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, is hiring two full-time technicians for the summer 2018 field season. These positions will run from approximately late April 2018 to early September 2018 (exact dates will be determined with the final candidates as the dates are somewhat flexible). 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!

Project Description
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 (RHWO) in the Midwest. Research in 2018 will take place primarily at Cedar Creek ESR and will explore movement behavior, nest productivity, and juvenile survival. Work may also be conducted on foraging behavior and the external factors that contribute to overwintering decisions.

Typical work days are ~8 hours per day, Monday through Friday, with occasional evening, 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.

Minimum qualifications include a passion for being in nature, excellent observation skills, willingness to get dirty, and the ability to ignore your phone for multiple consecutive hours. Preferred qualifications include advanced undergraduate standing in Environmental Sciences, Ecology, Biology, or related major, previous experience with radio telemetry, and/or previous experience handling and observing birds. This job requires people who enjoy living, traveling, and working closely in small groups, are resourceful and creative, comfortable going with the flow during a sometimes unpredictable work schedule, and are in excellent physical condition. 

To apply, please email the materials listed below together in one email to by FEBRUARY 19th, 2018: All materials should be emailed to If 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 or CV (maximum of two pages)
  3. A letter of interest, including previous research experience and relevant field skills and state how you will contribute to this project and 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.