Eric L. Walters

Assistant Professor

Department of Biological Sciences, Old Dominion University

 

 

 

Employment Information

Are you interested in our migrant work in Virginia or our long-term woodpecker work in California?

Project 1: Virginia Field Work - Bird-Tick Relationships / Migrant Stopover Energetics

One experienced bander is needed that can lead a banding effort to examine bird-tick relationships along stopover habitats of Eastern Virginia. The bander will have previous experience as a Bander-In-Charge with passerine/near-passerines at a seasonal, migratory banding sites(s).

The position will run 5 days per week (weather permitting) from August through late November. A monthly stipend of $1,750 plus free housing will be provided.

One volunteer banding assistant is also needed to assist the Bander-In-Charge. The volunteer must have been previously listed as a subpermittee on a federal banding permit in order to be considered. Free housing and a small monthly stipend for food is provided.

Please send documentation of banding experience, the names and contact information for 3 banding references, a CV, and experience with passerines and near-passerines found in Virginia.

Applications should be sent to banding@ericlwalters.org as soon as possible. Applications will be reviewed upon receipt.


Current Positions (Virginia):

 Fall 2016: 15 Aug to 22 Nov (1 Bander-In-Charge position); Norfolk, VA -FILLED

 Fall 2016: 15 Aug to 22 Nov (1 experienced volunteer assistant); Norfolk, VA - FILLED

      UPDATED: 14 MAY 2016


Project 2: Long-term Acorn Woodpecker Study (Carmel Valley, California)Ryan Drobek installing an artificial granary

POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATE: The Walters Lab invites applications for a postdoctoral research associate position in behavioral ecology beginning in Fall 2016. The successful applicant will work with Principal Investigator Walters and collaborators, to combine newly-developed tracking technology with long-term demographic data and experimental studies to understand why helper acorn woodpeckers provision young that are not their own and to determine why such striking variability in provisioning behavior exists, thereby providing new insights into the ecological drivers of cooperative behavior in complex societies.

The applicant must have a PhD in behavioral ecology, population ecology, or related field and should have relevant field experience. The applicant will be based at the Hastings Reserve (Carmel Valley, California) but will also spend 2 months per year at the home institution of the PI and / or collaborators.

Job Responsibilities:

Oversee the field component of a long-term project examining the behavioral ecology of acorn woodpeckers at Hastings Reserve (Carmel Valley, California);

Work with the PI and collaborators to combine newly-developed tracking technology with long-term demographic data and experimental studies to understand why helpers provision young that are not their own and to determine why such striking variability in provisioning behavior exists, thereby providing new insights into the ecological drivers of cooperative behavior in complex societies;

Coordinate research activities, including (but not limited to): tree climbing; capturing birds to color band, sample blood, and attach nanotags; establishing and maintaining a grid of nanotag base stations; and extensive hiking;

Maintain both long-term field and genetic databases;

Contribute intellectually to the project’s further development and success; assist in developing questions, analyzing data, and writing up results to better fulfill the goal of understanding the proximate and ultimate factors affecting helping behavior in acorn woodpeckers;

Oversee hiring, training, and mentoring of field interns integral to the project;

Present results at professional meetings;

Oversee a seminar series incorporating talks by visiting researchers at Hastings Reserve;

Lead a weekly journal club that will incorporate REUs, field assistants, graduate students, the co-PIs, and researchers from other projects when they are on site;

Conduct public outreach that includes managing film crews, providing interpretive programming to visitors of Hastings (including K-12 classes, undergraduate classes, biologists attending training workshops, extension classes, and members of the public)

Applicants should submit a CV, list of publications, statement of research interests, career goals, and contact information for at least three references to ODU Research Foundation Click on the employment tab and follow the link for position #16010. Applicants must apply through the Research Foundation - DO NOT send application directly to the PI.

Review of applications will begin 31 March 2016 and will continue until the position is filled. The position is for one year and renewable for subsequent years depending upon availability of funding.

This position has not been filled (as of 14 May 2016)

FIELD ASSISTANTS: Field assistants are needed for ongoing long-term studies of the behavioral ecology of the cooperatively breeding Acorn Woodpecker at the Hastings Reserve in upper Carmel Valley, California. Hastings is run by the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, UC Berkeley. We have studied the behavioral ecology of color-banded Acorn Woodpeckers for nearly 50 years at this site.

The research focuses on both ecological and evolutionary factors involved in the evolution of cooperative breeding. Interns will participate in monitoring group composition, experimental manipulations, and roosting/nesting/mateguarding/feeding behavior.

Must be an avid hiker who is comfortable hiking up and down hills. Prior experience with birds (especially the ability to read color bands) is desirable but not required. Self-motivation, enthusiasm for the research questions, a willingness to sit in a blind for up to 3 hours per session (in hot weather with lots of annoying face flies), and an ability to tackle the rigors of field work are a must. We especially encourage those applicants that wish to attend graduate school in the near future and are interested in conducting an independent study during their tenure at Hastings.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to visa constraints, field assistant positions are only available to U.S. & Canadian citizens / permanent residents.

Positions include a modest stipend ($600/month) and housing. The experience is designed to be one of total immersion six days per week, and provides the necessary training needed for those interested in applying to graduate school. Winter positions typically begin in Aug/Sep and end in mid-March. Spring positions start mid-March and end mid-July. Because the reserve is about an hour to the nearest town, having a vehicle is highly desirable.


Current Positions (California):

 Field Interns: Fall/Winter 2016: 15 Aug(2016) - 15 Apr(2017) (2 positions) - OPEN

      UPDATED: 14 MAY 2016


Please include the following in your application:

  • a resumé / CV (please provide detailed descriptions (>1 page) of your academic, volunteer, and professional experiences);

  • a cover letter describing why you should be considered for one of our positions and an indication of what your short- and long-term career goals are;

  • the names, phone numbers, titles, and email addresses of at least three academic / professional references;

  • the dates you are available to work at the Hastings Reserve;

 

Don't forget to visit my web site Top 5 Mistakes Undergraduates Make When Applying to Field Jobs to make sure you don't fall victim to the common mistakes.

 

PLEASE NOTE: Due to visa constraints, field assistant positions are only available to U.S. & Canadian citizens / permanent residents.

 

Send resumé or curriculum vitae (email preferred) to:Woodpecker observation blind. Anna Brownson photo

 

Dr. Eric L. Walters

Department of Biological Sciences

Old Dominion University

Norfolk, VA 23529-0266

email: ewalters@odu.edu

 

Eric L. Walters © 2016 All rights reserved.