Southwest Alberta Grizzly Bear Monitoring Project – Volunteer Technicians

University of Alberta
Pincher Creek, Alberta
Job Category
Temporary/Seasonal Positions, Volunteer Openings
Food and Housing
Start Date
Last Date to Apply

Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development; Parks Canada; Alberta Tourism, Parks, and Recreation – Parks Division; and the University of Alberta are seeking volunteer field technicians for a pilot project evaluating the feasibility of non-invasive genetic sampling (primarily bear rub trees) to estimate population growth rate, abundance, density and distribution patterns of grizzly bears in southwestern Alberta.

The study area is located in the southwestern corner of Alberta, bounded by Highway 3 to the north, British Columbia to the west, the US border to the south, and the eastern edge of grizzly bear range to the east. The study area includes a mix of public and private land, ranging from mountainous remote terrain, to forested areas, to agricultural land and prairies.

We have completed our initial surveys of the study area and 879 rub objects have been established. We are seeking field technicians to collect hair samples every 3 weeks from these established rub objects. The positions will involve extensive hiking on and off trail (20-25 km daily) and periodic use of ATVs to collect hair samples.

Technicians might be involved in surveying for additional rub objects to increase our coverage within the current study area and an adjacent study area to the north. Technicians will be trained in identification of rub objects and appropriate set up.

These are volunteer positions, but groceries and shared housing will be provided. Housing is located just outside of Pincher Creek, AB at the Oldman Dam Provincial Recreation Area. We are targeting a 5 day on, 2 day off work schedule. All work is day trips (i.e. no overnight backpacking).

Please note that this is not a trapping and collaring study. You will not be involved in any capture or handling of bears, and bear observations in the field are not guaranteed. You will get to see a beautiful part of the country (southern Canadian Rockies) and lots of wildlife.
1) The volunteer positions are physically demanding. You must be able to hike 20-25 km per day in mountainous terrain on and off trail while carrying a day pack – and capable of doing that for at least 5 days in a row.
2) Ability to navigate in remote/rural areas using a GPS, map, and compass.
3) Be at least 19 years old and hold a valid Driver’s License (minimum of 3 years driving experience) from North America that has no demerits (this is a non-negotiable requirement in order to drive project vehicles; an International Driving Permit is NOT sufficient).
4) Non-Canadians must have a valid passport.
5) Have excellent interpersonal communication skills that enable you to interact positively with the rest of the crew and various stakeholders within the study site. Experience living and working in rural communities is an asset.
6) Are flexible, and can work long hours and odd schedules.
7) Have strong attention to detail and ability to follow protocols.
8) Have a strong interest in wildlife ecology.
9) Experience operating ATVs and 4WD vehicles on mountainous roads.

Targeted Start Date: May 26, 2014
Please note that this date might be slightly revised as the field season approaches.

Targeted End Date: November 15, 2014

We are looking for a 3 month commitment (or longer if possible). Positions will be open until filled. We will acknowledge the receipt of your application, but only those selected for an interview will be contacted further. Interviews and hiring will be ongoing until suitable candidates are found. Please apply as soon as possible.

To apply please send the following as a single e-mail attachment to both and
1) A cover letter that explicitly states ALL of the following:
• Why you are interested in this position
• How you meet all of the qualifications listed above
• Your dates of availability.

2) Your resume/CV

3) Contact information for three references that can speak to your ability to conduct yourself in the field and work as part of a team.
Contact Person
Andrea Morehouse
Contact Phone
Contact eMail
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