Research Assistant III

  • Archbold Biological Station
  • Venus, FL
  • Aug 02, 2023
Full time Scientific Research Science

Job Description

Job Category: Full-time

Salary: $18/hr (40hrs/week) + benefits (outlined below)

Start Date: 10/2/2023

Application Deadline: 8/21/2023


Description: The Avian Ecology Program at Archbold Biological Station (Archbold) is seeking one early-career biologist to aid with long-term demography research on the federally Threatened Florida Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens, FLSJ). The position is unique in that the primary duties shift throughout the year due to the seasonality of the program’s work and research objectives. This allows for extensive opportunities to gain experience in a variety of research techniques, managerial duties, communication skills, and educational outreach activities. The candidate is also encouraged to conduct independent avian ecology research during their tenure.

From February to September, the Research Assistant III (RAIII) will collaborate with all other lab members to continue the program’s long-term demography study of FLSJs at Archbold, including, but not limited to, finding and monitoring nests, trapping and banding birds including nestling, juveniles and adults, resighting banded birds, and conducting annual acorn surveys.

From July to February, the RAIII will be responsible for independently planning, organizing, conducting, and reporting FLSJ surveys, trapping, and banding at sites managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) throughout Highlands County. The RAIII will be assisted in the field by interns and volunteers during this time. Archbold has collaborated with FWC for over twenty years to deliver accurate reports on local FLSJ population size, demographic information, geographic distribution, and habitat management suggestions.

This is a one-year position with the possibility of renewal contingent on funding. The successful candidate will serve as RAIII under the supervision of Dr. Sahas Barve (Program Director, Avian Ecology). Due to the diversity of responsibilities and research protocols, the candidate will report to both Sahas Barve and Tori Bakley (RAIII) throughout at least the first year of employment. Field vehicles will be provided for all activities. Housing is not provided, but we are happy to assist the successful candidate in finding living accommodation in Lake Placid or Sebring. Salary is $18/hr for 40 hours a week, and the employee will receive the following fringe benefits: Health, dental, vision, disability, life insurance, paid time off, paid sick leave, and paid holidays.

Archbold Expeditions is committed to integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion principles into our organization. Archbold does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, ability, ethnicity, political ideology, religion, national origin, and all other classifications protected by federal, state, or local law. Archbold Expeditions is an equal opportunity employer, and, as ecologists, we know the importance of diversity and encourage individuals belonging to groups under-represented in ecology to apply.

Primary duties include:

  • Coordinating with program staff to ensure all fieldwork is accomplished smoothly
  • Searching for and monitoring FLSJ nests
  • Conducting monthly censuses of color-banded birds
  • Habituating birds for subsequent trapping
  • Collecting and storing blood samples from adult and nestling birds
  • Data entry and database management
  • Surveying and mapping FLSJ populations at FWC sites outside Archbold
  • Writing survey and banding reports
  • Assisting with all active program projects
  • Mentoring interns in their independent research projects


This position is ideal for a passionate biologist with at least two seasons of field work experience and the ability to work independently. Applicants should be interested in birds, ecology and evolution, natural history, and active research.


General Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent level of scientific experience
  • Experience navigating and working alone in the field
  • Experience resighting color-banded birds, finding and monitoring nests, and using a compass and GPS
  • Attention to detail with respect to following research protocols and managing databases
  • Ability to operate a vehicle safely and responsibly in poor driving conditions (loose sand, mud holes, standing water)
  • Possession of a valid driver’s license
  • Willingness to work a non-regular schedule that may include some weekends, especially during the FLSJ breeding season (March-June)
  • Tolerance for biting insects, early mornings, and high heat/humidity
  • Respectful and effective written and oral communication with supervisors, coworkers, and collaborators.


Competitive applicants may have experience:

  • Finding nests using behavior, particularly the nests of open cup nesters
  • Watching, recording, and interpreting bird behavior
  • Handling, banding, and bleeding birds
  • Monitoring bird nests
  • Managing projects
  • Experience with Access databases and/or programing in R.
  • Conducting wildlife surveys and vegetation sampling


Please note that we are unable to provide international applicants with a work visa. US citizenship or a US work visa is required.


To apply, please fill out this Google form

The form will ask you a few questions before prompting you to upload the following in a single pdf titled with your surname:

  • A cover letter outlining experience relevant to the job responsibilities listed and describing how this position aligns with your personal experiences and goals
  • A CV
  • The names and contact information of three references


For questions, please contact Tori Bakley (tbakley AT We will start reviewing applications after the deadline on August 21, 2023. Those without access to email may mail their applications to The Avian Ecology Program, Archbold Biological Station, 123 Main Dr. Venus, FL 33960; (PH: 863-465-2571).



Environmental Protection-Conservation



$18/hr for 40hrs/week + benefits

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