Field research on rattlesnakes and kangaroo rats

San Diego State University
Across midwestern North America
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The Laboratory for Animal Behavior Research at San Diego State University is seeking committed, motivated individuals to assist in a field project on prairie rattlesnakes (Crotalus viridis) and Ord’s kangaroo rats (Dipodomys ordii). Field work on interactions between Ord’s kangaroo rats and prairie rattlesnakes will take place from mid-May through mid-August at short-grass prairie sites across the Great Plains of North America. The field crew will travel to three different sites that are located in Texas, Nebraska, and Alberta, Canada. Assistants will help with animal capture, marking, accelerometry methods, radio-tracking, and behavioral observations of free-ranging rattlesnakes and kangaroo rats. This project offers an opportunity to gain experience with common methods used in population, behavioral, and spatial ecology, small mammal trapping, marking and handling of animals, and other basic wildlife behavior and ecology field techniques.
No experience necessary; on-the-job training will be provided. Must be able to hike long distances over rough terrain carrying heavy equipment, work nights and sleep days, conduct patient observations for long periods of time (up to 12 hours/night), and live in a remote area with only basic amenities and limited access to internet and cell phones. A valid passport is necessary. Must be able to work and live comfortably in extremely dry and hot desert conditions, with exposure to rainstorms, hail, large numbers of mosquitos, ticks, flies, and other uncomfortable conditions associated with natural systems. Must be passionate about science, hardworking, independent, good-natured, love working in the outdoors, and able to share close living quarters with other researchers. Room and board are provided. Application: To apply, please send a cover letter and resume (including contact information for three references) detailing your experience and/or interests with field biology, outdoor skills, and animal behavior to Ryan Hanscom ( Applications must be received by March 26th for full consideration, but late applicants may be considered. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email Ryan Hanscom ( For more information about research in the Clark Lab, see
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