University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
College of Biological Sciences

2018 Summer Jobs: Ornithology Technician

The Red-headed Woodpecker Recovery Project, a long-term citizen science project run by the Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis in cooperation with the University of Minnesota’s Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, has an opportunity for two full-team ornithology technicians in summer 2018. This position will run from approximately late April 2018 to early September 2018 (exact dates will be determined with the final candidates – we encourage you to apply if you are interested, as the dates can be tweaked if necessary). Additional work may be available in October pending funds. A stipend of $5000 for the summer season will be provided, along with on-site housing at Cedar Creek ESR. If you are an undergraduate or recent college graduate with a background or interest in ecology, biology, ornithology, conservation, environmental science, wildlife management or a related field, we encourage you to apply!

The Red-headed Woodpecker Recovery Project has been working at Cedar Creek ESR since 2008, and has focused on identifying remaining healthy ‘clusters’ of woodpeckers, as well as studying traits that contribute to individual nesting success and survival. The oak savanna areas of Cedar Creek ESR, a large, diverse and well-respected research station with 75 years of scientific history to its name, is home to one of the largest remaining breeding populations of red-headed woodpeckers in the Midwest. Research this summer will take primarily place at Cedar Creek ESR and will explore nest productivity and juvenile survival, pre-migration behavior and decision making, territory usage, and migratory routes. Work will also be conducted on feeding behavior and the external factors that contribute to overwintering decisions.

Typical work days are 8 hours per day, Monday through Friday, with occasional early morning and weekend work. The technicians will also be expected to participate in on-going professional development opportunities at Cedar Creek ESR, including weekly lunch seminars with other interns, faculty and graduate students, and an end-of-summer symposium where the technicians will share some research results from their summer field work.

Specific tasks will include but are not limited to:

  • assist field research coordinator with data collection of all types;
  • locate & document RHWO nest sites with GPS, in coordination with citizen science volunteers;
  • monitor confirmed RHWO nest sites;
  • at selected nest sites, use camera to monitor egg laying, hatching & fledging of RHWO; 
  • undergo training for capture, banding, drawing blood samples, attaching geolocators/radios, etc.
  • assist with handling of nestlings and adults in the field;
  • assist with investigation and quantification of food sources for RHWO;
  • document weather data correlated to RHWO behavior;
  • install feeder platforms at selected nest sites & maintain food supplies/baits;
  • track and collect data on individual birds;
  • assist with public tours and programs related to the RHWO project;
  • other tasks as directed by field research coordinator.


Required qualifications are:

  • coursework in ecology or field biology (focus on birds or wildlife preferred)


To apply, please email the materials listed below together in one email to by FEBRUARY 19th, 2018All materials should be emailed to ccintern@umn.eduIf you have any questions regarding the application process or the internship please email the above address or call 612-301-2616.

  1. A completed application form (download here)
  2. A resume (maximum of two pages)
  3. A cover letter stating why this internship will benefit you
  4. A transcript (unofficial is acceptable)
  5. Two letters of recommendation (should be sent separately by your recommenders)
Please note this position does not give you status or benefits as a University of Minnesota employee as you will be employed by the Red-headed Woodpecker Recovery Project and the Audubon Society.