Stream Ecology Student Technician Positions – Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon

Oregon State University and NCASI
Corvallis, Oregon, USA
Job Category
Undergraduate Assistantships
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
-Important Notes- Applicants must be enrolled in an academic institution during Summer 2021 to apply. Housing accommodations in Corvallis will NOT be provided by the project and must be secured prior to the field season. Crews will be camping during the week mostly, but operations are based out of Corvallis. Be sure to also fill out the Google Form ( in addition to completing the application and submitting a resume through the OSU portal. -Description- This recruitment will be used to fill multiple part-time (a maximum of 20 hours per week during academic terms and up to 40 hours during summer break) Student Technical Assistant positions for the Department of Forest Ecosystems & Society at Oregon State University (OSU). Stream ecology field technicians are needed to collect data for a riparian buffer manipulation study implemented on private forest lands in Western Oregon. The objective of the study is to assess how light, mediated by riparian canopy, affects stream ecosystem function. Existing sites are near Corvallis, Veneta, and Astoria, OR but some sampling may occur in other regions of the Coast Range or in the McKenzie River basin in the Cascades. Technicians will work on a crew of 5 surveying small to medium fish-bearing headwater streams. Field work will be supervised by Ashley Sanders, a research assistant for Dr. Ashley Coble, a watershed scientist at the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI) and Dr. Dana Warren, a Forest Ecosystems and Society and Fish and Wildlife professor at Oregon State University. -Position Duties- Routine sampling in headwater streams will encompass many common methods for measuring aquatic abiotic and biotic variables. This includes electrofishing for freshwater vertebrates (fish and salamanders), PIT-tagging fish, sampling for benthic macroinvertebrates, collecting water and benthic algae samples, deploying data loggers, taking hemispherical photos, and measuring habitat geomorphology. Some lab work and data entry will be incorporated throughout the summer as well. Technicians will be responsible for traveling to the field with crew leaders to complete field tasks and return organized samples and complete data. They will also be responsible for taking adequate care of field equipment and organizing gear at the beginning and end of each day. Student employees must abide by all COVID protocols active over the summer, including those imposed by Motorpool for use of the university’s vehicles. -Working Conditions / Work Schedule- All technicians will be able to use waders, wading boots, and camping gear provided by the project. Using personal gear is acceptable if preferred. Because we are working on private forests, hardhats and reflective vests must be worn in the field, which are also provided. Additional recommended field gear includes long sleeve shirts, hats, sunscreen, long socks, breathable pants, and bug spray, but accommodations can be made for students who need assistance in acquiring these materials. Crews will be out of cell phone service for the majority of the day, but will always carry a Garmin inReach device that can send out messages to contacts periodically throughout the day. All crews will be trained in field safety, CPR, and will carry a first aid kit. Field work has various associated risks, including exposure to biting/stinging insects such as wasps, bees, ticks, noseeums, and mosquitoes. There have been incidents with wasp stings in the past, so if you are allergic, it is suggested to be prescribed the appropriate medication before the season begins. Meals will be provided for overnight camping. Dietary restrictions may be accommodated within reason. The schedule will be variable but will mostly allow a 2-3 day weekend. Opportunities to receive internship credit or carry out an independent project for a thesis/paper are available. Eligible students also need to take less than 5 credits summer term to be considered, as students taking 5 or more credits are not allowed to work more than 20 hours per week
-Minimum Qualifications- Employment Eligibility Requirements ( -Additional Required Qualifications- Applicants MUST be comfortable traversing steep, brushy terrain, navigating in remote backcountry settings with heavy backpacks, camping overnight most nights of the week, and working as a team member under a variety of field conditions. They MUST be able to maneuver over slippery surfaces and under prickly overhanging vegetation, often with nuisance insects. Sitting, standing, kneeling, crouching, and the ability to lift up to 40 lbs are required. Applicants must be ready to learn specific scientific protocols that require measuring volumes and distances, and recording this information accurately. This also includes capturing and handling live animals. Above all, applicants must be able to maintain a positive attitude and work with a small group of people for an extended amount of time. This requires communicating effectively and actively contributing to building a healthy, productive and enjoyable work environment. In addition, exhibiting a passion for ecology, environmental sciences, forestry, fisheries biology, etc or interest in pursuing these fields as a career will help applicants immensely in the selection process. This position is designated as a critical or security-sensitive position; therefore, the incumbent must successfully complete a criminal history check and be determined to be position qualified as per OSU Standard 576-055-0000 et seq. Incumbents are required to self-report convictions and those in youth programs may have additional criminal history checks every 24 months. -Preferred (Special) Qualifications- Ability to drive a 4WD truck on dirt roads, troubleshoot electronics, enter data into Microsoft Excel, use ArcGIS, make smart decisions with critical thinking skills, and work independently on tasks once fully trained. Training using data loggers, electrofishing, or experience with any stream ecology methods are a bonus. Any lab or field safety training should be clarified on the resume.
Contact Person
Email Ashley Sanders at with any questions
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