IMMEDIATE NEED! Dr. Clay Nielsen seeks a M.S.-level Graduate Research Assistant to study the impact of raccoon removal on state endangered Blanding's turtle populations in northern Illinois. Research will occur on several study sites where Blanding's turtles are being reintroduced or supplemented. Although raccoons will be removed by outside agencies, the graduate student will design trapping efforts and analyze resulting data to provide guidance for raccoon removal programs. Raccoon removal efficacy will be monitored using camera traps before, during, and after trapping. Working with project collaborators at Northern Illinois University who are tracking radiomarked Blanding's turtles, the graduate student will link raccoon occupancy with turtle radiolocation data to assess factors affecting spatiotemporal overlap. Primary field work will include camera trapping and measurement of habitat variables; data will be analyzed using occupancy modeling techniques. This is a large, well-funded research effort involving multiple collaborators at other universities and natural resource agencies. The successful applicant also will work closely with a Ph.D. student on the project who assess pathogens in raccoons collected during removal operations. I need to fill this position IMMEDIATELY; the successful applicant will begin as a technician in January 2022, fieldwork commences in March, and transition to M.S. student status will occur in June.
The successful applicant will have: (1) obtained a B.S. degree in wildlife, ecology, biology, forestry, zoology, or related fields; (2) applicable field skills including camera trapping and habitat measurements; (3) a driver's license and ability to carry heavy gear long distances in difficult field conditions; (4) exceptional quantitative skills and experience with occupancy modeling; (5) strong oral and written communication skills; and (6) an ability to work both independently and within a team framework with project technicians and fellow graduate students in a highly-productive research laboratory. Interested parties should email a cover letter, CV (with GPA and GRE scores included), writing sample, and list of 3 references IMMEDIATELY.