Big Cypress fox squirrels (Sciurus niger avicennia) are a state-threatened species endemic to southwest Florida. This position is great for anyone interested in getting involved in wildlife conservation or research. Research assistant will aid in field and lab efforts to provide science-based information on squirrel occurrence and habitat use as part of a University of Arizona PhD research project funded by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Work will primarily be in the field, but some lab work may be required. Field work includes installing and monitoring wildlife cameras, hair snare tubes, and inventorying vegetation and wildlife sign. Research assistant will have the opportunity to work in many unique ecosystems in southwest Florida, primarily including upland pine, hardwood hammock, and cypress swamp. Work will take place in Big Cypress National Preserve, Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest, Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed, Collier County parks and preserves, and Lee County parks and preserves. As such, the candidate will have the opportunity to interact with individuals from multiple local, state, and federal agencies. Conditions in these areas range from dry to swampy and have flora and fauna typical of southwest Florida. 4WD vehicles, UTVs, and canoes will be used to access remote locations. Lab work includes identifying hair samples under a microscope, downloading and analyzing wildlife camera photos, and entering/managing data in either Excel or an Access database.
This is a full-time, 12-week position February 5th-April 27th, 2017. Start and end dates may be somewhat flexible. Field housing is provided on-site at Big Cypress National Preserve and at Dinner Island Ranch Wildlife Management Area. Compensation is $10/hour for a maximum of 40 hrs/week. Primary duty locations will be in Ochopee, FL, which is ~45 minutes from Naples and ~1 hour 20 minutes from Miami, and Dinner Island Ranch Wildlife Management Area near Immokalee, FL.
Candidate must be able to spend long hours in isolated and remote areas sometimes in adverse conditions. Physical ability to hike moderate distances in heat and occasionally through thick vegetation is required. Candidate must also be able to carry at least 20 lbs, work in a team as well as independently, take clear, detailed notes, and conduct themselves professionally when interacting with state and federal employees as well as local citizens. Preference given to candidates with previous experience working in southwest Florida. Familiarity with GPS, map and compass navigation, and data entry into Microsoft Access is advantageous.
If interested, please apply online at https://uacareers.com/postings/23667 and provide the following information:
1) Dates and hours of availability
2) Current resume
3) Three references with e-mail addresses and phone numbers