sábado, 10 de abril de 2010

Panama-Field assistant, insectivorous bird declines in Panama, May-Aug

I'm looking for a volunteer field assistant to work with me starting in May (as early as possible) and continuing through mid-August. The project will be based in central Panama, with field sites including Barro Colorado Island, Gigante Peninsula, and 1-2 sites on the mainland near Gamboa.

My research focuses on mechanisms of declines of understory insectivorous birds in fragmented Neotropical rainforest. While working in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, I found evidence for an indirect-effects mechanism wherein increases in herbivorous mammal populations (=peccaries) have impacted rainforest understory vegetation structure and, in turn, microhabitat used by understory insectivorous birds, resulting in near-extirpation at La Selva Biological Station, amongst other sites. I will be testing this and another, related hypothesis while in Panama, where the focal bird species have increased concurrent to the La Selva declines.

The day-to-day work will involve locating focal species of understory insectivorous birds, conducting vegetation structure (aka microhabitat) assessments, conducting arthropod surveys, and conducting terrestrial mammal trailside surveys. Be advised that while the project focuses upon birds, most day-to-day work will be with plants and insects, although there's always time for birdwatching. Fieldwork will be conducted 5-6 days/week, with occasional long weekends, allowing some time for local travel, if desired.

Housing (room and board) will be provided at the field sites, and will include a shared dormitory room on Barro Colorado Island, and a private or shared room in an apartment or hostel in Gamboa. We may also camp a few nights/week while working on Gigante Peninsula. Travel expenses between North America and Panama, including RT airfare to the US or Canada and transportation to BCI from Panama City, will be provided. I'm sorry, but I do not have funding available for a stipend.

Preference will be given for applicants with a Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in Biology or a related field, experience with tropical (preferably) or temperate field research, and/or some knowledge of Spanish (not necessary as most researchers onsite speak English; however another member of my crew is Spanish-speaking).

I am leaving for Panama on 25 April and ideally would like to hire someone before I leave. Applications will be reviewed and applicants contacted as they come in; the position is open until an applicant is hired. To apply for the position, please send a CV, cover letter, and names and contact information (e-mail addresses and/or phone) for 2-3 references.

Please contact Nicole Michel at nmichel@tulane.edu for more information and/or to submit an application. For more information about my research, see my webpage at http://studentweb.tulane.edu/~nmichel.


For more info, contact:

Nicole Michel