Post-doc opportunity in Avian Conservation Ecology

The Boreal Avian Modelling Project (BAM) is seeking an avian ecologist to fulfil a postdoctoral position at the University of Alberta. BAM is a continental scale effort to understand the ecology and dynamics of avian populations and their habitats in the boreal forest of North America (for more details on BAM see www.borealbirds.ca). Working with a team of avian ecologists, conservation scientists and statisticians, the post-doctoral fellow will conduct science to support the characterization and identification of critical habitat for several boreal bird species in Canada, including Canada Warbler, Olive-sided Flycatcher, and Common Nighthawk. The position will involve collaboration with federal and provincial governments, industry, and other academic institutions.

We are seeking a candidate meeting the following criteria:

1) Self-motivated & able to confidently interact with people of varying backgrounds

2) Strong background in avian ecology and conservation science

3) Knowledge of regulatory requirements related to migratory birds

4) Experience with wildlife-habitat modelling & Geographic Information Systems, preferably at large scales

5) Excellent and demonstrated writing skills

6) Strong quantitative skills

The position is available immediately. We will take accept applications until a suitable candidate is found. To apply, please provide a letter of interest, CV, and an example of your writing skills in the form of a peer-reviewed paper or thesis.

The position will be located at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, AB with an annual salary of $55,000 plus benefits. The length of the fellowship is 2.5 years.

Candidates should send their application package to:

Dr. Nicole Barker, BAM Coordinating Scientist

Job Posting: Ecology Research Assistant

YHT_elkThe Ya Ha Tinda (YHT) elk herd was once one of Canada’s largest migratory elk herds. The elk migrated approximately 50 km from low elevation winter range on the YHT ranch west to high elevation summer range in Banff National Park. The number of elk that make this journey has declined the last few decades, to where half the population have lost their migratory behaviour. The decline of this population is thought to be predation related because wolves have been recolonizing Banff National Park during this period. However, most of the predator-prey related research on the YHT has been focused on wolves, yet elk face the difficulty of navigating a multi-predator community. Preliminary results suggest that cougars may be a major predator on adult elk whereas bears are likely to kill elk calves. These impacts on elk are yet to be measured, even though understanding predation by these species is key to making projections about the long-term persistence of the YHT elk herd.

This phase of the Ya Ha Tinda long-term research project aims to understand how carnivore diets (scat contents) differ spatially across a landscape, and how this reflects risk of predation to elk. Scats from 4 major carnivores have been collected over the last 2 years, and will be analyzed for presence of prey species, with a focus on elk. Spatial patterns in the diets of the 4 predators will be compared to the distribution of adult and calf elk kills. We predict that there will be a spatial gradient in predation across the landscape, with migrants and residents being exposed to differential predation. We are seeking a laboratory technician to participate in the Colleges and Institutes Canada CleanTech internship program for 6 months to assist a MSc student with sample analysis. The position includes, but is not limited to organizing, preparing and analyzing, identifying contents of scats. The position is laboratory focused, but may include several weeks in the field at the Ya Ha Tinda ranch, just east of the Banff National Park border to collect additional scats and radio-track collared elk.

Specific Duties and Responsibilities: The position includes, but is not limited to organizing and autoclaving samples, preparing samples for DNA and macroscopic hair analysis, identifying contents of scats, and data entry. Two main methods will be used to determine scat contents: macroscopic hair analysis and DNA fecal powder analysis. Training will be provided in biosafety protocols, laboratory techniques, scat identification, database management, geographic information mapping programs systems, graphing and presentation programs, and scientific writing. The technician will also carry out a side project of their choice that overlaps with the goals of the project, including completing a 2-page proposal, a talk on the project results and writing a completion report that compares the results of the 2 methods used.

Knowledge and Skills: (1) Ability to work independently and efficiently; (2) effective communication, positive attitude and willingness to work as part of a group; (3) strong attention to detail and ability to follow protocols; (4) desire to learn research skills, and (5) strong interest in wildlife ecology and conservation.

