Island Fox Biologist – California

Institute for Wildlife Studies
San Clemente Island, California
Job Category
Full time Positions
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
Job Description: The Institute for Wildlife Studies (IWS) is seeking a field technician to assist with the San Clemente Island Fox Monitoring and Pathology Program. The program is a multi-faceted, long-term monitoring program that includes live trapping, radio tracking, mortality investigations, veterinary care, data management, and other related tasks. SCI is located 68 miles off the coast of San Diego. Field Technician duties include, but are not limited to: 1. Assisting with the capture and processing of island foxes to collect demographic data; 2. Gathering biological samples for pathology investigations; 3. Administering rabies and canine distemper vaccines to island foxes; 4. Equipping animals with radio collars; 5. Radio tracking approximately 60 sentinel foxes via ground and aerial telemetry; 6. Data entry and management in Access, Excel, and ArcMap; 7. Assisting in the veterinary care of injured or sick foxes. 8. Additional responsibilities include assisting with the day-to-day upkeep of a remote field station and IWS equipment, as well as cooperating with other projects and personnel on the island. SCI is owned and operated by the U.S. Navy as a training facility, and personnel are required to follow protocols and rules established by the Navy and IWS, including a drug-free work and living environment while on federal property. In addition, the Navy and IWS have developed COVID-19 safety protocols that must be followed by IWS employees while on SCI. Hours and Compensation: The work schedule is 10 days on San Clemente Island, and 4 days off-island. Compensation is based on an hourly rate of $15.00 per hour, although scheduled overtime will result in average gross earnings of approximately $3,260 per month. Room and board are provided while working on the island (trailer/bunkhouse; no pets allowed). No off-island housing is provided. Flights on and off the island via a twin-engine aircraft are provided at no cost. Benefits for seasonal employees include employer-paid health insurance and sick leave. Grocery staples are provided while working on SCI, and you will be eligible for a food reimbursement of up to $10.50 per SCI work day. Application Procedure: To apply send a cover letter, resume and names and contact information (including telephone number, email and work address) of at least three professional references as ONE document to Justin Purnell at with the subject line “Seasonal Fox Technician Application”. Applications will be reviewed in the order they are received and we therefore encourage interested parties to apply promptly. Qualified applicants will be identified in November 2020 and the selected candidate should be able to start work in January or early February. The start date may be negotiable for a well-qualified applicant.
Qualifications: We are seeking a hard-working, enthusiastic individual with extensive field experience and a commitment to wildlife conservation. Applicants must have a B.S. degree in wildlife ecology/management or related field. Required experience/qualifications: Trapping and handling mammals, monitoring animals via radio telemetry, data entry and management using Excel/Access, and comfort and experience hiking carrying heavy backpacks over long distances and difficult terrain under a variety of weather conditions. Because this work is conducted on a military installation, all applicants must be citizens of the United States or be covered under a TN NAFTA work visa. Proof of eligibility to work in the United States is required. In addition, the Navy will perform a post-hire background check before issuing a base access credential. Applicants must have (or be willing to acquire before start date) a valid U.S. driver’s license. All employment offers are contingent on the applicant’s insurability with IWS. Applicants will be required to provide information to verify their driving records. Preferred experience/qualifications: ArcGIS experience, basic veterinary care skills, writing and data analysis skills are all plusses. Applicants must have excellent oral and written communication skills. Applicants must be detail-oriented, personable, dependable, and able to perform their duties independently when necessary. Applicants must be capable of interacting in a professional manner with a diverse group of people, including, IWS personnel, military personnel, state and federal agency personnel, and members of other organizations with differing opinions and personalities. Applicants should be comfortable hiking alone for 3–5 miles with a 30–40 pound pack in steep, rocky, cactus-covered terrain and in temperatures ranging from 40–100°F. Applicants should enjoy living as part of a small research community in a busy field station, interacting with biologists working on other projects, and working with military personnel and members of other organizations who may have varying missions, opinions, and personalities. Additionally, applicants must be willing to participate in the day-to-day upkeep of the field station, including cleaning of work vehicles and shared kitchen/office space. Employees work 10 days on SCI, and then take 4 off (on the mainland). Additional information regarding IWS research on SCI is available on the IWS website (
Contact Person
Justin Purnell
Contact eMail
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