Avian Field Technician, Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc.


Position Title: Avian Field Technician

Organization: Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc.

Location: Montana & North Dakota

Organization Overview: Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. (WEST), a dynamic medium-size consulting firm with offices across the United States, is looking for a temporary, part-time, Avian Field Technician, to support Projects in North Dakota and potentially western Montana. Since 1990, WEST has grown to be one of the premier environmental and statistical consulting firms in the United States. WEST has a permanent core of professionals with broad experience in basic and applied ecological studies and the sophisticated analysis of natural resource data.

Position Overview:
WEST is looking for an Avian Field Technician to conduct ground-based prairie grouse lek surveys and monthly avian use surveys in Western North Dakota. Roads on the study site are unimproved and require advanced field navigation and use of four-wheel drive vehicles. Candidates may be required to use traction devices in snow/mud (e.g., chains, traction boards). Successful candidates must be able to work in rural field settings, work well both independently and with others, and follow field and data entry protocols. Previous experience and/or knowledge of upland game birds and other avian species is preferred, but training will be provided. Prairie Grouse Lek surveys begin late March 2023 and conclude mid May 2023, at the latest, whereas avian use surveys are monthly and ongoing until January 2024, with the possibility of extension. An average workweek will be approximately 30-40 hours, though there may be weeks requiring shorter or longer hours depending on seasonal objectives.


  • Conducting prairie grouse lek surveys (audio and visual) during early morning hours.
  • Collection of quality data on paper datasheets and prompt delivery of complete and reviewed datasheets to field coordinator or project manager, as applicable.
  • Grouse identification and use of a compass, GPS, paper datasheets, tablets and other electronic devices for navigation and data collection.
  • Avian use surveys for small and large birds, including songbirds (mainly grassland birds), raptors, waterfowl, and shorebirds.
  • Species identification for North Dakota birds by sight and sound.


  • Applicants must be in good physical condition, as fieldwork will be conducted under potentially extreme environmental conditions.
  • Previous experience conducting biological field studies.
  • Ability to follow protocol is essential.
  • Precise and thorough data collection and data quality control skills are essential.
  • Candidates should have, at minimum, a familiarity with upper Great Plains bird species and ability to use guides and keys for identification.
  • Skilled use of GPS units, topographic maps, compass, and other field equipment.
  • Job requires the person filling this position to work independently and reliably.
  • The selected applicant should be able to appear for work on time; follow instructions from project managers and field supervisors.
  • Experience with 4wd vehicles.
  • Strong communication skills to interact effectively with coworkers and clients; to maintain a positive attitude; and to accept guidance and constructive criticism.
  • Previous experience conducting avian surveys.
  • Follow all WEST safety protocols.

Start/End Dates: March 20- January 31, 2024

Salary/Pay: $18-$21/ hour, DOE

How to Apply: Please use the online application to view the full job description as well as how to apply.