This is a year-round research technician position lasting 5-9 years that will focus on elk research in Montana. Fieldwork will occur across the state and be focused in central and eastern Montana during the first 2-years. The position is approximately 70% office and 30% fieldwork, although during some portions of some years up to 100% of the position will be fieldwork. Strong analytical, communication, and field skills are required. New research priorities may necessitate a change in duty station in the future.
This position will focus on evaluating elk habitat and population dynamics across Montana, including nutrition, climate, disease, predation, and human impacts on habitat and population dynamics. This position will focus on data collection, management, and professional- level analysis, under the direction of the Research Wildlife Biologist. The incumbent will enter and manage ecological/biological data using standard software and existing databases and will conduct professional level analyses of biological data using statistical software packages. The incumbent will determine appropriate habitat, weather, and land use data variables to use in analysis of interrelationships with survival/mortality, reproductive, and population size data. The incumbent will produce written and oral reports to the project leader, cooperators, and the public. The incumbent will also prepare or assist in preparing manuscripts submitted to professional, peer-reviewed journals. Reports and professional papers will often be cooperative efforts among a variety of researchers within the agency and in other organizations.
The incumbent will facilitate the logistics of conducting field research, including purchasing and maintaining a variety of equipment, scheduling field efforts, traveling widely across much of the state, and working cooperatively with a wide variety of contacts and collaborators. The incumbent will represent the Wildlife Research & Technical Services Bureau and FWP in public education and outreach, professionally represent FWP in a variety of situations and to a variety of people interested in the assigned research projects. This will include landowners, hunters, University personnel, state and federal agency personnel, FWP staff, the media, and the general public. These contacts will be made in the field during the conduct of field work as well as during prescheduled workshops and meetings.
The demonstrated ability to work effectively as part of a scientific research team is required. Basic knowledge and understanding of biology, animal ecology, anatomy and population dynamics will be required. The ability to conduct aerial surveys and perform radio telemetry is required. A demonstrated dedication to collecting rigorous scientific data in remote and challenging field conditions is required. Knowledge of biological sample collection and handling procedures applicable to ungulates and previous experience in the capture of adult and newborn ungulates are preferred. Good organizational and time management skills are required as well as the ability to accurately collect and record data. Knowledge of computer applications such as statistical and analytical software packages, word processing, spreadsheet use, and database management are required. Skill in management of large, complex datasets and statistical analysis of biological data is necessary. Applicants must demonstrate ability to work with professional biologists, other research assistants and the public. Communication skills, both written and verbal, are required. Experience with and a demonstrated skill in technical writing is preferred. The ability to work with and understand spatial data is required. Basic map reading skills and familiarity with map coordinate systems are required. Experience with ESRI GIS software is preferred. Experience with use of telemetry equipment and GPS units are preferred. Previous experience in the safe collection of blood, tissue, or other samples from animals is preferred. An interest in vegetation sampling is needed, and previous experience with such preferred. Applicants must be able to operate a four-wheel drive vehicle. Experience with snowmobiles and winter field work is preferred. The ability to work without supervision in potentially hazardous conditions is expected.
Bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology, fish and wildlife management, animal ecology, biology, or a closely related field is required. 1-2 years’ experience conducting field research is required. Experience or the ability to learn MS Access, GIS, and Program R is required. Other combinations of education and experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis.