Field Research Assistant (Temporary)

Two (2) field assistants are needed to work on my Ph.D. research project on the population and behavioral ecology of Clark’s Nutcrackers in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.  The study site is located outside of Jackson, WY in Bridger-Teton and Shoshone National Forests, primarily between 7,500 and 10,000′. The research focuses on understanding how the decline of whitebark pine is impacting Clark’s Nutcracker demography and habitat selection. In the process, we also study the ecology and social system of this little known bird.

Assistants will primarily be involved in conducting point counts and habitat surveys. After the initial training, we will each work alone most days, though we will carpool and hike in together when possible. We will camp for several days at a stretch in order to access more
remote habitat. Assistants will maintain a field journal, and do data entry and verification. The position is for 2.5 months (July 15-September 30). Assistants are required to work very long hours, five (5) days per week. These will be long, physically exhausting days
at high altitudes. Successful applicant must have experience spending time in the mountains. Must be in great shape with a strong back and knees, and must be willing to regularly climb up and down very steep mountains. Must be happy to work in cold, hot, wet and mosquito-infested conditions. Must be highly motivated, with a strong work ethic, a passion for field work, excellent communication skills, and patience with short-notice schedule changes. Applicants should enjoy working independently with a high level of responsibility in field work and data entry as well as in coordinating frequently with a
partner. An ability to maintain a positive attitude while tackling the rigors of field work is essential.  A lot of creativity and patience is often required to figure out how to handle daily field situations. Must take excellent, detailed field notes. Prior experience with
birds, navigation with GPS units and maps, and vegetation sampling is desirable, but not required. Be aware – there are grizzly bears and hazards associated with working in remote field sites.

A car is required; I will reimburse mileage at $0.25/mi. Must provide your own binoculars. You will need to find your own housing. I will provide $600/mo as a housing reimbursement, and a $600/mo stipend, for a total of $3,000 for 2.5 months. Applications will be reviewed upon receipt and the positions will remain open until filled. If interested, apply ASAP. Please include the following in your application: a resumé (one page resumés are discouraged – please provide detailed descriptions of your academic, volunteer, and professional experiences); a cover letter describing why you should be
considered for the position; the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of at least three academic / professional references (preferably ones familiar with your ability to conduct field work). Applications should be sent as attachments by email to Taza Schaming (

Jackson, Wyoming
Cornell University
Taza Schaming