Predator Biologist: Southern California

Institute for Wildlife Studies
San Clemente Island, California, USA
Job Category
Full time Positions
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
The Institute for Wildlife Studies (IWS) is seeking highly motivated applicants for a Predator Biologist position on San Clemente Island, California. This is a full-time position beginning in February 2021. Primary duties of this position include, but are not limited to: 1. Lethal control of non-native predators (feral cats and black rats) and non-lethal management of native predators (island foxes). 2. Nighttime hunting of predators, by vehicle and on foot 3. Safe use of firearms 4. Trapping for removal of non-native predators 5. Rat management including trapping and poisoning 6. Nest camera installation on ESA listed avian species’ nest 7. Trapping, handling, vaccinating, and providing veterinary care for island foxes 8. Data entry, data analysis in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Access 9. Uploading and manipulating GIS data from the field 10. Deployment and management of trail cameras and the associated data SCI is owned and operated by the U.S. Navy as a training facility and personnel will be required to follow established military protocols and rules, including keeping a clean and organized work and living space. The Navy and IWS have stringent Covid-19 safety protocols that must be agreed to and followed by employees while on government and IWS properties. 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 a busy field station, including cleaning work vehicles and shared kitchen/office space. Employees work 10 days on island, and then take 4 off (off island). All employment offers are contingent on the insurability of the applicant by IWS and applicants will be asked to provide information to verify their driving record. In addition, IWS will conduct a pre-hire background check and the Navy will perform a post-hire background check before issuing a base access credential. Additional information regarding IWS research on SCI is available on the IWS website ( Note: No pets are allowed 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/hr, however; scheduled overtime results in average gross earnings of approximately $3,260 per month. Room and board will be provided while working on the island; off-island housing during days off is not provided. Flights on and off the island are provided at no cost. Benefits include employer-paid health insurance, sick leave, paid vacation, paid holidays, and an optional 403(b) retirement plan. Application Procedure: Submit current resume and a cover letter, as a single PDF file, highlighting your experience with weapons and safe firearm usage and any predator management experience. Provide the names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of at least three (3) professional references. No phone inquiries, so please email documents to Greg Gustafson at ( with the subject line “Predator Biologist Application”. Applications will be reviewed as they are received and the position will be filled as soon as a qualified applicant is identified. Application deadline is January 22nd, 2021; however applications will be reviewed as they are received so we encourage interested parties to apply promptly. Ideally, qualified applicants will be identified during January of 2021, and the selected candidates should be eligible to begin work in February of 2021. However, for a well-qualified candidate the start date may be negotiable.
Required Qualifications: Candidates should have a B.S. or more advanced degree in Wildlife Management or a related field. Candidates must have extensive experience in the safe use of firearms which includes hunting experience. Safety is of utmost importance to the Navy and IWS. Please do not apply if you lack firearm experience. Candidates should be familiar with the safe operation of various hand and power tools. Experience operating ATV's and full-sized, 4-wheel-drive trucks over rocky and muddy roads is required. Employment is conditional upon insurability with IWS, so a clean driving record is essential. This position requires considerable hiking, including hauling materials and equipment to and from remote sites of up to 40 lbs. Applicants should be sure-footed, safe, and be comfortable hiking long distances in steep, rocky, cactus-covered terrain. Experience using trail cameras is a plus. The Predator Biologist will need to maintain a professional attitude at all times while working with Institute staff and members of other organizations including San Diego State University, San Diego Zoo, and the U.S. Navy who may have varying missions, opinions, and personalities. Preferred Qualifications: Proof of National Rifle Association Certifications in rifle, shotgun and pistol shooting; experience with program “R” and/or GIS; and current rabies vaccination are all plusses.
Contact Person
Greg Gustafson
Contact eMail
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