The Monarch Joint Venture is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of monarch butterflies and their habitats. We are recruiting two sets of field technicians to study monarch butterfly breeding habitat on conservation lands this year.
Project 1: is planned for April 15 - September 15 (possible extension to Sep 30), and includes fieldwork from Texas through Minnesota and Wisconsin. Fieldwork begins in Texas, moves northward during summer, and then moves southward for a second season in Texas in early fall. This crew will primarily be on the move and will use camping and hotels for lodging during the project. This project profiles habitat projects supported by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Project 2: is planned to run May 20 - August 30 (possible extension into September), studying projects primarily in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. This project will include repeat visits to conservation sites enrolled in the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Working Lands for Wildlife programs designed to enhance, restore, and protect monarch habitat on private lands.
Positions are full time, approximately 40 hours per week. Field technicians must be able to commit to the full monitoring season (although a week of unpaid leave will be considered). Pay will be $2150-2650/month, depending on experience. Travel costs will be compensated by reimbursement. Field technicians will need to be able to drive long distances in the car and live away from home during the season. Lodging may include hotels, houses (e.g., refuge bunkhouses), or camping.
Technicians will drive to pre-selected sites to perform habitat evaluations, which include describing features of the site, counting monarch host plants (milkweeds) in sampling quadrats, identifying to species and recording data on the frequency of nectar plants, examining milkweeds for monarch eggs and caterpillars, and conducting counts of adult monarchs. Field technicians may need to call and meet with landowners in order to gain access to sites (contact info provided). Field technicians will typically work in teams of two, although occasionally may work on their own. Specific duties include:
1. Training and field season preparation (5%). Learn standard operating procedures for site visits.
2. Field data collection (85%). Visit previously-chosen sites and collect data. Manage calendar of site visits and maintain contact with other MJV staff.
3. Data entry and management (10%). Maintain, organize, and enter field data through tablets and computers. This is done throughout the field season. Data proofing is done periodically or at the end of the season.
Education: Applicants should have or be pursuing a college degree in biology, botany, wildlife, or other related natural resources field. Coursework or experience in identifying prairie plants and insects a plus.
Essential Skills: Field technicians must be able to work independently but also collaborate closely with a partner, must have a valid driver’s license, and be willing to work long days driving and collecting plant and insect data in all types of weather conditions. They must be comfortable interacting with private landowners and available to spend overnights in distant locations. The position requires excellent verbal communication skills and the ability to enter data accurately onto a mobile device as well as a computer.
Desired Skills: Experience monitoring plant and insect distribution and abundance. Knowledge of North American milkweed species (ability to recognize common and uncommon species in the field), and blooming nectar plants. Experience with GIS.
Applications accepted on a rolling basis, but consideration will begin on February 28, 2019. To apply, send a cover letter, resume/CV, and contact information for two references. Your cover letter should indicate the position(s) for which you would like to be considered, your interest in the position(s), your qualifications, and how it fits into your educational or career goals. Contact Laura Lukens firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and to submit your application.