[Coral-List] Buck Island Sea Turtle Research Program Research Assistant Vacancy Announcement 2010

Ian Lundgren Ian_Lundgren at nps.gov
Tue Feb 2 16:47:48 EST 2010

Buck Island Reef National Monument (BIRNM), located on the island of
St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, is seeking applicants for the position
of Sea Turtle Research Assistant (RA) to conduct sea turtle research
and monitoring. This will be the 22nd year of the Buck Island Sea
Turtle Research Program (BISTRP), a long-term monitoring, research and
conservation project supported by the National Park Service (NPS),
Buck Island Reef National Monument. BIRNM is a nesting beach for
hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), green (Chelonia mydas),
leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), and loggerhead (Caretta caretta)
sea turtles.

RAs must be available from June through October (applicant should
state availability in their cover letter) and are expected to stay the
length of the project (specific dates will be identified in phone
interviews). This is a highly competitive project that is physically
and mentally intense, aimed at individuals who want to make
ecology/resource management their career. RAs must work equally
effectively as a team and alone.

RAs will provide assistance to the NPS staff in the collection and
processing of field data. Buck Island’s nesting beaches will be
monitored 7 days/week sundown to sunup, by a joint team of NPS staff
and RAs. Access to the island is by boat only, where there are minimal
facilities. RAs will be trained to meet the high standard of
competency in sea turtle monitoring established in the BISTRP protocol
manual (http://fl.biology.usgs.gov/Seaturtles.pdf). All nesting
turtles will be encountered; biometric data will be collected on
turtles, physical data will be collected on nest locations, and
animals will be tagged (inconel and PIT).  Nests will be excavated to
determine hatch success. Imperiled nests will be relocated as part of
a multi-year research project to determine optimal relocation
methodology. Additionally work on temperature sex determination will
continue in collaboration with researchers from University of Alabama.
This research work will require significant upfront labor and also
include: soil sample collection, temperature loggers, water related
measurements, GPS data collection, and participate in processing
histological samples. RAs will gain an invaluable experience learning
research techniques from NPS biologists and encountering threatened
and endangered sea turtles in a pristine nesting habitat.

Each RA will be scheduled for up to 5 nights on the beach, or 4 nights
and1 day of lab/office work (data entry and sample processing), on a
dynamic schedule. RAs will be responsible for field equipment care and
maintenance. RAs are also responsible for weekly daytime monitoring of
beaches at The Buccaneer Hotel, their residence, recording activities
using GPS. RAs may also conduct outreach to hotel guests. RAs will
write a report at season’s end summarizing turtle nesting activities
at The Buccaneer Hotel. RAs will receive meals and lodging from The
Buccaneer Hotel, and limited reimbursement for incidentals will be
made by the NPS. It is possible that travel costs will be covered by
the NPS; however applicants must expect that this will not happen. It
is critical that applicants seriously consider their finances before
applying to these openings.

Qualifications Required - Must:

·         Communicate effectively in English, orally and in writing
·         Have biology training/background
·         Collect data and maintain records precisely according to
standardized protocol
·         Enter and analyze data (written and computer database format)
·         Be in excellent physical shape
·         Be able to persevere under stressful conditions
·         Work outdoors, day and night in isolated conditions, and in
adverse weather.
·         Walk in the sand up to 10 kilometers/night; climb rocks;
stoop, kneel and stand on soft substrate and in cramped conditions.
·         Have a strong work ethic
·         Be able to work all night and on weekends
·         Be able to lift and move heavy objects
·         Operate communications equipment properly (cell phone,
hand-held VHS radio, marine radio)
·         Be able to swim; crew a boat in open water conditions
·         Have a valid US driver’s license

To apply, send a cover letter stating your interest in and
qualifications for the project, a resume summarizing your experience,
and contact information for three references to the email address
below. Email is preferred, but postal mail/fax is accepted.

 Deadline for application: 5 March 2010

If selected for interview you will be contacted by the end of March,
no need to follow up with a phone call.

Email: Ian_Lundgren at nps.gov
Telephone: 340.773.1460 x 236
Fax: 340.719.1790

National Park Service
C/o Ian Lundgren, Biologist
2100 Church Street, #100
Christiansted, St. Croix, Virgin Islands 00820

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