Waterbird Biologist Position at USGS

Position: Waterbird Biologist
Subject Areas: Climate Change, Avian Influenza / Diseases, Spatial Modeling
Target Start Date: As soon as filled; no later than Nov 1, 2013

The U.S. Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (PWRC) in collaboration with USGS Western Ecological Research Center (WERC) is seeking a full-time research biologist to work in a team setting to study waterbirds and wetlands for multiple research projects.  The main focus of work will include analysis and writing scientific papers for ongoing waterbird ecology and disease studies as well as handling logistics  and leading fieldwork for ongoing studies.  The position is located at PWRC in Beltsville, MD and is funded for 17 months with possibility of extension based on performance and grants.

A major component of the work will include writing up avian influenza disease studies and assisting with applying disease models for web applications.  Strong writing skills are required with a proven ability to complete peer-reviewed scientific publications quickly.  The position may include fieldwork for studies of wild birds (such as capture, marking, and sampling) and ecology studies (bird surveys, land-use change studies, and population monitoring at restored wetlands).  Fieldwork may require long hours under difficult environmental conditions.  Duties may also include administrative tasks such as assisting with setting up contracts, ordering supplies, communicating with collaborators, and other logistical tasks.


Proficiency to independently write scientific publications for submittal to peer-reviewed journals.  The role will include coauthoring or leading several manuscripts from existing USGS datasets or new efforts as assigned.  A PhD degree in ecology or related field or a MS degree with 4-6 years of experience is preferred, but the primary required experience will be a proven track record in scientific publication.

Professional competence in planning, designing, executing, and coordinating research.

Effective and constructive communication with appropriate Government representatives, both within the USGS and with international research partners. 

Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, applying good judgment used to determine the order of completion of work, and effective communication employed to manage and meet the expectations of PWRC and partners. 

Initiative and independence is exhibited both in the field and in the office.

Knowledge of procedures, concepts, terminologies and practices of investigations related to  waterbird and wetland ecology.

Knowledge of experimental design and statistical analysis systems.

Computing skills including statistical software such as SAS, R; spatial software such as ArcGIS, Spatial Analyst, Erdas Imagine, Google Earth

Skill in identifying and surveying waterbird species.

Can meet physical demands of field work often under difficult conditions (cold, hot, wet, buggy, etc.)

Experience in capture, handling, marking, and tracking methods for waterfowl may be helpful.

If interested send the following materials in a SINGLE FILE to pwrc.wb@gmail.com: (a) cover letter, (b) resume, (c) 3 references, (d) 1-2 writing examples - first authored publication or report (this can be sent as a second file if necessary).  Name files with your last name followed by your first name (eg. SmithJohn.doc and SmithJohnWritingEx.pdf).