JOIN BLACK ROCK FOREST!
Black Rock Forest (BRF) is a growing environmental non-profit organization with programs in research, education, and conservation. The organization's facilities, including offices, labs, classrooms, and a lodge, are located in the 3,920-acre Forest of the same name in Cornwall, NY. BRF has a staff of 15 and functions as a biological field station with 26 miles of hiking trails and another 17 miles of gated forest roads.
Join us this winter to help execute our Hudson Highlands Wildlife Connectivity Project. The goal of this project is to use mammal distribution information (via camera trapping), animal behavior (specifically, bobcats Lynx rufus and eventually fishers Pekania pennanti, via GPS-tracking collars), gene flow (via fecal DNA), wildlife usage rates of under-highway culverts, and road mortality to quantify the negative impacts of roads across the western Hudson Highlands. Our hope is to justify the need for and eventually measure the effectiveness of New York State's first wildlife overpass.
Responsibilities & Opportunities:
The technician will experience a small non-profit and will execute scientific principles for conservation. Duties include camera trap deployments, lure and bait processing, image management, and identification of species within images. Live-trapping efforts will focus on bobcat and possibly fisher, via cage traps and possibly footholds (depending upon experience), requiring daily, morning checks often solo. Dr. LaPoint will lead all animal handling and processing with support from the technician. GPS-tracking collars will be deployed on healthy individuals, thus with some luck, the technician can expect to learn field biotelemetry methods to re-locate collared individuals. Culvert monitoring is principally done during spring through fall, but data-processing exists. Road mortality surveys are done semi-weekly, year-round. Applicants with experience in and enjoy working in program R are highly encouraged as there are many opportunities for exploring existing data sets. Other research opportunities and experiences may present themselves via other ongoing projects at Black Rock Forest.
Timeline & Compensation:
40-hour weeks, from December through late April 2023. Exact start/end dates are flexible. Limited extension possible, funding dependent. Hours and duties vary weekly. We offer $15/hour wage, slightly more for highly qualified individuals. We expect to provide free housing, but if this is not possible, we will increase the hourly wage to compensate for housing costs; details tbd. The technician will receive a 1099-misc at the end of the year for their tax purposes.
Additional Information & How to Apply:
At BRF we value diversity, in our ecosystems and in our organization. We are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplace and in our science, education, and conservation. We strongly encourage applications from underrepresented group members as we seek to diversify and strengthen our organization, science, and society.
To apply, visit https://www.blackrockforest.org/employment-opportunities/#Wildlife. Upload a single pdf containing a cover letter and your resume. Your one-page cover letter should explain your motivation for joining our project and a description of your interests in wildlife research and conservation. Your resume should include details on relevant field experience and/or coursework. References will be requested for final candidates.
Email Dr. Scott LaPoint (slapoint AT blackrockforest.org) with any questions.
- enthusiasm for carnivore conservation and science and willingness to learn new ideas, strategies, and methods for conducting wildlife ecology research,
- be self-motivated, reliable, diligent, and punctual,
- be outdoorsy; i.e., enjoy hiking/working alone, possibly under strenuous conditions, navigate and orientate, and read a wildlife landscape,
- previous experience capturing and handling small and medium carnivores,
- familiarity with camera trapping,
- knowledge of local wildlife,
- possess a clean driver's license (for using company vehicle) and personal transportation to/from work,
- be comfortable navigating forest roads via an atv or utv or willing to become so,
- be an effective communicator, both within the research team and the public, including a willingness to seek clarity when needed.
An ideal candidate will have demonstrated past success in catching bobcats with foothold and/or cage traps.