Cornell University, Lab of Ornithology

Position ID:Cornell-Lab-RA [#13146, WDR-00017655]
Position Title: Research Associate - Lab of Ornithology
Position Type:Other
Position Location:Ithaca, New York 14850, United States [map]
Subject Area: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Appl Deadline:2019/03/01 11:59PMhelp popup* finished (2019/01/17, finished 2019/08/07, listed until 2019/03/01)
Position Description:    

*** this position has been closed and new applications are no longer being accepted. ***

Lab of Ornithology

Agriculture & Life Sciences

Cornell University


POSITION:                                        Research Associate


START DATE:                                  3/15/2019, 3 year appointment: appointed annually


LOCATION:                                      Cornell Lab of Ornithology

                                                                Johnson Center for Birds & Biodiversity

                                                                Cornell University, Ithaca, NY  14850


Position Function:


This Research Associate position requires an experienced scientist to oversee a cross-disciplinary, field-based research and training program in avian biology based at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology during the academic semesters and at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (New Hampshire) during the summer.


In collaboration with faculty and staff leaders based at the Lab and at external partner institutions, this Research Associate will manage the long-term avian monitoring program at Hubbard Brook that has been run continuously for more than 50 years. In collaboration with other investigators, the Research Associate will pursue question-driven avian research projects involving both Hubbard Brook legacy data and new research initiatives. They will help recruit and oversee a team of 6-12 summer avian research interns (including the recruitment of a substantial number of Cornell students and recent graduates) at Hubbard Brook, continuing a training program that has engaged more than 500 past participants. This position is accordingly based at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest from approximately May-August of each year. Housing is provided while in Hubbard Brook.


During the majority of the year the Research Associate will be based at the Cornell Lab and will engage in conducting and publishing research in avian biology, primarily using Hubbard Brook data. Oversee and mentor undergraduate independent research projects, co-lead an avian biology field methods course for undergraduates and graduate students in one or both academic semesters, provide additional opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience with field methods, and serve as a general mentoring resource on avian field biology to help connect students with broader opportunities within and external to Cornell.  The Research Associate will serve as the Cornell Lab’s “master bander,” managing the Lab’s bird banding permits and records, and will play a similar resource role in helping ensure the Lab’s IACUC and related compliances relevant to field studies of live vertebrates.

This is a full-time, 3-year appointment; appointed annually pending renewable funding, available work and successful performance.


Anticipated Division of Time:


Research (40%). Conduct and publish scientific research on avian field biology with an emphasis on data from the long-term studies at Hubbard Brook and/or new projects developed at that field site by the Research Associate and collaborators. Maintain and oversee the long-term bird monitoring program at Hubbard Brook while also initiating new research endeavors on targeted bird species or focused research questions. Baseline expectations for research paper productivity are two first-authored papers per appointment year in strong discipline-specific journals (e.g., Ecology, Conservation Biology, Animal Behavior), plus additional co-authorships resulting from collaborations and mentoring opportunities.


Mentoring and field biology training (30%). Recruit, train, and supervise the mid-May to early-August team of avian field biology research interns at Hubbard Brook. Assist Cornell undergraduates to identify and pursue independent research projects at Hubbard Brook, near the Cornell campus, and at other research sites. Co-lead in each Fall and Spring semester an introductory-level avian field biology methods course that gives Cornell students (undergraduates and graduate students) training in basic field skills and methods.


Funding activities (10%). Lead and/or partner with Lab and external collaborators to seek continued grant funding (e.g., NSF) to support the long-term monitoring, student training, and targeted research programs at Hubbard Brook. Work with Cornell Lab and Cornell University development staff to engage potential philanthropic supporters.


Research-related administration (10%). Serve as the Cornell Lab’s master bander and supervise Lab-wide training and reporting associated with the handling and banding of wild birds. Serve as a liaison between the Lab and staff at the co-located Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates on matters involving permitting and compliance with laws and best practices related to field studies of vertebrates.


Outreach and Other (10%). Work with Cornell Lab communication and education staff to disseminate findings to public audiences through the Lab’s on-line and print communications channels. Other ad hoc duties as assigned by the supervisor.



PhD in a relevant area of avian ecology, evolutionary biology, or behavioral ecology. At least 3 years of postdoctoral experience. Professional record of publishing scientific papers in peer reviewed journals. Experience in mentoring undergraduate research and prior supervisory experience.  Prior experience with bird banding sufficient to obtain and maintain USGS  “master bander” permit Must obtain and maintain a valid and clean driver’s license. Willingness to move annually between Ithaca (August-May) and the Hubbard Brook area (May-August)


Preferred Requirements:

Experience in undergraduate teaching. Proficiency in the suite of field skills frequently employed in avian ecology (e.g., point counts, territory mapping, behavioral observations, deployment of various transmitters and technologies).


Salary:  Commensurate with experience


Appointment: This is a full-time, 3-year appointment; appointed annually pending renewable funding, available work and successful performance.


Supervision:  Primary supervisor is Dr. Irby Lovette, Senior Director of Academic Affairs, Cornell Lab. Additional advising and supervision by Dr. Mike Webster, Director of Macaulay Library and Dr. David Bonter, Director of Citizen Science.


Supervision Exercised:

Annual supervision of team of summer research interns at Hubbard Brook. Supervision and mentoring of Cornell undergraduates engaged in independent research projects leading to senior theses and peer-reviewed publications (often with the student as lead author).


APPLICATION PROCEDURE:  The application package consists of a cover letter, CV, pdfs of up to three representative publications, Statement of Contribution to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and contact information for 3 references. Application materials should be submitted to Academic Jobs Online at Applications for the position available will be accepted until February 15, 2019. The selection committee is chaired by Dr. Irby Lovette (, Fuller Professor of Ornithology and Senior Associate Director for Academic Affairs at the Lab. Review of applicant will continue until the position is filled.


The Cornell community embraces diversity and inclusion. We value AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities, and seek candidates who will create a climate that attracts persons of all races, ethnicities and genders. 

Employment Assistance: If you require an accommodation for a disability in order to complete an employment application or to participate in the recruiting process, you are encouraged to contact Cornell University's Department of Inclusion and Workforce Diversity at voice (607) 255-3976, fax (607) 255-7481, or email at For general questions about the position or the application process, please contact the Recruiter listed in the job posting. Applicants that do not have internet access are encouraged to visit your local library, or local Department of Labor. You may also visit the office of Workforce Recruitment and Retention Monday - Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. to use a dedicated workstation to complete an online application. Notice to Applicants: Please read the required Notice to Applicants statement by clicking here. This notice contains important information about applying for a position at Cornell as well as some of your rights and responsibilities as an applicant. EEO Statement: Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info:
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, New York 14850

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