for searching for hard-to-locate
  • A strong conservation and inclusive ethic.
  • Outgoing, positive, and professional demeanor with ability to interact with agency staff, private landowners, and general
  • Flexibility to work within changing logistics and live-in close quarters with a small group
  • Excellent physical condition, stamina, and ability to handle hot and humid weather, ticks, chiggers, and occasional encounters with cattle on private
  • A personal vehicle is advantageous to the project and for personal use but is not required.
  • Fully vaccinated against Covid-19 (required before employment)

The grassland bird breeding season is a short but intense field season where at least 6 days/week of work are needed. Off-days are usually due to weather. Compensation is $1800/month, mileage reimbursement for personal vehicle use at $0.35/mile, and shared housing with all utilities. This position occasionally requires travel to survey sites far from the field house, sometimes for as long as a week. Camping may be required while on the road. Lodging and camping costs will be reimbursed. The home base housing in El Dorado Springs, MO has internet access, clothes washer/dryer, and free access to the community recreation center.

Please send a letter of interest, resume, and contact information for three references to [email protected] and CC [email protected] and [email protected]. Please address your qualifications as listed above. Deadline is February 20th, 2022 but applications will be reviewed as they are received.

MRBO values diversity of all kinds and is committed to building a diverse and inclusive workplace where we all learn from each other. Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people with diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and culture. We are an equal opportunity employer and seek to hire, develop, and retain talented people from all backgrounds and perspectives. Individuals from non-traditional backgrounds, historically marginalized, or underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

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