High-Altitude Ecology & Physiology Field Technician — Rocky Mountains

University of Montana
Idaho Springs, Colorado
Job Category
Volunteer Openings
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
The Cheviron Lab is seeking two field technicians for assistance on a long-term demographic study on high-altitude mammals in the Colorado Rockies. The project is aimed at understanding the physiological and genomic underpinnings of high-altitude adaptation in deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus). We maintain three separate plots along the Mount Evans highway, each at a different elevation (2400m, 3000m, 4350m). The aim is to catch and process thirty mice from each plot over ~5 consecutive trapping days (weather permitting) before moving on to the next site. Technicians are expected to: - Aid in the setup of the trapping grid (200-330 traps) for each of the three sites - Check traps in the mornings, and open traps in the evenings - Handle live deer mice - Assist in measuring an array of physiological and morphological traits - Help set up field equipment as needed - Participate in housekeeping chores, including cooking, cleaning, and shopping Work is scheduled to start June 3 and last for about three weeks, depending on the weather. All three members of the field team will stay in the University of Denver High-Altitude field station on Mount Evans. The field station is rustic, but has basic amenities including hot water, electricity, beds, and Wi-Fi. Note: This is a volunteer position; however, all food, housing, and travel expenses are covered by the Cheviron lab (i.e. you will not have to spend any of your own money to perform the duties required).
Experience with Sherman traps/small mammal handling is a plus, but not a requirement. But applicants MUST be in good physical condition, i.e. able to hike long distances in steep, rocky terrain while carrying heavy equipment. Some familiarity with high-altitude environments (10,000 ft and up) is crucial. Weather in the mountains can change rapidly: spring at high-altitude can range from summer to winter-like climates. Applicants are expected to provide their own gear, clothing, and footwear in preparation for this. Successful applicants are passionate about science, independent, good-natured, and able to share close living quarters with other researchers. Trapping days can be a grind, especially when the weather is poor. Some of the field sites require navigation over treacherous terrain, often while carrying 20-40 lbs of traps. Motivation, and a strong work ethic are assets in this position. Priority will be given to applicants that live near the field site (Denver area). Due to the pandemic, techs must be able to provide proof of vaccination. Masks will be required whenever the crew is in public To Apply: send a resume/CV and a short description (1 paragraph max) of your motivations for applying to this position to ryan1.mahar@umontana.edu
Contact Person
Ryan Mahar
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