[Coral-List] Job Announcement - 2 Technical Scientific Research Assistant Positions; Huinay Scientific Field Station, Chile

Josh Biro josh.biro at gmail.com
Thu Oct 9 09:13:10 EDT 2008

Job Announcement
for the
Huinay Scientific Field Station

Please apply with your CV, cover letter to v.haussermann at gmail.com with CCto
huinayresearch at gmail.com
Applications missing forms will not be considered. Couples welcome.

Position Title: Technical-Scientific Assistant

Employer: San Ignacio del Huinay Foundation

Location: Huinay Scientific Field Station, Comau Fjord, Northern Patagonia,
Chile (the closest major center is Puerto Montt)

Position Type: Contract (1 year minimum)

Closing Date: November 15, 2008

Start Date: February 15, 2009 (Please note Visa requirements will have to be
fulfilled before arrival)

• Starting wage of 400,000 Chilean Pesos per month with a set raise to
450,000CLP per month at 6 months (approximately 775USD and 870USD
respectively) minus local taxes and health insurance of approximately 17%
total.  Based on a 40 hour work week. Days off are flexible.
• Free Room and Board while at the station.  Two of your meals are prepared
for you.
• Free boat transfers to and from the station.
• Free laundry service.
• Rubber Boots.
• Steel-toed Boots.
• Eligibility to participate in the yearly expedition.
There are no living expenses while at the station.

Job requirements:
You should have / be:
• An open, communicative, friendly and nature-loving person with no problem
living in an isolated and often rainy place. You must be able to entertain
• A team player. Have experience with widely varied team dynamics.
• Able to adapt and be flexible to any/new situation and be able to
improvise.  Latin American experience is an advantage.
• Self motivated and self confident. Able to take initiative. Good ability
to see and solve problems.
• Excellent Spanish and English communication abilities.
• A technical understanding and basic skills to take care of laboratory
(microscope, binoculars, aquaria, etc.) and diving equipment (compressor,
tanks, regulators, etc.).
• Knowledge of or interest in invertebrates, as well as their sampling and
• An organized person (it is necessary to keep track of many different
tasks, specimens, a small library etc.)
• Profound diving skills. At least 200 dives, experience with cold-water
(dry suit) diving, diving under difficult conditions and an insurance
coverage for dive accidents (such as DAN). PADI Dive Master, CMAS Gold/***
or a higher dive rating is of advantage.
• Your own diving equipment (excluding weights and tanks). Some other
equipment is available at the station but personal gear is preferred.
• A general scientific, biological (taxonomic) and ecological interest.
Understanding of how to explain projects towards non-scientific visitors and
local institutions. Understanding of the needs of researchers.
• Workable computer skills (WinXP, MSOffice, Internet, etc.). More advanced
computer skills are an advantage.
• Experience in driving power boats (e.g. Zodiacs). A boat license is
necessary but could be completed in Chile.

This position is one of vast potential where you will learn a lot and be
challenged frequently. Duties are ever changing as they are essentially what
are needed for the scientific side of the daily operation at the scientific
station. These duties include but are not limited to:

• Assisting the scientific directors in miscellaneous tasks.
• Assisting and accompanying scientists during their projects in Huinay -
supervising dives and sampling practices.
• Being a contact person for Scientific Visitors and Volunteers – pre-visit
contact, explaining rules and conduct, answering questions, logistics,
distributing and collecting required forms, checking daily life is going
• Maintenance of laboratory and diving equipment - general maintenance,
minor repairs, operating and maintaining the SCUBA compressor.
• Presenting and Representing Huinay – tours to visitors, scientific
• Maintaining on-going projects (meticulously). Maintaining database
• Scientific Samples – collecting, preserving, logging, shipping,
• Supervision and motivation of volunteers and students.
• Purchasing – researching products, receiving quotations, ordering and
tracking, receiving, organizing repairs, issuing complaints if needed.
• Supervision and approval of projects and repairs carried out by external

Please Note – This is not a researcher position. All research carried out
will be under the direction of the Scientific Directors.

Please apply with your CV, cover letter  to v.haussermann at gmail.com with CCto
huinayresearch at gmail.com
Applications missing forms will not be considered. Couples welcome.

