Field Technician for Wildlife Occupancy Study in East-central Washington

Washington State University, School of the Environment, Pullman, WA
Central/East Washington
Job Category
Temporary/Seasonal Positions
$15.74/hr at 40 hr/week
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
One temporary technician position is available for the 2023 field season to help assess the effects of wildfire in east-central Washington sagebrush steppe habitat in Grant, Douglas, and Lincoln counties. This project will focus on assessing how the sagebrush community of wildlife species (e.g. sage-grouse, black-tailed jackrabbits, pygmy rabbits, sagebrush sparrows, badgers, etc.) are impacted by the fire history of the area. The technician will be expected to work independently and as a team member. The anticipated start date would be in early May. The technician will be responsible for setting up and checking camera traps and point count bird surveys. The technician will also assist in vegetation surveys (e.g., Daubenmire plots, line transects, and Robel pole), pellet surveys, creating basic maps using ArcGIS, data management, photo sorting, as well as other duties as assigned. The technician must be able to work in a fast-paced environment while maintaining a positive outlook and working effectively with a cohesive team. We will be hiking, sometimes long distances, with heavy equipment across challenging terrain and in all weather conditions. Central Washington can be cool and windy in the spring, followed by hot, dry summer days and cool nights. The technician will be staying in a camper trailer or bunkhouse for extended periods when setting out cameras and working in the field (~4-5 days at a time). The technician should be prepared for the possibility of tent camping at times throughout the season. Water for cooking and drinking will be provided, but the technician will be responsible for providing their food as well as personal camping and hiking gear suitable for working in the area. The technician can expect to work early mornings and upwards of 10 hours on busy days. Typical schedules will be Monday through Friday; however, work will occur on some weekends. Field sites will be located away from electricity, running water, and often cell phone service. Gain valuable experience with remote cameras, species identifications, and data management while exploring the sagebrush steppe of central Washington! Pay and Benefits: $15.74 per hour at 40 hr/week with pay periods twice monthly. Workmen's Compensation will be covered by Washington State University. Covid-19 Statement: The technician must abide by WSU's Covid-19 policies and procedures when working and traveling. This includes showing proof of being fully vaccinated. Exemptions are allowed for those with sincerely held religious beliefs and documented medical reasons. Wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing around others is required. To Apply: Please send a cover letter, resume, and three references (email and phone number) in a single PDF document to Kat Burgstahler ( Please also send any questions about the position to Applications will be evaluated as they come in. Therefore, we encourage you to submit your application materials as soon as possible.
Required Qualifications and Skills: • Flexibility to work varying day lengths and adjust to changing schedules. • Ability to carry up to 30lbs over rough terrain and hike up to 10 miles per day • Valid driver's license • High attention to detail • Ability and willingness to travel locally • Comfortable driving four-wheel drive trucks on unmaintained roads • Navigation skills (different types of maps, GPS) • Good work ethic, positive attitude, and the ability to work independently • Undergraduate degree (completed or in-progress*) in Biology, Wildlife Biology, Rangeland Ecology, or a related field *Current undergraduate students must be in their junior/senior year and in good academic standing at the time of application. Desired Qualifications: • Experience working with remote camera trapping and data management. • Bird identification skills (preferably in east-central Washington) • Previous plant identification experience (preferably in east-central Washington) • Camping experience • Experience with pellet and bird survey measuring techniques and vegetation sampling
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