Paid Research Internship — Burmese Python Field Research in the Greater Everglades: snake telemetry in Florida
University of Florida and U.S. Geological Survey
Big Cypress National Preserve, Ochopee, Florida
$10-11/hr plus shared field housing
Last Date to Apply
(positions open until filled by highly qualified candidates)
We are accepting applications for biological research interns to join the team conducting high-quality research on invasive reptiles (primarily Burmese pythons) in South Florida, in Big Cypress National Preserve with some work in Everglades National Park. These positions primarily entail outdoor field work with some laboratory and data management work. The biological research internships will last approximately 12 months and will start as early as mid April 2022 or as soon as possible. Start dates may be extended for highly qualified candidates. This is a re-advertisement with updated deadlines for a previous posting.
Interns will be responsible for:
1) Conducting visual surveys, radio-tracking, observing, handling, marking, and sampling pythons, tegus, and/or other reptiles in South Florida while collecting high quality, standardized, and detailed data
2) Euthanizing, necropsying, and collecting morphometric measurements and samples from invasive reptiles found across South Florida
3) Monitoring and maintaining camera surveillance and live trapping equipment and data
4) Carefully collecting, entering, and ensuring scientific quality of all data
5) Maintaining any captive animals, vehicles, laboratory, field, shared housing, and office spaces
6) Working with collaborators and helping with various project needs as they arise (e.g., assisting NPS rapid response efforts if new exotic species are detected, supporting or conducting outreach, assisting with preparation of proposals and reports, etc.).
7) Other miscellaneous project duties that may arise to accommodate research needs
These internships are excellent opportunities for biologists to cultivate field research, collaboration, and leadership skills and build their CVs. There will be many opportunities to contribute to project protocols and day-to-day problem solving. These positions are a result of a collaboration between the University of Florida, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the National Park Service (NPS). Previous interns have taken advantage of opportunities provided by collaborators to participate in peer-reviewed research and other interagency research and careers.
Research interns will work as part of a collaborative research team for 40 hours per week and should expect an irregular work schedule consisting of days, nights, weekends, and holidays. Workdays may exceed 8 hours and camping may be required throughout the work week. A living stipend and shared housing in Big Cypress are provided, but relocation funds are not available, and pets are not allowed. Interns will also be expected to routinely stay consecutive nights in a house or travel trailer that is situated closer to some of our field operations in Everglades National Park or Big Cypress National Preserve. Health insurance benefits may be available at cost through the University of Florida.
Applicants must be U.S. citizens, speak English, and able to pass a U.S. Department of the Interior background check (start date may be postponed if the candidate does not complete the hiring paperwork in a timely manner). A valid U.S. driver's license, a clean driving record, and a personal vehicle (to commute to and from work) are required. Applicants must have a relevant bachelor’s degree, a strong work ethic, and meticulous data-collection skills. Applicants should be very comfortable working in extremely hot, humid, and buggy conditions, be confident and willing to learn to handle large reptiles, and be able to think/work independently and as part of a cohesive team. A good sense of humor, positive attitude, strong interpersonal skills, and ability to be flexible and work efficiently in fast-paced environments are essential.
The ideal candidate will have paid work experience outside university (in any field) and experience collecting and managing data, doing fieldwork, using handheld GPS units, driving UTVs and 4WD vehicles, conducting radiotelemetry, and identifying/capturing/caring for reptiles. Experience living/operating in remote settings out of tents or travel trailers and trailering are also a plus.
Please send a cover letter (no more than 1 page) and a resume or CV that includes contact information for 3 references to: email@example.com. We also strongly encourage applicants to include an optional written statement (no more than 1 page) about why diversity in the workplace is important to them. Please provide your application as a single PDF with a file name that begins with your last name (e.g., “AndersonInternApplication2020-09-19.pdf”). Attention to detail in the applications will be considered during the selection process.