Institutional Background: The West Virginia Natural Heritage Program (WVNHP) is part of the Wildlife Section of the Division of Natural Resources, a state government agency. The Natural Heritage Program is responsible for conducting inventories for, maintaining electronic databases and manual files on, and disseminating information about rare species and exemplary natural communities in the state. It is a member program of NatureServe.
Summary of Position: The Natural Heritage Program Data Specialist will fulfill vital functions of the WVNHP, focusing on the development and management of data in Biotics, the WVNHP database of rare species and exemplary natural community occurrences in the state.
Office and lab duties (80%): The Natural Heritage Program Data Specialist, under the supervision of the Data Manager, will acquire, map, enter, and update community, plant, and animal Element Occurrence Records (EOR’s), including those for Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN), into the Biotics database. In addition, she/he will review and improve existing EOR’s, add new Elements, Sites, and Managed Areas into Biotics, and create maps and reports from Biotics. The Data Specialist will also file and organize hard copy EOR’s in the WVNHP manual files, enter vegetation plot data into the Plots2-WV database, process soil samples for lab analysis, and mount and document plant vouchers to be placed in regional herbaria.
Field Duties (20%): The Natural Heritage Program Data Specialist will help perform vegetation and rare plant surveys, which includes identifying plant species, collecting soil samples, collecting tree core samples, and collecting plant specimens for later identification. He/she will also help with outreach events such as National Hunting and Fishing Days.
The position will be stationed in Elkins, located near scenic mountain areas with abundant year-round outdoor recreation opportunities. Most of the job will be office oriented, however, fieldwork during the summer months may involve week-long overnight travel. The position will provide experience in many phases of a Natural Heritage Program. Expected start date is May 30, 2017. This is a temporary position limited to 40 hrs/week through the2017 calendar year, with a wage of $12-15 per hour depending on qualifications. Extension of this position is possible.
1. Bachelor’s degree in ecology, botany, wildlife biology, environmental science, geography, computer science or a related discipline.
2. Computer skills: Excel, Access, Word, ArcView, ArcGIS, Oracle, and SQL.
3. Ability to work independently and in collaborative roles. Excellent communication skills.
4. Ability and desire to work at a desk indoors for long hours, primarily with computers, and the ability and desire to work outdoors, traveling long distances by vehicle and on foot across rugged terrain, enduring insects, heat, cold, and rain.
5. Driver’s license.
6. Attention to detail and accuracy.
7. Commitment to conservation of biological diversity.
Send resume and cover letter to:
West Virginia Division of Natural Resources
PO Box 67
Elkins, WV 26241