Position: Reptile Recovery Field Technician (2)
Project & Location: Ojibway Prairie Reptile Recovery (OPRREC), Windsor, ON
Type of Position: Full-time (~37.5 hr. /wk.), 6 months
Anticipated Start: 1 – 16 June 2019
Rate of Pay: $2,750 per month fixed salary (based on 165 hours worked per month)
Hours of Work: Flexible daily and weekly schedule to suit project needs and weather conditions. Working weekends will be required.
Wildlife Preservation Canada (WPC) is seeking a Field Technician to assist with implementation of 2019 activities related to the OPRREC program. Work will occur predominantly at the Ojibway Prairie Complex and Greater Park Ecosystem (OPCGPE) in Windsor and LaSalle Ontario. The ultimate goal of this program is to recover the Ojibway population of Eastern Massasauga rattlesnakes, while providing recovery benefits to a suite of other species at risk (SAR) reptiles, plants, and insects. Working under the direction of the Lead Biologist, the Field Technician will conduct field work related to the following component(s) of OPPREC: 1) Massasauga population monitoring, 2) threat monitoring and mitigation (e.g., road mortality, intentional killing, illegal collection, and habitat loss), 3) habitat assessment/inventory and enhancement, and 4) public outreach and education. Supervision will be provided on-site by the Lead Biologist based on an initial orientation and training session, followed by regular updates over the course of the field season to discuss progress and solve problems.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
1. Conduct standardized visual encounter, artificial cover object, trail camera and/or barrier fence surveys targeting Eastern Massasaugas, Eastern Foxsnakes and Butler’s Gartersnakes in order to monitor population distribution, abundance, threats, and/or effectiveness of threat mitigations and habitat enhancements (50%),
2. Conduct standardized vertebrate road mortality surveys by bicycle along busy city roads (25%),
3. Participate in a variety of other projects and duties as required (e.g., data entry and summary, snake barrier fence installation, responding to human-snake conflict, public outreach, habitat enhancement, etc.) (25%),
4. The Field Technicians will use of some or all of the following equipment:
a) Snake handling tools (snake hook, tubes, and/or tongs)
b) Hand-held GPS unit, two-way radios, digital camera, borescope, and/or trail camera
c) Laptop computer
d) Hand tools (e.g., loppers, pruning saw, etc.)
REQUIRED EDUCATION, SKILLS & EXPERIENCE
- An undergraduate degree in a related field (e.g., Biology, Environmental Science, etc.). Exceptional candidates with a college diploma in a related field (e.g., ecosystem management technology, ecological restoration) will also be considered.
- Minimum of 1 field season conducting snake surveys/inventories, including the ability to safely identify, capture, handle, and process Ontario snakes. Priority given to candidates with prior experience surveying in rattlesnake habitat and/or working with Massasauga rattlesnakes.
- Strong interest in conservation biology, herpetology, and biology-based field work.
- Proven ability to adhere to data collection protocols and record detailed & legible field notes.
- Strong work ethic, including focus, professionalism, punctuality, honesty, and attention to detail.
- Physically fit and able to:
- Lift heavy objects (e.g., woody debris and small logs),
- Ride a bicycle on city streets alongside busy traffic, and
- Work safely outdoors on your feet for extended periods of time, in poor weather (e.g., rain, extreme heat) and/or in challenging habitats (e.g., thorns, thickets, & biting insects).
ADVANTAGEOUS SKILLS & EXPERIENCE
- Experience conducting road mortality surveys and identifying a range of vertebrates found dead-on-road in Ontario (e.g., birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles).
- Experience installing and/or monitoring threat mitigation structures (e.g., snake barrier fencing).
- Experience PIT tagging vertebrates.
- Experience using relevant equipment (see ‘Duties and Responsibilities’).
- Experience using mapping software to display data and create maps (e.g., ArcGIS, Google Earth).
- G-class driver’s licence and access to a vehicle.
- Standard or wilderness first aid certification.
- Experience conducting public outreach and education.
- Experience identifying Ontario plants (SAR and invasive species).
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Health and safety training will be provided by the Lead Biologist at the start of the position. This will include a review of written and audio-visual resources to identify safe practices while working with venomous snakes, in field conditions, on roads and in inclement weather. The location of first aid equipment and supplies will be identified. The Field Technician will be covered by Ontario Workers’ Compensation and will travel in vehicles with adequate insurance during the employment term.
Please submit your cover letter and resume as a single attachment (e.g., .pdf or .doc) to Jonathan Choquette, OPRREC Lead Biologist, firstname.lastname@example.org, and use the email subject heading “OPRREC – Field Technician”. Application deadline is 11:59pm, 31 May 2019, however, applications will be assessed as they are submitted.
Please note this position is only open to Canadian residents. Only individuals considered for an interview will be contacted. We thank you for your interest!