The Ya Ha Tinda Elk and Predator Project is a collaborative research effort between the University of Montana, University of Alberta, Banff National Park, and Alberta Environment and Parks. This project is the longest running elk research project in North America with over 17 years of data on elk movement, migration, and reproduction. The main goal of the study is to monitor adult elk survival and cause-specific mortality, reproduction, and migration to understand differences in fitness between migratory and resident elk. In 2018, the Ya Ha Tinda Elk and Predator Project expanded its research to include male elk and for the next 3 years will be monitoring male elk survival, migration, and habitat selection. For more information about the research project visit our website http://www.umt.edu/yahatinda/.
We plan to hire a technician to take over the data collection at the field site starting August 1st, 2018 for a period of 6 months. After the initial 6 months, we will consider this technician for a longer-term appointment with the opportunity to stay on the project for up to 3 additional years pending funding. As with most field-based research positions, this job will require >40 hours a week and limited time off during field intensive periods of the year.
The technician will monitor adult elk survival using VHF telemetry and conduct herd observations to monitor cow: calf ratios and cow-calf resight to monitor the reproductive success of collared females. Additionally, the technician will investigate adult mortalities and wolf kill sites, conduct vegetation sampling, and communicate with hunters to collect data on harvested elk. The potential to assist in captures during late winter will exist depending on qualifications. This position will require the supervision of at least 1 volunteer during the winter as well as 1-2 volunteers/technicians during the summer. The technician will also be in charge of data entry, sample management, and data analysis to assist in reporting to agencies and publish research findings. This position requires 75% of the time to be spent at the Ya Ha Tinda Ranch where housing will be provided. The remaining 25% of the time (data entry, analysis, and reporting) can be done at a home office or at the University of Alberta, Edmonton in the lab of Dr. Evelyn Merrill. The field site is relatively remote (~1.5 hour drive from the nearest town) and the provided housing is shared with Parks Canada staff.
Start Date: Ideally 08/01/2018
Preferred applicants will have a Bachelor’s degree directly related to the wildlife and/or will have related field experience with at minimum one year of ungulate research experience including mortality site investigation and radio-telemetry. We can only hire Citizens of the United States or applicants who can and must obtain a TN Visa (Canadian or Mexican Citizens). See https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/tn-nafta-professionals for information about qualifying for and obtaining this Visa.
Related work Skills:
Preferred applicants will have experience conducting vegetation surveys, using radio-telemetry to locate animals, investigating mortality sites, and hiking in grizzly bear country. The applicant must have the ability to enter and manipulate data in Microsoft Access, ArcGIS, and Excel. Preference will be given to those with quantitative skills including the ability to conduct statistical analyses in Program R. Applicants with previous supervisory experience are preferred. All applicants must have a current, valid driver’s license.
The applicant will be expect to work both independently and in groups in inclement weather conditions while maintaining a positive working relationship with other members of the crew as well as Parks Canada staff. Applicant must have a strong work ethic and be self-motivated to accomplish tasks with little to no direct supervision. The candidate should be detailed oriented and must have good oral and written communication skills. The ability to speak professionally to the public including recreationists and hunters alike is paramount.
Applicants must be physically able to hike 15-20 miles per day in mountainous terrain, have the mental and physical strength to camp in the backcountry for multiple days, and hike carry up to 40 lbs.
In a single document (Word or PDF) please include:
1) Cover letter
3) Three professional references
Please submit job applications or any questions you may have regarding the position to: