Seasonal Research Technician Job Announcement 2018

The White Memorial Conservation Center, Inc.

Job Announcement

Job Title:  Wildlife Research Technician (Seasonal)

Job Description:

Job involves working with various wildlife monitoring projects throughout the summer season on a 4000 acre wildlife refuge in northwestern Connecticut.  Projects include with the following organismal groups and are limited to mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates.  Responsibilities include data collection, specimen collection, and working with some technical equipment.  Short written reports in a format suitable for a general audience will be required regularly (approximately weekly).  Field equipment such as GPS units and other digital instruments will be used and must be maintained.  This is a 40 hour per week paid position working Monday through Friday with occasional Saturday times, between mid-May and late-September.  Schedule can vary by applicant’s availability.  This is an hourly paid position ($10.10 - $11.00/hr.) based on experience.  Housing is not provided.

Job Qualifications:

Ø Bachelor of Science in biology, ecology, natural resource management, environmental science, or other related discipline. 
Ø Familiar with all Connecticut wildlife species, including but not limited to birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians.  Proficiency to identify these species will be prioritized but the ability to efficiently learn diagnostic character used to identify all species by direct observation or by evidence such as call/song, tracks, scat or other sign is important.  Knowledgeable of management and conservation initiatives with all wildlife species within the state of Connecticutand southern New England
Ø Familiar with biological field research protocols and procedures. 
Ø Able to write short reports describing technical work for a general audience.
Ø Have a valid driver’s license
Ø Be able to drive a pick-up truck (automatic transmission and occasionally in 4WD off road)
Ø Be able to work with volunteers and the public
Ø Capable of working independently and as part of a team, cheerfully in all weather conditions, and with biting insects/ticks.
Ø Able to work with Microsoft Office Suite software and capable of learning other platforms to suit the needs of the position.
Ø Familiar with the proper usage and maintenance of field equipment.

Please send copy of resume and contact information for 2 references to:

James Fischer
Research Director
The White Memorial Conservation Center, Inc.
80 Whitehall Rd.
P.O. Box 368
LitchfieldCT  06759

phone: 860-567-0857
fax: 860-567-2611

Application Period:  Open until filled, Application period begins February 5, 2018.

Waterfowl Nest Box Monitoring

Waterfowl Nest Boxes are checked after the breeding season to monitor productivity and for maintenance.
We took advantage of the short window of adequate ice coverage to check our waterfowl nest boxes on the property.  We want to thank our volunteers who are supporting us with this effort during the brief window of opportunity.  Nicki Hall, Shannon Smith, and Anthony Cianciolo were a big help this season.  Nest producitivity was lower than average which is likely due to the cooler and wetter breeding season.  If we get another stretch of time when ice coverage is adequate for safely approaching the boxes, then several boxes require some minor maintanence.  We also need to re-install one nest box at Heron Pond which fell over this past summer due to broken post. 

New England Cottontail Monitoring

 Image By: John Huff Foster Daily Democrat via AP

Habitat management performed throughout the range of New England Cottontail (NEC) and assessing the conservation status of the species is being partially measured during the winter of 2016 - 2017 at White Memorial.  A total of two plots were selected on the property, which are located at Apple Hill and on North Shore Road.  The Apple Hill plot is being managed to ensure adequate habitat for NEC and other early successional habitat species.  The North Shore Rd. plot is a grassland that has been permitted to revert to early successional habitat through ecological succession. 

Transects were flagged using orange and yellow surveyor tape 
on the Apple Hill Plot on East Shore Rd., Morris, Litchfield Co., CT, USA.

This project is coordinated by the NEC Technical Committee and researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey.  The monitoring objectives are to assess occupancy rates of both cottontail species (Eastern and NEC) throughout the NEC range, observe how this occupancy status changes through time, and to determine how management activities influence the changes in the occupancy status of both species.  White Memorial's two plots were part of a total of 283 plots selected throughout CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, and RI.  Connecticut currently conserves the largest number of NEC populations in the habitats of highest priority and is surveying the bulk of the total plots (83 plots).  The plots consist of 200 meter long transects that are spaced every 30 meters, ultimately sampling piece of land approximately 2 hectares in size.  The plots were visited at least 24 hours after a fresh snowfall, when the temperature remained below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, and with very little wind or no rain.  Each plot was visited a total of 4 times within a 4 - 6 week time period.  The location of cottontail scat was georeferenced and collected for future molecular analysis to determine the species.  

Various habitat measurements were recorded throughout the plot that described the vegetation density at various heights, land management, and land cover types.  Generally, the vegetation favored by both cottontail species is very dense and can consist of several thorny plant species, which makes working in them very labor intensive and at times dangerous.