An upcoming opportunity to contribute to the recovery of endangered reptiles within the Ojibway Prairie Remnants

Position: Lead Field Technician (Ojibway Prairie Remnants Reptile Recovery Program)

Type of position: Full-time (approx. 37.5 hr. /wk.) 1 year position (52 weeks: May 2015 – April 2016), with possibility of extension.

Schedule: Flexible weekly schedule to suit project needs; Working weekends and/or long hours may be required.

Hours/Rate of Pay: $612.50 – $675.00 per week, depending on experience; includes lodging. No paid overtime, time off in lieu of pay for ‘banked’ hours will be provided.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
Wildlife Preservation Canada is seeking an experienced Lead Field Technician to implement 2015 field season activities related to the Ojibway Prairie Remnants Reptile Recovery Program. Work will occur in Ojibway Prairie Remnants in the area of Windsor/LaSalle, Ontario. The ultimate goal of this program is to recover the Ojibway population of Massasauga, while providing recovery benefits to a suite of other Species at Risk (SAR) reptiles and plants. The Lead Field Technician will oversee field work associated with various components of this program, including 1) monitoring Massasauga occupancy, demographics and habitat use, 2) augmenting the Ojibway population, 3) mitigating the threat of poaching and persecution, 4) mitigating the threat of road mortality, 5) enhancing critical habitat, 6) assessing suitability of Massasauga hibernation and gestation habitat, and 7) increasing public awareness. The Lead Field Technician will oversee and manage one – two Field Technicians and will work under the indirect supervision of the Program Coordinator to complete project-related duties.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
1. Conduct standardized detection and mark-recapture surveys targeting Massasauga, Eastern Foxsnake and Butler’s Gartersnake in order to monitor population distribution, abundance and use of critical habitat features (60%),
2. Conduct other actions related to specific components of the program as requested (e.g., distribute outreach materials, write summary reports, etc.) (20%),
3. Oversee and manage duties and responsibilities of one – two Field Technicians (10%),
4. Ensure that data is entered and backed-up on a weekly basis, or better (5%),
5. Maintain weekly communication with the Program Coordinator and oversee that regular contributions are made to the WPC online field blog (5%).

REQUIRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE

  • Minimum of an undergraduate degree in Biology (or similar) is required; Applicants with a Master’s degree in a related field will be at an advantage.
  • Strong interest in biology, conservation and research-based field work.
  • Previous experience conducting herpetological surveys, taking detailed field notes, and an ability to operate equipment (e.g., handheld GPS and digital camera).
  • Previous experience capturing, handling and collecting morphometric data on snakes (experience with Massasauga or other venomous snakes is an asset).
  • Previous experience managing and motivating field technicians and/or volunteers.
  • Exceptional skill at identifying Ontario herpetofauna, especially SAR and Thamnophis spp.
  •  Knowledge of current Endangered Species Act designations for Ontario reptiles and amphibians.
  • Ability to identify a small number of SAR herbaceous plants found in the Ojibway Prairie Remnants OR a strong willingness to learn (so as to avoid damaging them while surveying for reptiles).
  • Ability to work independently in the field and make decisions when necessary.
  •  Ability to work professionally and safely under poor weather conditions, in difficult terrain (e.g. thorns, thickets and biting insects) and in areas of rattlesnake habitat.
    • Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite for purposes of word processing and data entry in spreadsheets.
    • Ability to adhere to standardized survey protocols, data sensitivity protocols, venomous snake safety protocols and Government of Ontario Occupational Health and Safety regulations.

To apply please send a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references to: Jonathan Choquette, Program Coordinator, jchoquet@alumni.uoguelph.ca. Please submit your application as a single PDF or MS word file attachment and include in the email subject heading “OPR Reptile Recovery Program”. Applications are due by MIDNIGHT, 22 March 2015 at the latest.

Please note this position is only open to Canadian residents and is conditional on funding. Only individuals considered for an interview will be contacted.

We thank you for your interest!