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Wild horse or burro field technician

Colorado State University/US Geological Survey

Fillmore ,  Utah
Ecology Wildlife

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) and Colorado State University (CSU) are conducting scientific research to assist the BLM in management of free-roaming wild horses and burros on public lands. The research projects are led by Dr. Kate Schoenecker (USGS/CSU) and Dr. Sarah King (CSU). We are seeking field technicians for help with projects involving radio telemetry and behavioral observations of wild horses and burros in remote sites in Utah and Arizona. These positions provide a great opportunity to learn and polish wildlife monitoring techniques and assist with research on wild horses and burros. More information about our research projects can be found at https://www.fort.usgs.gov/wildhorsepopulations

Description:

Field work in 2017 will be part of a five-year study examining the demography and behavioral ecology of wild horses and burros in three different Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in Utah and one in Arizona. The successful applicants will use radio telemetry to locate wild horses or burros to determine demographic parameters, and/or to conduct behavioral observations. Positions available will focus on behavior and demography of either wild horses or wild burros. There is potential for exemplary field technicians to continue work as graduate students at CSU, pending successful admittance to the university.

Field work will be rigorous, requiring extended hiking across all terrains in remote areas, frequently off-trail on high slopes. Work will be conducted under variable weather conditions at elevations above 6,000 feet, with the potential for both extreme heat and temperatures below freezing. Independence and a tenacious work ethic are essential. Behavioral observations require a great deal of patience and ability to spend many hours watching animals simply graze or rest. The positions are located in remote field sites, necessitating excellent teamwork and flexibility, good communication skills, and a positive attitude. Housing will be provided at the field sites, and will consist of shared trailers, or tents. No internet service is available in the housing, and cell service is patchy in most locations.

We have openings for up to 6 field technicians that can commit for the entire field season: mid-March through September 2017. There may be some ability to truncate the season, so please state your availability in your application, as well as your desire to work with wild horses versus wild burros if you have a preference.

Field technicians will be employed by Colorado State University at a salary of $14/hr.  This is an hourly position based on a 40-hour work week, although due to the nature of field work longer work hours may be incurred. No over time compensation is provided, and the positions are not eligible for paid sick leave, or paid vacation.

Duties and responsibilities (depending on position):

Locating radio-collared or radio-tagged individual animals using radio telemetry.

Collecting demographic data, recording data, and entering it in to a database.

Collection of behavioral data, recording data, and entering it in to a database.

Maintaining databases and proofing data that has been entered.

Participation in related field research projects as needed (this may entail travelling to a different herd area).

Skills needed:

  • Familiarity with use of GPS and/or map and compass.
  • Maintaining and safeguarding personally assigned and project equipment.
  • Assisting in routine maintenance of housing.
  • Ability to drive 4WD vehicles across varied and rugged terrain.
  • Completion of necessary CSU or USGS safety courses and certifications.
  • Excellent communication skills required to remain in contact with remote supervisor during protracted fieldwork.

Minimum qualifications:

  • One year of laboratory or field research, or any equivalent combination of experience, training and/or education.
  • A state driver’s license valid during period of employment (any US state).
  • Ability to hike in backcountry covering 4-5 miles each day while carrying a 35lb pack.

Preferred qualifications (in addition to above):

  • Bachelors degree in wildlife science, biology or related discipline.
  • Experience with radio telemetry in field conditions.
  • Experience with behavioral observations of mammals under natural conditions.
  • Understanding of animal behavior and ecology.
  • Ability to manage and maintain a computer database.

To apply send both a letter of interest and resume with contact information for two references to Sarah King at sarah.king@colostate.edu. Clearly state how your experience qualifies you for this position, and your availability.

Deadline for receipt of applications is January 22, 2017.



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