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Whooping Crane Biological Technician

Posted: January 26, 2024 Expired: February 23, 2024
International Crane Foundation
High School 3 Year

International Crane Foundation

Whooping Crane Biological Technician

The International Crane Foundation (ICF) is seeking a detail-oriented team member to join our North America Program team in the role of Whooping Crane Biological Technician. This position has a set duration of 3 years with the potential to be extended. We would like to have the right candidate start approximately April 1, 2024. The annual compensation range for this hourly non-exempt position is $32,000 - $36,000 to be determined based on qualifications. This is a benefit eligible position located on site in Baraboo, Wisconsin.


Over the past 50 years, ICF has grown from the dream of two college students to a world-renowned conservation effort to save the world’s cranes and the flyways and habitats they frequent.  Our new Biological Technician member will assist in maintaining best practices, crane research and crane tracking, along with many other department initiatives. 


What is it like to work at ICF? Prepare to be surrounded by people who are passionate about our mission, dedicated to the organization, and engaged with their fellow staff and associates. You will find dedication in all levels of the organization from staff and volunteers to our dedicated Board Members. You will play a critical role in fulfilling our mission across the U.S. and within our partner countries around the world. 


Position Summary:

The North America Program (NAP) at the International Crane Foundation is currently involved in research and outreach regarding re-introduced Whooping Cranes in the Eastern United States. The Whooping Crane Biological Technician will assist in studying the foraging ecology, movements, habitat use and social behavior of these breeding and non-breeding cranes throughout central Wisconsin. Whooping Crane research will focus on nesting and colt survival, as well as the movements and behaviors of juveniles and adults, particularly associated with the release of captive-reared chicks into the wild.


The Technician will work closely with the Crane Conservation Fellows and the NAP Crane Analyst to conduct monitoring and research of the reintroduced Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes and their habitats to develop a commitment to safeguarding their future. The position will lead daily fieldwork activities, coordinate data entry and organization, manage data quality, and communicate with volunteers and partners conducting fieldwork. Using these data, they will write reports on the population and contribute to research projects, with the goal of understanding demographics, behaviors, and habitats of this small, reintroduced population.

In addition, the Technician will assist with various landscape restoration activities at our headquarters including prescribed burning and invasive species management, as well as outreach events and Sandhill Crane research as needed. Opportunities may also be available for volunteering with the conservation education and aviculture staff at the International Crane Foundation as time allows. The Technician position provides an opportunity for professional growth through participation in applied conservation efforts.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Radio tracking of free-ranging Whooping Cranes mainly in the central/southeastern part of Wisconsin; however, travel into other states may also be necessary.
  • Deploying and maintaining trail cameras to monitor potential predators and incubating cranes and process resulting photographic data.
  • Entering data into online platforms, managing data coming in from multiple sources, and evaluating data quality.
  • Assisting with capturing adult and juvenile Whooping Cranes and Sandhill Cranes for banding and sampling of environmental contaminants. Observing color-banded cranes within a wild population to assess productivity, habitat use and breeding pair dynamics.
  • Gaining experience in and contributing to crane research efforts. Working with the North America Program Crane Analyst to further a variety of research projects on reintroduced Whooping Cranes, including technical writing for scientific publication.
  • Writing reports of monitoring and research efforts to share with partner organizations and the public.
  • Training seasonal staff on field techniques including telemetry, data collection and entry, and recording behavioral observations.
  • Maintaining and inventorying field equipment.
  • Maintaining partnerships with hunters, landowners, volunteers, partners, and other citizens who monitor or keep watch over the cranes in their areas.
  • Working cooperatively with individuals across departments, making valuable contributions to shared projects and assisting with the outputs of others. Commit to the free sharing of information and technical expertise as needed. Communicate clearly and effectively within a team.


Core Competencies:

  • Excellent verbal communication skills, including speaking clearly and persuasively to individuals and groups; listening effectively; responding well to questions.
  • Ability to establish project plans, regularly monitor and track progress on work projects, and ensure appropriate communications with project partners.
  • Excellent organizational skills, including the ability to prioritize work and to work with others to meet designated deadlines and desired results.
  • Analytical, problem solving, and decision-making skills, including the ability to identify problems, research and analyze issues from different perspectives, organize information, reach sound conclusions, and work cooperatively with others to develop and implement effective solutions.
  • Attentive to detail and thoroughness.
  • Written communication skills, including the ability to write correspondence and reports in a clear, concise, logical, and grammatically correct manner.
  • Experience and comfort using word processing and spreadsheet software (MS Office).
  • Ability to develop and maintain effective, collaborative relationships with donors, vendors, Board members, other stakeholders, and staff at all levels of the organization. Ability to establish project plans, regularly monitor and track progress on work projects, and ensure appropriate communications with project partners.
  • Attentive to detail and thoroughness.
  • Work as a constructive member of a team, including the free sharing of information and technical expertise as needed.
  • Demonstrate respect and sensitivity for others; inspire trust; and work with integrity and ethically.
  • Quickly, effectively, and continually adapt to changes in work environment and duties, processes, and technologies.

Physical Abilities and Work Environment:

The physical abilities and work environment characteristics described below are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this position.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Ability to operate computers and phones.
  • Ability to communicate with fellow staff and donors. Communication will include both one-to-one communication, small, and large group communication.
  • Must be able to remain in stationary position for 5-7 hours a day.
  • Occasionally required to lift and move items up to 30 - 50 pounds.
  • Ability to work outdoors in difficult conditions for long periods of time. 


Work Environment:

  • Ability to work outdoors in difficult conditions for long periods of time. 


“ICF is committed to cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity and inclusion. We hire great people.”


ICF is an equal opportunity employer.

Experience Required

Qualifications Required: B.S. or B.A. in biology or a related field. Tolerance is needed for working in difficult conditions and long field days (before sunrise to after sunset), often spent in vehicles. Excellent oral communication skills, including communicating conservation messages to various audiences, from individuals to lecture halls, and across online platforms. Excellent written communication skills, including the ability to effectively proofread and edit reports and correspondence in a clear, concise, logical, and effective manner while utilizing proper grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure.  Attention to detail regarding the quality of their own and others’ work, ensuring the accuracy and effectiveness of large and small projects and products. Manage multiple concurrent and competing priorities in a fast-paced workplace, using appropriate manual and electronic resources to ensure timely completion. Very strong interpersonal skills and ability to build relationships with key stakeholders. Demonstrate respect and sensitivity for others; inspire trust; and work with integrity. Demonstrate ability to work independently, including experience independently leading projects, providing metrics of milestones and meeting deadlines. Individuals seeking graduate training are encouraged to apply.  A valid driver’s license (USA or International) and an acceptable driving record are required. **All applicants must be eligible to work in the United States when they apply. Preferred Qualifications: Background relating to wildlife conservation, education or biology preferred. Previous fieldwork experience, including radio telemetry, behavioral observation, and trail camera deployment. Previous experience leading a team or managing long-term projects. Proficiency with basic Microsoft Office programs, including Word, Excel, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and PowerPoint. Experience working with volunteers to achieve desired results; train and encourage skill development; access and provide feedback on individual performance. Demonstrated a strong interest/background in the fields of conservation biology, ornithology, or other related fields.


$32,000-$36,000 per year

How to Apply

To apply, send a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references to  Please list in subject line “Whooping Crane Biological Technician”.

International Crane Foundation
E11376 Shady Lane Road
Baraboo, WI 53913
Phone: 6083569462

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