Eligibility: Eligible interns: (1) must be 30 years of age or under at the start of the internship; (2) must be a graduate from a post-secondary program in Biology, Environmental Science or another natural resources related field; (3) are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or person granted refugee status in Canada; (4) are not receiving Employment Insurance during their internship; (5) are not in school during their internship; (6) are available to work for at least six months.

The position available is a 6-month (3 October 2016 to 31 March 2017) Colleges and Institutes Canada CleanTech Internship (http://cleantech.collegesinstitutes.ca) and will pay ~2,075/month plus benefits. Please email a cover letter outlining how you meet the position qualifications above, CV and contact information for three references to Kara MacAulay, MSc. Candidate, kmacaula@ualberta.ca. Please apply as soon as possible as the position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate is found.

scat2

2016 Internship on Elk in Ya Ha Tinda

Elk Mel Mountains

HIRING IMMEDIATELY:  We seek an intern to participate in the CICan Clean Tech Internship Program (http://cleantech.collegesinstitutes.ca/). The successful intern will assist in investigating the decline of the partially-migratory Ya Ha Tinda elk herd in and adjacent to Banff National Park (see http://yahatinda.biology.ualberta.ca/ for more information).

 

This phase of our long-term research is to understand cause-specific mortality for elk calves as a result of maternal behavioural trade-offs made in terms of foraging and predation risk (wolves, bears, mountain lions and coyotes). The intern will use radio telemetry to monitor adult females for parturition behavior, assist in capture and tagging of elk calves, subsequently monitor both calves and adults, and complete a final report.  The position will also include, but is not limited to, investigating elk calf mortality sites, behavioural observations, vegetation sampling, pellet plot surveys, remote camera surveys, and predator scat surveys using scat detection dogs.

 

The study area straddles the boundary between Banff National Park and provincial land, in and around the beautiful Ya Ha Tinda ranch, Parks Canada’s working horse ranch, west of Sundre, AB.  AT THE RANCH, THERE IS NO CELL PHONE SERVICE AND ONLY LIMITED INTERNET. THE CLOSEST TOWN (Sundre) IS 1.5 HOURS AWAY. The position available is a 6-month CICan Clean Tech Internship (http://cleantech.collegesinstitutes.ca/) that will pay ~$2800/mo. including benefits.

 

CALVING PERIOD (mid-May to mid-June): Shared housing is provided for project staff in the form of tent camping with a cabin/wall tent for cooking/eating or shared rooms in the research house.  Trips to town, hot showers, and laundry are FEW and FAR BETWEEN.  Weather during calving can be anywhere from COLD, wet, rainy, and SNOWY to hot and sunny.  Because we are essentially “on-call” to catch calves as quickly as possible when born, days are LONG with VERY LITTLE TO NO TIME OFF.  I do TRY to make up for this before/after the peak of calving, but no guarantees.  Because we are working long days, we eat group meals and have a camp cook who takes care of all shopping and cooking, so I typically ask that paid technicians contribute $50/week for food during those weeks.

POST-CALVING: Shared rooms in the research house provided; the house is also used by Parks Canada wardens and others unrelated to the project, so we have to be very considerate and mindful of our presence.  Work schedules are somewhat flexible, usually either 10/4 or 5/2.  Summers can be hot, WINDY, and full of FLIES.  Primary duties include monitoring the calves each day, herd classifications, and habitat measurements.

 

Applicants MUST meet the following qualifications:

  • The intern cannot be over 30 years old.
  • The intern must be a graduate of a post-secondary institution.
  • The intern must be a Canadian Citizen, have permanent Canadian residency status, or have been granted refugee status in Canada and legally entitled to work in Canada.
  • The intern must possess a valid, non-graduated Class 5 Canadian driver’s license.
  • Physically able to carry a heavy daypack while hiking 8-10 hrs. in mountainous terrain and grizzly bear country, even in inclement weather and colder temperatures.
  • 2)  Ability to navigate and work independently in remote/rural areas using a GPS, map, and compass
  • FLEXIBILITY; ability to maintain a POSITIVE attitude while working and living closely with co-workers; ability to work long hours and odd schedules.

