Wolf Technician, Kalispell, Montana

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Kalispell, Montana and surrounding region
Job Category
Temporary/Seasonal Positions
$20.44 hourly
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
This is a 6 month job, it will not fit within a summer between college semesters (required dates May 1 - November 1) and requires several years of wildlife technician experience, especially with scouting and tracking wildlife, setting and monitoring survey cameras, navigating a 4x4 vehicle independently with occasional hiking in remote field locations in "carnivore country" and interacting with the public around the contentious topic of wolves. Applicants must complete the application on the State of Montana website to apply, which includes 3 supplemental questions that must be answered and uploaded on the site. Do not email resumes and applications to the contact person. Full description on the website. Summary: This position is challenging, requiring self-motivation, advanced mental and physical stamina, and good decision-making skills. The applicant must be comfortable working alone in remote areas with the full complement of Western wildlife. The applicant must possess the ability to use or learn to use bear spray, which must be carried at all times when in the field. The Wolf Technician will conduct fieldwork for wolf monitoring and GPS-collaring activities that require extreme flexibility of work schedules, frequent travel within the region, driving for long periods of time, hiking in remote areas, and lifting heavy objects up to 50 pounds. Working conditions are routinely hazardous. Exposure to potentially harmful animals, chemical agents and offensive sights and sounds are routine. Extreme caution and rigorous protocol must be followed to prevent exposure to serious injury indoors and outdoors. Exposure to outdoor hazards such as severe weather during extensive foot travel while carrying heavy packs in rough and remote terrain, use of a four-wheel drive truck, and bicycles is possible. The Wolf Technician will be expected to follow direction from the Wolf Specialist, and at times use her/his own judgement in prioritizing and completing daily tasks independently and in a timely manner. Frequent public contacts include a diverse community of people ranging from landowners, hunters and wildlife enthusiasts with differing concerns and views on wolves and wildlife in general. As a result, good conflict resolution skills and an ability to effectively interact with the public is necessary. The Wolf Technician will work closely with the Wolf Specialist and must possess good communication skills and be proactive in providing feedback on field activities. The Wolf Technician is expected to work successfully both independently and in a team setting. Lodging accommodations in the field will be varied and may consist of staying in cabins, camper trailers or tents for extended periods of time. A work vehicle will be provided. No vehicle will be provided for the incumbent when off duty. The position is based out of Kalispell although most field work will be conducted in a variety of locations throughout northwestern Montana. This requires that the Wolf Technician maintain flexibility in work schedules and spend extended periods of time away from their home base. Field work involves extended days in the field, up to 14 days during any given work hitch, requiring the ability to stay in the field at overnight accommodations during that time. This position will last up to 6 months, with most work hours occurring during spring, summer, and fall months. There will be no work during the winter months, approximately November through April. Candidate must be able to work long days, up to 12 hours, with a flexible and varied schedule including weekends and nights in sometimes adverse environmental conditions. Work schedules will loosely be 10 days on followed by 4 days off, but may vary as needed by demands of the job, especially while running traplines for weeks at a time. Kalispell, in Northwest Montana, is in a diverse landscape with numerous mountain ranges, lakes, streams and river valleys. Outdoor recreation is a major activity for residents of this area. Please note that housing costs have risen in the area recently, so people are encouraged to search for rental possibilities before determining if they should apply. Job Duties: The Wolf Technician will conduct projects addressing statewide wolf management priorities, both under the direct supervision of the Wolf Specialist, and independently. This work largely consists of scouting surveys along back roads for wolf scat and tracks to determine presence, and setting survey cameras to monitor the population. Several months will include extensive time setting and checking traplines to place GPS and radio­ collars on wolves for monitoring survival/mortality, observations of movements and behavior, reproductive performance, and the collection of biological samples. Routine job duties require proficiency with GPS, compass, telemetry, and map orienteering to monitor wolf activity. The technician will capture, chemically immobilize, and tag wolves with VHF and/or GPS transmitters, monitor survival and movements of radio­ collared animals from the ground, release incidentally captured nontarget species, and other field-related tasks. The Wolf Technician will collect biological samples from animals, including blood, hair, tissue, scat, or skeletal parts, and may investigate mortality sites of animals. The Wolf Technician will maintain organized field notes and data forms, and analyze the data collected to interpret information for reports used in making program decisions. The Wolf Technician will be responsible for troubleshooting and solving basic problems they encounter during fieldwork, while respecting the plans made for them by the supervising Wolf Specialist as well as the limitations of their equipment and abilities. The Wolf Technician will be responsible for ensuring data is collected responsibly. Animal handling activities will be conducted professionally and ethically, demonstrating respect for captured animals. The Wolf Technician will interact with the public and coworkers in a professional manner, respecting differences of opinion and seeking to resolve conflicts in an equitable manner. The Wolf Technician will work with the public, landowners, hunters, university personnel, federal and state land managers, non-profit organizations, and the media to coordinate projects. This job demands respect for and excellent sociability with teammates and the public.
The knowledge, skills, and abilities of this position are normally attained through combination of education and experience equivalent to a minimum of two years of college work towards a Bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology, fish and wildlife management, animal ecology, biology, or a closely related field and related work experience. Combinations of education and experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Required knowledge, Skills and Abilities: *Basic knowledge and understanding of biology, animal ecology, anatomy and population dynamics will be required. *Training in and some ability to conduct surveys and perform radio telemetry is required. *Knowledge of the safe collection of blood, tissue, or other samples form animals is preferred. *Knowledge of animal handling is required. *Good organizational and time management skills are needed as well as the ability to accurately collect and record data. *Introductory knowledge of computer applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, and database management applications are required. *Applicants must demonstrate an ability to work with professional biologists, agency staff and the public. Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, are required. *Introductory map-reading skills and familiarity with map coordinate systems are required. *Experience with use of telemetry equipment and OPS units are required. *Applicants must have a valid drivers license and be able to operate a four-wheel drive vehicle on difficult remote roads. **The ability to work effectively and safely both as a team and independently without supervision in potentially hazardous conditions is expected.
Contact Person
Brianna Johnson
Contact Phone
Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.