Please see our website www.huinay.cl for information on HSFS.

About Huinay:

The San Ignacio del Huinay Foundation is a private entity operating a
biological field station in Chilean Patagonia. The Huinay Scientific Field
Station (HSFS) was inaugurated in 2001 and is situated 100 km south of
Puerto Montt, Chile, in the Comau fjord; it is the only biological station
in any Chilean fjord. The surroundings are characterized by steep mountains
and volcanoes. The almost 6000 mm of annual precipitation gives rise to an
extra-tropical rain forest with extremely lush vegetation. The small village
of Huinay with its approximate 30 inhabitants can only be accessed by a 1
hour boat-trip (speed boat) from Hornopiren. Most infrastructure - except
some small shops and a rural hospital in Hornopiren - is located in Puerto
Montt, a 3 to 4 h drive or bus trip from Hornopiren.
Although the fjords of Chile maintain ecosystems with a very high
biodiversity and biomass, beautiful examples of deep water emergence, and a
long list of new species, knowledge on organisms and ecological functioning
is very poor. The goal of the station is to carry out both our own projects
and attract national and international projects to help fill these existing
gaps. To accomplish this, the station has a dry and a wet laboratory, diving
infrastructure and lodging facilities. We have telephone and internet access
through satellite and power supplied by hydroelectric plant. In charge of
the scientific operation are the Scientific Director, Verena Haussermann and
Scientific Manager, Gunter Forsterra, who are at the station half of the
time. Permanent station staff consists of two scientific-technical
assistants (this position), an administrator, his wife (and assistant), a
boat captain, a yard worker/carpenter and at least one person in charge of
cooking and cleaning. Scientists are visiting throughout the year but most
come between December and April.
Projects involve all kinds of terrestrial and marine basic research.
Currently our main focus is with the marine environment, especially
inventory and ecosystem studies of the fjords. As of January 2009 we will be
distributing our newly completed Chile Marine Benthic Field Guide and
already a second edition is in the works. Another immediate goal is to
establish a local marine protected area, of which there are minimal in Chile
and non in the fjords. The summer season of 2007-2008 marked our busiest
season to date and growth is not expected to stop.

About the Technical-Scientific Research Positions:

This position may be one of the best entry level biology positions out there
in that it gives perfect perspective on the unwritten requirements needed to
succeed as a field biologist. The successful candidates will understand that
flexibility is among the highest attributes for a field station, especially
located in such a remote setting and operating in a Latin culture. The
recorded hours of work are not always the true reflection of the day but
other benefits may outweigh any extra efforts.
A remote four season paradise comes with trade offs and trials. Busy times
pass very quickly but slow times balance the equation and make personal
initiative and self motivation priceless. In every small community the
smooth and reliable operation of the team is the only option for success but
stress and confined space are bound to bring up conflicts. Resolution of
problems and patience with others will promote longevity.
The technical-scientific assistant is the "go-to" person for the station
regarding science on a daily level and is responsible for the maintenance
and well being of all scientific activities. In this position you are both
the boss and the employee, who needs to be able to follow instructions
exactly while leading and motivate others at the same time. Harder moments
of the job include: being assertive and diplomatic in the face of cultural,
language, age, education and political differences; managing many tasks and
people at one time; self organising to remain busy during the "off season"
(don't mistake this for there ever being a lack of work); adapting to delays
and surprises in projects; and all the time keeping personal health and well
being in high priority. Days off may be accumulated when necessary due to
the science schedule which allows for longer trips from the station. Around
the station there are many things to occupy free time as well, such as:
camping, hiking, fishing, bird watching, kayaking, mountaineering and use of
our tiny gym.
The scientific team in Huinay is operating well, therefore the selections
for these positions will weigh heavily on personality as well as ability.
Our team needs people with a desire to be here and will to perceiver. This
is a "stepping-stone" job not an intermediate position en route to better
things. What we offer in return is a learning experience and participation
in important baseline studies which add to and change the view of fjord
regions throughout the world, all the while in possibly the most beautiful
setting you'll ever see. And most importantly a lot of good clean fun!

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