Student Technical Assistant (Wildlife habitat technician): Oregon

Oregon State University
Burns, Oregon
Job Category
Temporary/Seasonal Positions
$10-$15 per hour dependent on experience
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
This temporary (3 month) position is with Oregon State University and is located at the Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center (EOARC) approximately 5 miles south of Burns, OR. The successful candidate(s) will assist the principal investigator with treatment application, vegetation sampling, plant species identification, songbird point count and nest surveys, sample processing, and data entry and summarization on several wildlife habitat research projects in the northern Great Basin.
Position Duties
May include any of the following:
70% - Data/sample collection and processing:
Collect vegetation foliar cover and density by functional group and ground cover measurements for rangeland research projects.
Locate individually marked bunchgrasses using a handheld GPS unit and apply various defoliation regimes to marked plants.
Collect visual obscurity and vertical vegetation density measurements.
Collect transect and ground photos using repeat photo-monitoring protocols.
Collect vegetation biomass samples within small plot frames (1.0 m2) for grazing monitoring and research. Dry and weigh biomass samples to determine cattle utilization in various pastures.
Collect songbird density and nest success data by conducting point count and nest transect surveys, monitoring success of located nests, and installing and maintaining automated audio recorders.
Participate in creation of utilization curves for various native bunchgrass species.
Monitor cattle utilization in experimentally manipulated pastures.
20% - Research/monitoring study design implementation and plot layout:
Establish and maintain designed research/monitoring projects including:
1. Laying out permanent monitoring transects according to their designed orientation and dimensions.
2. Assigning and applying vegetation treatments as prescribed in a study’s protocols.
3. Constructing and/or maintaining exclosure fencing to protect study integrity from grazing where needed.
4. Interpreting and conducting designed sampling protocols.
5. Maintain treatment application and sampling schedules described within research and monitoring project protocols.
6. Mapping the orientation of study sites and associated sampling plots using GPS and mapping software.
7. Readying datasheets, sampling equipment, other field equipment and vehicles for fieldwork associated with research/monitoring projects.

10% - Data entry and summarization:
Use portable tablets to collect data directly into Excel and import datasheets into an established Access database and/or enter collected vegetation cover, ground cover, visual obscurity, and vegetation biomass data into Excel spreadsheets. Organize data into a structure that facilitates data graphing, summarization, and analysis.
Summarize collected data in preparation for statistical analysis and for displaying the information in research reports and scientific manuscripts.
Organize spreadsheet, photo, mapping, and other project files into a project-specific structure that facilitates efficient location and access of needed files.
Desired Qualifications
1. Courses or experience in natural resources, botany, plant science, or related field.
2. Experience/training in field identification of plant species.
3. Experience/training in vegetation sampling techniques, such as line-point intercept, biomass sampling, visual obscurity estimation with Robel pole, and transect and ground photo monitoring.
4. Experience/training in songbird point counts, nest transects or experience with automated audio recorders
5. Experience living or working in rural/remote locations
6. General knowledge of computers and skills for use of word processing and data entry.
7. Demonstrated commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity.
8. Ability to carry out tasks independently and part of a team.
9. Must possess a current, valid driver’s license. Driver’s license required to commute to remote research/demonstration project locations. Finalists for this position will be required to obtain their driving history for the past 3 years from the issuing state’s Dept. of Motor Vehicles. Offers of employment are contingent upon a satisfactory driving history and possession of a valid driver’s license.
10. Must be able to pass a criminal history check.

Please submit a cover letter and resume to with Student Technical Assistant in the subject line by March 20th, 2017 for full consideration. Applications accepted through April 15th for a target start date of May 15th, 2017.
Contact Person
Vanessa Schroeder
Contact Phone
Contact eMail
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