Field Biologist

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Bird Ecology and Conservation Ontario

Job Description

Bird Ecology and Conservation Ontario (BECO) is hiring a field biologist to assist with monitoring nesting bobolink and eastern meadowlark in agricultural landscapes. BECO is a non-profit organization focused on using ecological research to advance the conservation of birds in Ontario.

Start date: immediate
Position duration: 3 to 6 months, depending on experience

Tasks and responsibilities:
• Bird surveys (e.g., point counts, transect surveys) in agricultural landscapes
• Searching for and monitoring bobolink and eastern meadowlark nests
• Territory mapping and behavioural observations
• Vegetation data collection
• Data entry and management using Microsoft Access and QGIS
• Communicating with landowners and the general public
• Assisting with other field work and project tasks, as required
• Contracts extending beyond the field season will involve additional tasks such as data organization, data proofing, and report writing

• Strong interest in avian ecology and wildlife conservation
• Excellent auditory and visual bird identification skills and familiarity with grassland bird species in southern Ontario
• Strong organizational and record keeping abilities with keen attention to detail
• Self-motivated and able to work with little supervision
• Able to navigate in the field using a map, compass, and GPS
• Able to work both independently and in a team environment
• Comfortable working early mornings and in demanding field conditions (variable weather, biting insects)
• Comfortable working on farms and around farm animals (e.g., cattle, farm dogs)
• Proficient in Microsoft Excel and Access
• Familiarity with GIS software

Preference will be given to candidates who have (1) previous field work experience, (2) previous experience conducting point counts, searching for and monitoring nests, and (3) completed post-secondary education in wildlife ecology or a related discipline. Additionally, candidates should have good interpersonal skills and the ability to foster and maintain good relationships with landowners. First aid certification is also an asset.

Field sites are located in Grey County, Ontario and the surrounding area. Preference will be given to candidates who have access to their own vehicle for the duration of the position. Mileage will be reimbursed for work-related driving. Shared housing near field sites will be provided for the duration of the field season (01 May to 31 July). For contracts extending beyond the field season, candidates must have access to their own accommodation and ability to work remotely on tasks such as data proofing and report writing. From early May until mid-July, staff will be expected to work 6 days per week. Overtime will be compensated with paid time off in lieu.

Eligibility: All applicants must be legally eligible to work in Canada. Preference will be given to candidates who meet the qualifications for the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy:
• No more than 30 years of age at the start of employment
• Canadian citizens, permanent residents or persons granted refugee status in Canada

Compensation: $2,600 – $2,700 per month, depending on experience. Field housing provided.

To apply, send a short cover letter, resume, and contact information for two references to Zoé Lebrun-Southcott ( In your cover letter, indicate if you meet the eligibility criteria for Youth Employment Strategy funding and your dates of availability. Submit your application as a single PDF or MS Word file. We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Bird Ecology and Conservation Ontario is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome applications from people of all abilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.

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