Mojave Desert Tortoise Biologists-Nevada

SNEI Biological
Las Vegas, Nevada and the surrounding Mojave Desert
Job Category
Full time Positions
Paid training starting at $12 to $15 per hour depending upon experience during training.
Last Date to Apply
SNEI, based out of Las Vegas NV., is an industry leader in desert tortoise monitoring and mitigation services for over 26 years. We are expanding our team and seeking to hire qualified field biologists to join our spring desert tortoise training program that are willing to commit to SNEI for the 2018 field season at a minimum. We prefer to train biologists that plan to stay with SNEI for 2 years to 5 years plus. The desert tortoise is federally protected under the Endangered Species Act and was federally listed as a Threatened Species in August 1989. The training program is 30-40 hours/week until trainees are submitted for review and receive desert tortoise monitor authorization status from the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDF&W) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). This training usually takes 4 to 6 months to complete. The training program focuses on desert tortoise behavior and ecology, USFWS desert tortoise handling protocols, USFWS biological opinions and CDF&W incidental take permits, construction monitoring protocols and techniques, Mojave desert plant identification, Mojave desert reptiles identification, and small sections on sensitive mammals and birds. The training is 95% field excursions learning desert tortoise behavior and ecology, plants and reptiles, and shadowing (field training with) certified field biologists on utility projects, and 5% classroom with regular quizzes and tests. As a desert tortoise biologist, you will perform desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) surveys and construction monitoring in the Mojave Desert. Biologists are present on construction sites (pipelines, electrical transmission lines, solar projects, wind farms, etc…) making sure workers are desert tortoise educated and that they do not harm this federally threatened species. Most of our work involves desert tortoise construction monitoring. However, this work could also include avian, Utah prairie dog, Mojave fringe-toed lizard, flat tailed horned lizard, burrowing owl, invasive weeds, rare, sensitive, and endangered plant surveys, etc. For those looking for long-term employment, you can eventually become Authorized Desert Tortoise Biologists, meaning federally and state certified to handle desert tortoises, typically taking 2 or 3 years of training and experience, after meeting US Fish and Wildlife Service qualifications in Nevada and California. All SNEI biologists are expected to work the project’s schedule. Our crews typically work overtime (over 40 hrs/wk), and frequently work weekends as needed. SNEI pays time and a half for overtime worked. We work outside in all types of conditions: extreme heat (120 degrees F), relentless sunshine, but also in cold, rain, and very windy conditions. Our team must complete field surveys on tight schedules and must mirror construction schedules during the construction phases of projects. These schedules tend to be last minute and change often; therefore our biologists need to be very flexible in order to meet the needs of our clients. If you are adaptable, knowledgeable, hard working, and willing to go at a moments notice, SNEI might be the right firm for you. THERE IS SIGNIFICANT OPPORTUNITY FOR UPWARD PROMOTION – We have significant project opportunity and we are building our team. Desert Tortoise Monitor certification is the first level of state and federal certification to work with the federally threatened desert tortoise. The second level of approval is CDF&W, USFWS and BLM Authorized Desert Tortoise Biologist (Authorized Desert Tortoise Handler) and there are further state and federal certifications and approvals for conducting health assessments, affixing radio transmitters, collecting blood samples, implanting transponders, radio tracking and relocating desert tortoises, California Designated Biologist (as a projects Lead Biologist), Field Contact Representative (FCR), and more. **After training is complete and Desert Tortoise Monitor certification is achieved, Biologist I’s can earn $14 to $17 per hour in regular pay. Biologist I’s and Biologist II’s receive additional compensation of $30 per day for per diem (living expenses & meals) and $3 per hour for California travel pay when working on billable utility projects in California and staying overnight in California in lodging provided by SNEI. **Biologist II’s - must have Desert Tortoise Monitor approval by CDF&W and BLM, and 1 year of construction monitoring experience. They get first level benefits and can choose to enroll in SNEI’s medical and dental insurance, or choose 2 weeks paid vacation and 6 paid holidays. Biologist II’s can earn between $45,000.00 and $60,000.00 annually. **Biologist III’s - After a biologist receives Authorized Biologist certification from CDF&W and USFWS (Authorized as a Desert Tortoise Handler – usually 2 or 3 years of project experience and training) they qualify for Biologist III. Senior Biologists (Biologist III’s) can earn between $60,000.00 and $85,000.00 annually with benefits including enrolling in SNEI’s medical and dental insurance, 2 weeks of paid vacation, 6 paid holidays, and 401K with a 4% match. **Biologist IV’s Lead Biologists and Biologist V’s Directors must have Authorized Biologist certification and be capable of taking the Lead Biologist role on large projects. They can and do earn in excess of $100,000.00 annually with benefits.
Qualified applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree in a science or related field such as conservation biology, biology, wildlife management, environmental science, ecology, animal science, botany, etc. Applicants must be able to tolerate standing and/or walking while monitoring heavy construction machinery for 12 hours or more in a single day. Must be able to work outdoors in all types of conditions, including extreme heat conditions of up to 120 degrees F for extended periods of time. Must be able to walk 10-15 miles per day, sometimes over rough terrain. Must be able to work and communicate well with others and be a team player. Applicant must be able to relocate to Las Vegas, Nevada. Housing near our Las Vegas office is NOT PROVIDED; therefore applicants must find their own housing and have their own personal transportation to and from SNEI’s office. SNEI will provide accommodations when working away from the general vicinity of Las Vegas. Work vehicles are provided for fieldwork to and from the work sites. Knowledge and the ability to drive 4WD vehicles over rough terrain is a plus (DMV driving record for past 3 years required). Applicants must be self-motivated, have a strong work ethic, and be enthusiastic about conservation. Also, applicants must be well organized and detail oriented. Lastly, knowledge with GPS, especially with a Garmin GPSmap 60CSx, is preferred. Qualified applicants should submit a brief cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references to
Contact Person
Carey Carlos
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