Field Research Associate

4 days left

San Diego, California
$38,000 to 44,000 per year at 100% FTE, depending on experience. Fully benefited position.
Aug 24, 2021
Sep 23, 2021
Req #1412
Job Level
Entry level, Mid level
Employment Type
Salary Type

Our Recovery Ecology group within the Conservation Science and Wildlife Health team at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance uses ecological research to address pressing wildlife conservation problems. Our conservation toolbox includes developing and testing conservation breeding techniques, reintroduction and translocation strategies, and monitoring and management in species recovery programs. We use approaches that integrate behavioral ecology, population ecology, and spatial ecology with other disciplines. 

This position is part of a team focused on research, monitoring and applied management to aid the recovery of endangered California least terns and threatened Western snowy plovers in San Diego County. Our team works on two military bases, Naval Base Coronado and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, and this position will be focused on Coronado. Main goals of our work are to investigate ecological effects of changing ocean conditions and other factors on the reproductive success of terns and plovers. This position will be engaged in assisting and at times leading nest monitoring, point counts, bird banding, field research and logistics, outreach, site maintenance, as well as electronic data collection and database management. Work will be conducted primarily in the field (60-75% of all work), and office/lab space will be at the Safari Park’s Beckman Institute or San Diego Zoo. Schedules may need to change with short notice and may begin as early as 6 am or end at dusk based on our monitoring needs for the species. Our field sites are not remote but native habitat is present, and you should expect field conditions that include cold or hot weather, bugs, muddy sites, lots of sand, awareness of environmental hazards, and walking miles of beach habitat each day. Basic safety training will be provided. This position requires successful completion of physical ability test. Specific qualifications are:

Personal Attributes

  • Positive attitude and a team-centered approach to problem solving
  • Resourceful and ability to take initiative
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Flexible working style, independent and team player
  • Determination and commitment to conservation
  • Professionalism and integrity

Working Conditions and Physical Demands:

  • Ability to work long hours outdoors
  • Ability to walk 5 to 10 miles outdoors in various beach/sandy and rugged terrain
  • Ability to lift 50 lbs.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • B.S. in an environmental science related field (such as but not limited to ecology, zoology, or oceanography)
  • Experience monitoring seabird and shorebird colonies
  • Proficiency in banding seabirds/shorebirds and chicks
  • Experience with database management, report-writing, GIS, statistics and presentations
  • Ability to effectively focus on a variety of tasks to produce quality results within deadlines
  • Acceptable driving record

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with estimating reproductive success of seabird and shorebird colonies
  • Experience with GNSS and various survey equipment.
  • Experience with ESRI programs.
  • Experience with Matlab and/or R.

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