Coastal Ecology Research Technician - Gopher TortoisesDepartment:
PSO-Marine Extension ServiceAbout the University of Georgia:
The University of Georgia (UGA), a land-grant and sea-grant university with statewide commitments and responsibilities, is the state’s oldest, most comprehensive, and most diversified institution of higher education (https://www.uga.edu/). UGA is currently ranked among the top 15 public universities in U.S. News & World Report. The University’s main campus is located in Athens, approximately 65 miles northeast of Atlanta, with extended campuses in Atlanta, Griffin, Gwinnett, and Tifton. UGA was founded in 1785 by the Georgia General Assembly as the first state-chartered University in the country. UGA employs approximately 1,800 full-time instructional faculty and more than 7,700 full-time staff. The University’s enrollment exceeds 39,000 students including over 30,000 undergraduates and over 9,000 graduate and professional students. Academic programs reside in 18 schools and colleges, as well as a medical partnership with Augusta University housed on the UGA Health Sciences Campus in Athens.About the College/Unit/Department:
UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant provides research, education, training and science-based outreach to assist Georgia in solving problems and realizing opportunities for its coastal and marine environments. By advancing research, education and training, and outreach, UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant promotes the economic, cultural and environmental health of Georgia’s coast and prepare citizens to become good stewards of coastal ecosystems and watershed resources.College/Unit/Department website:
UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant is a unit of Public Service and Outreach at the University of Georgia, supporting Georgia’s short- and long-term prosperity.
UGA Marine Extension serves a diverse coastal constituency and educates citizens about Georgia’s marine resources and the importance of being good environmental stewards. It provides assistance to marine industries by finding ways to increase their efficiency and effectiveness and encourages the development of new, environmentally sustainable industries.
The Georgia Sea Grant College Program is part of a national network of 34 Sea Grant programs located in every coastal and Great Lakes state, Puerto Rico, Lake Champlain, and Guam. These programs serve as a core of a dynamic university-based network of over 300 institutions involving more than 3,000 scientists, engineers, educators, students and outreach experts.
$11.00-12.50/hr, commensurate with experienceAnticipated Start Date:
07/14/2021Open Until Filled:
YesSpecial Instructions to Applicants:
Please submit a minimum of three references with contact information. Location of Vacancy:
Outside Athens EOO Statement:
The University of Georgia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, genetic information, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation or protected veteran status. Persons needing accommodations or assistance with the accessibility of materials related to this search are encouraged to contact Central HR ([email protected]).Duties/Responsibilities:
Field work focused on research data collection on conservation and mine lands.Percentage of time:
Mine site surveys and priority species assessments.Percentage of time:
Office work, including the data entry, management, map creation, photo processing and literature research for both scientific/reporting and non-scientific purposes.Percentage of time:
Husbandry of captive animal collection.Percentage of time:
Development of communication materials for public consumption (e.g., social media content) and programming (e.g., miner training, outreach).Percentage of time:
Temporary Technical ParaprofessionalFLSA:
This position is part of an on-going field research and monitoring project in multiple counties in South Georgia. We work with Southern Ionics Minerals (SIM)/Chemours to conduct pre-mining species (animal and plant) surveys to assess impacts and develop plans for the avoidance or relocation of impacted species. Specifically, we focus on gopher tortoises and other priority and listed species in upland sandhills habitats. We conduct research on the post-translocation success of gopher tortoises on protected conservation lands. Additionally, we initiated new research in fall 2020 on the colonization and succession of reclaimed lands that involves broader ecological sampling of plant and soil communities but focuses largely on wildlife and reptile activity. This technician position will be expected to contribute intellectually to project execution and management, and where appropriate, design and implementation of novel research designs in the field. Relevant/Preferred Education, Experience, Licensure, Certification in Position:
If re/translocations are necessary, we excavate and move tortoises to off-site conservation lands or on-site reclaimed mine lands where we conduct post-translocation monitoring research. Our research program uses GPS and VHF telemetry and wildlife camera monitoring to explore the integration of translocated and resident gopher tortoise populations. Hence, the researcher also will be trained on radio tracking, checking game cameras, and trapping tortoises.
The technician will undergo specific task training with current project researchers for compliance with UGA and partnering protocols. MSHA safety and first aid trainings will be involved as a new employee working on mine sites.
Our lab is located at the UGA Marine Extension facility in Brunswick. This position involves office work to transfer and manage datasets associated with the projects, and to conduct basic summary and analysis of data as necessary for adaptive project management and for use in reports for the sponsor, natural resource agencies, and scientific communities. The technician will produce maps of field data in ArcGIS and may do some spatial data analysis.
As our lab has a strong mission for community engagement and public education, the technician also will assist with public communications via content development for social media and project promotion; public or classroom education events (field, classroom, tabling); and staff trainings for new miners on wildlife identification or other types of workforce development. Also, the individual will participate in husbandry of captive education and research animals at the Marine Extension facility in Brunswick.
Typically, the technician will be expected to work 5 days a week (M-F), which will involve 3-4 field days and 1-2 office days; however, the work schedule may involve slightly shorter or longer days or a weekend depending on the task schedule and mine plan. We may have to adapt our schedules to those of the animals, but we make up for the occasional long days and weekends with time off! Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, along with vacation requests (within reason), will be accommodated but as unpaid leave.
Since this position is temporary and cannot exceed the federal restriction of a maximum 1300 hours in one year, health and retirement benefits are not provided by the University of Georgia. The technician will provide their own housing, computer, cell phone, and transportation for work commute and occasional fieldwork (the latter of which is reimbursable). Living location is based on the candidate’s preference for commutes to the office and field sites. This seasonal technician position is guaranteed for the remainder of 2021, with a possible extension based on job performance and funding availability.
Undergraduate degree in Biology, Ecology, Wildlife Management or related field OR 3 years relevant experience in field research and wildlife. Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and/or Competencies :
Experience driving 4WD trucks on muddy, sandy and challenging unpaved roads is strongly preferred.
Field experience with surveying for Gopherus spp., including experience with burrow cameras and scoping burrows is highly preferred.
Field experience in the collection and management of field data, sometimes in large amounts such as wildlife camera data, will add to candidate competitiveness.
A dedicated interest in the conservation and management of wildlife and ecologically viable habitats that interface with human activities.Physical Demands:
Field experience with ecological survey and monitoring methods, including wildlife visual encounter surveys and trapping is preferred.
Knowledge of southeastern habitats and upland sandhills plant and animal communities is strongly preferred.
Working knowledge of GIS, statistical analysis and data management software is highly preferred.
Good physical condition and a patient temperament, whether by yourself or with co-workers in the field. Some long days in the field in hot, buggy conditions, and surveys in thick, thorny vegetation. Physical exertion may involve walking up to 10 mi/day for surveys, sometimes carrying up to 15 lbs of equipment and bulky burrow scopes. Scoping burrows, continuous bending over and squatting. Tortoises can be challenging to capture and handle and occasional capture and safe handling of venomous snakes. Driving multiple hours round-trip to field sites. Maintaining compliance with UGA COVID monitoring and safety protocols.Is this a Position of Trust?:
YesDoes this position have operation, access, or control of financial resources? :
NoDoes this position require a P-Card? :
NoIs having a P-Card an essential function of this position? :
NoIs driving a requirement of this position?:
YesDoes this position have direct interaction or care of children under the age of 18 or direct patient care?:
YesDoes this position have Security Access (e.g., public safety, IT security, personnel records, patient records, or access to chemicals and medications):