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Position: Assistant Field Biologist
Organization: Pelee Island Bird Observatory
Location: Pelee Island, Ontario, Canada

Job type: Seasonal. August 1st – November 15th, 2019


  • $2778.00 per month minus deductions
  • During their employment, participants will live rent-free with other staff and volunteers at PIBO’s field station.

Job description: The Assistant Field Biologist (AFB) will assist PIBO’s Field Supervisor with all research, fieldwork, data management, volunteer supervision, field station logistics and maintenance, and on-island educational programming from August 1 – November 15th. The AFB will also be responsible for writing biweekly migration summaries.

  • The AFB reports to the Field Supervisor
  • The AFB is a seasonal, full-time position, 7 days a week, from August 1st – November 15th

The AFB will:

  • Assist the Field Supervisor and PIBO interns/volunteers with all research and fieldwork operations from August to November. The AFB’s workload will involve up to 50 hours of fieldwork/week, as well as paperwork, data entry, and other duties associated with PIBO’s migration-monitoring program, monarch butterfly counts and Northern Saw-whet Owl banding (data entry and data proofing includes PIBO’s Daily Totals (DTs) and bird banding records);
  • Assist with the daily 90-minute census and the 6-hour banding period at Fish Point Nature Preserve (the Field Supervisor and the AFB may alternate these two duties based on the discretion of the Field Supervisor);
  • Assist with on-island education and outreach programs including bird banding demonstrations, open-house events, and entertaining visiting school and naturalist groups;
  • Assist the Field Supervisor with online social media updates during the fall migration season, and contribute articles to the Auspice newsletter;
  • Be responsible for writing the biweekly migration summaries (with help from the Field Supervisor where appropriate);Reside on the island from August to November (and live rent-free at the PIBO staff cottage during the four-month field season);
  • Assist with upkeep of the PIBO staff cottage and field station, including shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc.;
  • Help maintain a welcoming environment for visitors


Candidates must be experienced field birders (able to identify 75- 95% of the majority of species found in the Great Lakes region by sight and sound) with previous experience banding and extracting birds. They must be physically able to spend long periods of time standing and walking over uneven terrain, comfortable interacting with the public, easy to live with, and willing to work hard. PIBO’s staff and volunteers must be prepared to sometimes work ten-hour days for up to 70 days without a day off, both in the cold and in hot, humid, and buggy conditions. Candidates must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents and must be legally entitled to work in Ontario. A driver’s license and a clean driving record are a plus.

Shared housing is provided, but food and transportation to and from Pelee Island will be the responsibility of the AFB. [SS1] Conditions around the banding station are sometimes flooded and may be muddy. Biting insects, poison ivy, cockroaches, spiders, and non-venomous snakes are common. The island can be cold in the fall, and PIBO’s field cottage is not winterized. Internet and cellphone reception is limited at the banding station and at the PIBO field cottage.

To apply:

Please send your resume, a cover letter describing your experience and interest in the position, and contact information for three references, to Suzanne Friemann at

Please send resume and cover letter in by July 5.

When applying, please indicate that you saw this posting at

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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Jun 11 2019    ID: 53837