Field Survey Technician

EDR is offering temporary employment opportunities (on a per-project or per-season basis) to qualified Field Survey Technicians to conduct avian surveys at proposed solar and wind energy project sites in New York State. Qualified candidates must have:

  • a minimum of two (2) field seasons or one (1) year of experience conducting breeding bird, wintering raptor, raptor migration, or other similar bird surveys (in a professional or scientific research capacity);
  • a strong proficiency in bird identification, including rare species and raptors;
  • the ability to readily identify avian species that occur in New York State (or ability to quickly learn to identify such species);
  • the willingness to travel, including occasional overnights, to project sites located throughout New York State (with most survey locations in central New York);
  • the ability to work long and/or atypical hours (i.e., into the late evening);
  • the ability to work outdoors in a variety of harsh weather conditions (e.g., cold, heat, wind, rain, snow, sun);
  • physical endurance to conduct avian field surveys in areas without road access (e.g., walking on uneven terrain, snowshoeing through deep snow);
  • independence and ability to conduct field surveys alone (following successful completion of training with a field supervisor);
  • good written and oral communication skills that allow for accurate, complete data recording and punctual delivery of survey data and progress updates to a field supervisor;
  • the ability to carry equipment (i.e., binoculars, spotting scope, mobile phone or tablet) while conducting fieldwork;
  • a current, valid driver’s license;
  • proficiency for reading, understanding, and navigating using maps;
  • the ability to fill out paper and electronic data sheets;
  • the ability to accurately record detailed spatial and behavioral information for birds observed during surveys;
  • attention to detail and ability to conduct quality control (QC) reviews of survey data to ensure accuracy and completeness; and
  • a bachelor’s degree in biology, conservation biology, ecology, environmental science, environmental studies, natural resources, wildlife science, or a related field.

Preference will be given to candidates with: (1) prior experience conducting avian surveys and/or bird-related scientific research in the northeastern U.S.; (2) knowledge of and experience identifying birds that occur within New York State by both sight and sound; (3) experience recording bird observations electronically and/or using bird-related mobile applications (e.g., eBird, iNaturalist, FeederWatch, Merlin Bird ID); (4) experience identifying plant species and recording habitat/vegetation characteristics; (5) experience using other environmental data collection mobile applications (e.g., ArcGIS Collector, ArcGIS Survey123, Fulcrum, Wildnote); and (6) experience using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications.

Avian surveys will primarily involve afternoon and evening surveys from fixed locations, with a focus on detection and observation of raptors in rural settings under winter conditions. Candidates should anticipate variable assigned project locations and part-time work hours, with an average of between 20 and 30 work hours per week. The anticipated field season will run from November 2022 to April 2023, with possible extension into spring/summer 2023 (for breeding bird surveys) depending on additional project opportunities and job performance.

Founded in 1979, EDR is a multi-disciplinary environmental consulting and design firm with offices in Upstate New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, and staff based in remote locations across the U.S. EDR’s staff includes a diverse group of environmental professionals with expertise in ecology, wildlife biology, botany, wetland delineations, environmental impact analysis, GIS, and environmental permitting. The primary goal of our Environmental Practice Area is to support the responsible development of renewable energy projects as a tangible means of addressing climate change. Come join our growing ecological services team, work on interesting and challenging projects, and collaborate with our talented group of professionals!

To apply for this position, please upload and submit your resume and cover letter below.