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Acoustic Surveyor Crew Lead

University of Wisconsin - Madison
Sierra Nevada, CA and Madison, Wisconsin
$45,000-$55,000 plus benefits
Closing date
Dec 29, 2021

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Full time crew lead position acoustically monitoring avian species in the Sierra Nevada (Crew Lead in California during the summer and curating/analyzing the data at the University of Wisconsin-Madison during the rest of the year).

Species inhabiting dry forest ecosystems are increasingly threatened by severe wildfire, drought, and other stressors owing to interactions between climate change and past management practices. We are seeking an experienced crew lead to join existing teams which are acoustically monitoring wildlife across the Sierra Nevada.

The incumbent would report to a project manager while recruiting, training, and leading 2-4 technicians each summer to deploy, collect, and assist with processing and analyzing data from acoustic recording units across the landscape in the (likely southern) Sierra Nevada of California. The project is crucial to multiple well-funded projects and is expected to directly inform management planning and practices in an ecologically sensitive and high-profile region.

The researcher would spend the remainder of the year (mid-August to mid-April) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, WI as part of the Peery research group. The Peery Lab ( currently is composed of 10 graduate students, 7 full time research scientists, and multiple alumni who have chosen to remain involved in collaborative projects with current graduate students. The large lab fosters an active, inclusive, collaborative, and supportive research atmosphere.

The position ideally would start on February 1, 2022 but could be shifted slightly, if necessary, and includes a full-time salary with benefits package, including health insurance, and retirement. The position would be for 2 years with the potential to extend.

Applicants with a MS degree in wildlife, ecology, conservation biology, or other related disciplines are preferred, but exceptional applicants with a BS degree will be considered if they have relevant experience. Experience with acoustic data collection, geographic information systems, data interpretation, and analyses, especially with autonomous recording units is preferred. The applicant should have some field experience from wildlife, biology or ecology positions, especially in remote areas and leadership experience involving hiring, training, and independently supervising crews. The applicant should demonstrate knowledge of assessing and addressing diverse crew needs, identifying safety concerns, as well as tailoring training and leadership accordingly. The candidate should possess excellent organizational, management, and office skills, as well as have experience with database management.

Please submit your application materials by December 31, 2021 at Contact Kevin Kelly at or Anu Kramer at for more information.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. We promote excellence through diversity and encourage all interested individuals to apply. The position is open to both US citizens and international candidates.


  • MS in wildlife, ecology, conservation biology, or other related disciplines preferred; applicants without an MS but having appropriate experience will be considered
  • Experience with acoustic data analyses and interpretation
  • Experience with data collection methods using autonomous recording units or other acoustic data.
  • Experience with geographic information systems.
  • Experience leading crews in field biology or ecology positions.
  • Excellent organizational, management, and office skills.
  • Experience with database management.
  • Experience with hiring, training, and independently leading field crews.
  • Demonstrates knowledge of assessing and addressing diverse crew needs and gaps, tailoring training and leadership accordingly.
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