The internship is ideal for individuals who have a strong passion for wildlife biology but are looking to gain field experience. Interns will work alongside experienced field biologists to conduct nighttime surveys for Mexican Spotted Owls in National Forests across Arizona and New Mexico. Interns will gain experience conducting playback surveys, hone field skills (e.g. backcountry camping, navigation, etc.), and learn about owl ecology, study design, and occupancy monitoring. Interns will support the Avian Ecologist with field season preparation, data quality control, and occasionally assist additional Spotted Owl research led by the U.S. Forest Service. In addition, interns will have the opportunity to assist other biologists in our organization to broaden their experience, including our research, stewardship, and education programs.
This is a unique opportunity for interns to work on a federally-threatened species. Regular field trips to the southwest will be led by the Avian Ecologist heading the Mexican Spotted Owl Program and/or an experienced field crew leader. Fieldwork entails navigating to established survey locations during daylight hours by driving on remote roads and hiking on- and off-trail. After dark, survey teams follow a strict protocol of broadcasting Spotted Owl calls and listening for responses from owls at up to 5 survey points, approximately ½ to 1 km apart. Survey teams hike between survey points and return to their camping locations in the dark. Campsites are usually primitive, often without cell phone service or facilities. Occasionally, overnight backpacking is required to access remote sites. Surveyors work in pairs with the same individual during a 10-day work hitch.
Successful candidates will be passionate about wildlife conservation, comfortable hiking long distances off-trail at night, and enjoy living and working remotely. Work days can be long and strenuous, and the work schedule is highly variable with extensive driving time. Interns must be able to learn to identify all southwestern owls by sight and sound upon completion of a training.
About Bird Conservancy of the Rockies
About the Organization:
Bird Conservancy of the Rockies conserves birds and their habitats through an integrated approach of science, education and stewardship. Our work extends from the Rockies to the Great Plains, Mexico and beyond. Our mission is advanced through sound science, achieved through empowering people, realized through stewardship and sustained through cross-border collaborations. We monitor and identify population trends, research habitat needs, engage landowners and managers in wildlife and habitat stewardship, and inspire audiences of all ages to be better stewards of the land. Together, we are improving native bird populations, the land, and the lives of people. Learn more about our work and programs at our website: www.birdconservancy.org