Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. (WEST), a dynamic, medium-size consulting firm with offices across the United States and Canada, is looking for an individual experienced with both scent detection and wildlife study design to help grow our detection dog program. This position will preferably be based in Bloomington, Indiana, but we will consider someone working remotely from a surrounding state. This is a full-time, temporary position with a 90-day probationary period. Upon successful completion of the probationary period, there may be an opportunity to be promoted into a full-time regular position. At this time, the candidate would be offered full time benefits. Since 1990, WEST has grown to be one of the premier environmental and statistical consulting firms in the United States. WEST has a permanent core of professionals with broad experience in basic and applied ecological studies and the sophisticated analysis of natural resource data.
WEST's Bloomington office currently has a team of 12 full time office-based staff and five remote, regionally-based staff members. The Bloomington team includes biologist/ecologists, restoration ecologists, bat biologists, detection dog handlers, Geographic Information System (GIS) technicians, and data management personnel. The office works on a range of projects, primarily in the wind and solar industries.
WEST’s detection dog program continues to grow and this is an exciting opportunity to join a team of 20+ detection dogs and their owner/handlers. Detection dog teams contribute to important wildlife monitoring and research through their work on many projects across the country. The successful candidate will primarily work to ensure fatality monitoring projects in Midwestern states are staffed with qualified detection dog-handler teams trained to WEST’s standards by assisting with recruiting, hiring, evaluations, training, and site visits for multiple, regional wind projects. Because detection dog work is seasonal (primarily late spring through fall), non-detection dog work in the off-season will be required, and may range from non-dog field work requiring travel, to data management, project support, or technical editing, depending on skillsets. The ideal candidate will have experience and expertise in: conducting wildlife surveys, training multiple dogs to find a target odor, and guiding others to train their own dog. They will also have their own suitable candidate dog, able to successfully complete our scent training protocol.
Recruit, hire, train, evaluate and mentor detection dog handler teams for post-construction fatality monitoring surveys at wind projects
Coordinate field deployment logistics for detection dog handler teams
Ability to travel and conduct site visits and fatality monitoring surveys at wind projects using their own suitable candidate dog as needed
Potentially manage field technicians on non-detection dog projects
Conduct field surveys for birds, bats, or other species depending on skillset
Promote safe work practices for dog-handler teams
Assist with accurate data collection, management and report preparation as needed
Promote WEST’s research through assisting in the development of studies suitable for publication in scientific journals, participate in related workshops and conferences, and support business development activities
This is a general description of the functions for this position and is not inclusive of the duties which may be associated with this position.
The successful candidate must be a self-starter who possesses or can obtain:
Certified completion of WEST’s scent detection training protocol; full-time status would begin after successful completion of a probationary field season conducting fatality monitoring at a Midwestern wind project from July 25th – October 15th, 2022
Ownership of a working dog with previous detection experience, or ownership of a dog suitable for training for scent work
If the right candidate does not own a suitable candidate dog, there is an opportunity to work with a trained dog located in the Lafayette, IN area for the fall field season
Prior experience training and using detection dogs (2+ years), preferably for wildlife surveys
Demonstrable knowledge of dog behavior, reward-based training and communication
Excellent communication skills and proven ability to work effectively both independently and in a team-based environment
Previous experience coordinating and providing leadership to small groups
Excellent organizational and prioritization skills including attention to detail, multitasking abilities and the ability to work well under time constraints
Master’s or Bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology or related field preferred; an equivalent degree combined with significant detection dog experience (3+ years) can be substituted
WEST is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for everyone and highly recommends all prospective hires be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to their start date. While WEST does not currently require vaccinations, please be aware that WEST has a mandatory vaccination policy in place should local, state or federal law require vaccinations. Additionally, WEST has certain clients that require all personnel to be vaccinated prior to working on their projects, so individuals will be required to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination prior to working on those projects. As an exception, employees may also request a Medical or Religious exemption from the vaccine requirement and the request must be supported by a doctor for a medical exemption or by a statement from the employee outlining a sincerely held belief to qualify for a religious exemption. Please contact us if you have any questions.
After an offer of employment is made, the candidate must successfully pass a pre- employment background check, drug screening, and a DMV records check that meets WEST’s minimum criteria to operate a motor vehicle on behalf of the company. A valid driver’s license will be required.
WEST provides equal employment opportunities to all individuals regardless of their race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status, genetics, and any protected veteran status, and any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. Further, WEST takes affirmative action to ensure that all individuals are treated fairly, and without discrimination, for recruitment, selection, advancement and every other term and privilege associated with employment.