Ontario Northern Boreal Field Technician

Wildlife Conservation Society Published: December 13, 2018
Location
Thunder Bay, Canada
Job Type
Full-time
Categories
Analyst / Research / Natural Resources/ Restoration /
(Number of Job Posting Views: 371)

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Description

~ WCS Canada was established as a Canadian conservation organization in July 2004. Our mission is to conserve wildlife and wild places by improving our understanding of, and seeking solutions to, critical problems that threaten key species and large wild ecosystems throughout Canada. ~

We implement and support comprehensive field studies that gather information on wildlife needs and then seek to resolve key conservation problems by working with a broad array of stakeholders. We also provide technical assistance and biological expertise to local groups and agencies that lack the resources to tackle conservation concerns. WCS Canada is independently registered and managed, while retaining a strong collaborative working relationship with sister WCS programs in more than 60 nations, including an integrated North America Program.

The Wildlife Conservation Society is a recognized global leader in conservation and for more than a century has worked in North America promoting actions such as bison reintroduction, pioneering field studies, parks creation, and legislation to protect endangered wildlife. For more information, please click here.

Position Overview

WCS Canada is seeking a full-time field technician to assist with its Ontario Northern Boreal conservation program. This field technician will support two ecological field programs. The first field program is in collaboration with local trappers and uses radiotelemetry and motion-sensor cameras to document the impacts of forestry activities on wolverine ecology.

The second field program is in collaboration with Moose Cree First Nation and uses acoustic telemetry and physiological measurements to understand the impacts of hydroelectric activities on lake sturgeon ecology. In the winter, fieldwork will support the wolverine program, and will involve establishing and maintaining a system of wolverine live-traps and run-poles, chemically immobilizing and attaching radio-collars to wolverines, tracking wolverines, and establishing a network of motion-sensor cameras on roads.

In the summer, fieldwork will support the lake sturgeon program, and will involve downloading and maintaining an array of submerged acoustic receivers in two northern Ontario rivers. While in the field, the field technician will also be responsible for field data management in Excel, and plotting and managing spatial data in a geographic information system (GIS). In total, this position will be field-based for approximately 7-8 months per year, split over multiple field periods.

Meals and accommodation will be provided while in the field. In the off-season the field technician will be responsible for maintaining and organizing field equipment, and for office tasks related to data management.

Position Objectives:

This position supports the WCS Canada Ontario Northern Boreal field research programs, which have the following goals:

Wolverine Program:

  • Collect data on wolverine abundance and distribution
  • Develop methods to monitor the abundance of wolverines
  • Develop best-management practices for wolverine habitats
  • Develop methods for reducing incidental harvest of wolverines

Lake Sturgeon Program:

  • Collect data on the movement and physiology of lake sturgeon in intact and impacted rivers in order to inform management and planning decisions
  • Develop methods for reducing the impacts of development on lake sturgeon

Responsibilities

General:

  • Develop positive working relationships with  program collaborators and partners
  • Supervise field work and multiple field assistants
  • Coordinate travel, accommodation and other logistics related to field work
  • Manage field expenses and expense reporting
  • Organize and maintain field and field safety equipment
  • Transfer field-collected data to an Excel database
  • Organize spatial data in ArcGIS

Wolverine Program:

  • Lead field crews and the chemical immobilization of wolverines
  • Construct and maintain wolverine live-traps and run-poles
  • Establish and maintain motion-sensor cameras on roads
  • Track wolverines on foot and snowmobile, collect scat and document sign

Lake Sturgeon Program:

  • Lead field crews to download and maintain an array of submerged acoustic receivers at two remote field sites

Qualifications

Mandatory Qualifications:

  • Positive and “can do” attitude in varied and diverse team environments
  • Experience supervising field staff
  • Experience operating and coordinating the maintenance of snowmobiles
  • Ability to perform physically demanding work including hiking with a heavy pack over varying terrain, digging out snowmobiles from snow, getting in and out of boats on river banks with varying terrain, etc.
  • Experience working in cold, snowy, and remote areas
  • Experience with chemical immobilization of medium or large mammals
  • Experience working on and around water

General Qualifications:

  • A passion for wildlife and nature
  • Experience operating a snowmobile, specifically off groomed trails or packed snow
  • Experience operating, towing, and launching medium-sized boats (~50hp), specifically in large and medium-sized rivers and around hydropower facilities
  • Relevant training (e.g., wilderness first aid, bear safety training, swift water rescue training, chemical immobilization of wildlife) is an asset
  • Proficient with Microsoft Excel
  • Experience plotting spatial data in GIS
  • Interest in physically and mentally challenging work
  • Interest in statistics and study design

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