Job Title: Malheur Field Assistant
Reports to: Eastern Oregon Field Coordinator
Duration: 16 weeks, April 11-July 29, there may be some flexibility in start/end
Compensation: $15/hour + housing on Refuge, eligible for internship credits for
PSM degree at OSU
Location: Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and Harney Basin, Oregon
About Portland Audubon:
Portland Audubon has been a leading voice in conservation for over a century. Through
conservation advocacy, environmental education, and wildlife rehabilitation, we promote
the understanding, enjoyment, and protection of native birds, other wildlife and their
habitats. We work statewide with sanctuaries in Portland, on the Oregon Coast, and on
Mt Hood; and staff in Eastern Oregon.
Portland Audubon has been engaged with efforts to protect and restore Malheur
National Wildlife Refuge and the surrounding landscape since our founding in 1902.
Malheur NWR represents one of the most important bird refuges on the Pacific Flyway.
We have had full-time staff stationed in Burns, Oregon since 2018 focused on
advancing collaborative conservation efforts both on and off refuge, public outreach and
engagement, and avian field surveys.
Portland Audubon believes that inspiring all people to love and protect nature is best
achieved when we embrace diversity as a value and practice. We are committed to
building a diverse and inclusive environment, reflecting the diversity of our community in
our board, staff, and volunteers.
The Malheur Field Assistant position includes diverse opportunities for gaining and
using a suite of biological, conservation, and outreach skills. This position reports to our
Eastern Oregon Field Coordinator and will be based in Harney County. The ideal
candidate will be able to identify birds by sight and by ear, or will be willing/able to learn
to do so.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
● Biological Surveys: Conduct bird surveys on and around Malheur National Wildlife
Refuge. Bird survey work may include songbird point counts, waterfowl surveys,
duck banding, shorebird surveys, Sandhill Crane Pair Counts, and marshbird
surveys, depending on bird ID skills.
● Stewardship Work Parties: Work with the Eastern Oregon Field Coordinator to lead
one stewardship work party, a Marshbird survey (Marsh Madness), and a Snowy
Plover Survey at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and surrounding areas.
● Outreach: Assist with community outreach, including Bird Scouts (a birding program
for local youth), monthly birding programs, programs like Malheur After Dark, and
social justice initiatives with the Rural Alliance for Diversity.
● Conservation Policy: Opportunity to attend collaborative meetings with Portland
Audubon staff, in order to gain experience with collaborative policy work.
● Other duties as assigned.
● Recent or current Graduate or Undergraduate student in biological sciences, wildlife
conservation, wetland ecology, environmental science, natural resources, or related
● Ability to identify birds by sight and ear;
● Familiarity with bird survey protocols (or willingness to learn them), map reading,
and GPS navigation skills;
● Professionalism in written and oral communications;
● Ability to follow instructions and work independently to carry out a task;
● Demonstrated initiative engaging and working with people from diverse walks of life
with a particular focus on engaging rural communities in conservation initiatives;
● Demonstrable commitment to the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion;
● Experience working with and leading volunteers is strongly preferred
● Ability to hike several miles per day under remote conditions.
● Valid driver’s license, access to a vehicle and ability to drive on remote, unpaved
roads. Access to government vehicle will be provided for some work.