Small Mammal Field Technicians, Northern Alaska

University of New Hampshire
Toolik Field Station, Utqiagvik (Barrow), and Nome Alaska
Job Category
Temporary/Seasonal Positions
Stipend between $3,000- $5,000, DOE (+Travel expenses, Room and Board)
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
We are hiring 1-2 field technicians from late May to the end of August to assist on a field intensive small mammal trapping project at three locations in northern Alaska: Nome, Toolik Field Station, and Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow)***. This work is part of an interdisciplinary project to understand the impact of small mammal herbivores (voles & lemmings) on carbon and nutrient dynamics in the tundra. The small mammal crew will be led by a graduate student and will monitor population densities using mark-recapture and removal capture approaches and will be responsible for maintaining experimental fence enclosures/ exclosures at each site. At times, the small mammal crew will overlap with other project crews and may assist with vegetation and soil sampling. The field crew will travel between locations every 2 weeks. Fieldwork will involve establishing and running live mark-recapture grids and snap-trapping quadrats, handling small mammals (voles, lemmings, shrews) including taking an ear punch and implanting PIT tags, processing museum voucher specimens, data entry, and repairing fences as needed. Travel expenses, as well as room and board, are covered by the project. Our schedule is dictated by field conditions, so days off must be taken opportunistically, although field technicians can expect one day off per week. There is also an opportunity for a weeklong break mid-season at the technician’s own expense. Field conditions are challenging. This project requires long hours outside being physically active and mentally alert. Technicians must be willing to work from midnight (under the midnight sun) until early morning as necessary. Arctic weather can be unpredictable, and temperatures can range from freezing to warm, and mosquitoes are prolific. We carry bear spray at all times, and in Barrow, a member of the group will carry a gun for polar bear protection. The tundra is uneven, soggy, and difficult to walk on especially when carrying heavy loads. A positive, flexible, adventurous attitude is essential when working in these conditions. *** Due to uncertainty surrounding summer COVID-19 state, town, and research station restrictions, our field schedule will shift as needed to accommodate required quarantine and testing protocols and may not include all site locations. In 2020 we were able to complete a reduced version of the described fieldwork and anticipate significant modifications may be required again this summer.
Candidates should have an interest in small mammal ecology and/or Arctic ecology. The ideal candidate will have small mammal trapping and handling experience, although those with general wildlife handling (and especially PIT-tagging) experience will also be considered. A valid driver’s license is required for this position. Candidates should have experience working in rugged terrain under challenging conditions and must be able to walk for extended periods (up to 10 hours /day) on uneven ground, regularly lift and carry 30 lbs., and above all, have a flexible attitude when plans change last minute. To apply please submit one PDF document titled “Last name_ Alaska Small Mammal Technician 2021” that includes a cover letter addressing (1) your interest in the project and (2) relevant qualifications listed above, as well as a resume and the names and contact information (including phone and e-mail addresses) for three professional references. Please include “Last Name_Alaska Small Mammal Technician 2021” in the email subject line.
Contact Person
Jess Steketee
Contact eMail
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