 

Hiring decisions will be made immediately. Please email Jodi Berg at jberg@ualberta.ca:

1)   A cover letter that explicitly addresses EACH of the following:

  • why you are interested in working on the YHT Elk Project
  • how you meet EACH of the qualifications listed above

2)   Your resume/CV

3)   Email addresses for three references that can speak to your ability to conduct yourself in the field and work as part of a team

Wildlife Technician Positions

The Bioacoustic Unit, a collaboration between the Bayne Lab at the University of Alberta and the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI), is seeking 2-4 skilled technicians for work in the spring and summer of 2016.

When: Spring & Summer 2016, start and end date TBD with possibility of extension into fall 2016

Where: Boreal forest and grasslands of Alberta

Salary: $2500 $2900 / month DOE

Duties: Technicians will be working with acoustic recording technology to survey rare animals and species-at-risk in the boreal forest and grasslands of Alberta. Other duties include equipment maintenance and preparation, data entry and interpretation of audio recordings.

Requirements: A minimum of 2 years working in remote conditions is preferable. Technicians must endure long hikes (5-10 km/day), carrying heavy loads (up to 40 lbs.), inclement weather and biting insects. Applicants with the following experience will be preferred: experience driving 4×4 trucks, trailer hauling and driving ATVs; working alone in isolated conditions far from urban areas; ability to navigate using compass, maps and GPS; ability to sustain camp life for long periods (cooking, cleaning, etc.). Applicants should be independent, self-starters, problem-solvers and have good morale.

Accommodations & Schedule: Accommodations in the field (rustic camps), food and travel to field sites will be provided. Applicants must provide their own accommodations in Edmonton during field preparation days and days off. Applicants can expect to spend long periods of time in the field and those with flexible schedules will be preferred.

A CV along with 3 references can be sent to both:

Hedwig Lankau Research Coordinator

Alex MacPhail Field Coordinator

Job Posting: Yaha Tinda

AVAILABLE IMMEDIATELY: We seek an intern to participate in the Science Horizons Youth Internship Program (http://www.ec.gc.ca/sci_hor/). The successful intern will assist in investigating the decline of the partially-migratory Ya Ha Tinda elk herd in and adjacent to Banff National Park (see http://yahatinda.biology.ualberta.ca/ for more information).YahaJob_Capture

The next phase of our long-term research is to understand cause-specific mortality for elk calves as a result of maternal behavioural trade-offs made in terms of foraging and predation risk (wolves, bears, mountain lions and coyotes). The intern will use radio telemetry to monitor adult females for parturition behavior, assist in capture and tagging of elk calves, subsequently monitor both calves and adults, and complete a final report. The position will also include, but is not limited to, investigating elk calf mortality sites, behavioural observations, vegetation sampling, pellet plot surveys, remote camera surveys, and predator scat surveys using scat detection dogs.YahaJob_Calf

The study area straddles the boundary between Banff National Park and provincial land, in and around the beautiful Ya Ha Tinda ranch, Parks Canada’s working horse ranch, west of Sundre, AB. AT THE RANCH, THERE IS NO CELL PHONE SERVICE AND ONLY LIMITED INTERNET. THE CLOSEST TOWN (Sundre) IS 1.5 HOURS AWAY. The position available is a 6-month Science Horizons Youth Internship (http://www.ec.gc.ca/sci_hor/) that will pay ~$2850/mo. including benefits. A shared room in the research house will be provided.DSC_0609

Applicants MUST meet the following qualifications. Preference will be given towards applicants who can demonstrate substantial knowledge/experience with plant identification and sampling:

  • The intern cannot be over 30 years old.
  • The intern must be a graduate of a post-secondary institution.
  • The intern must be a Canadian Citizen, have permanent Canadian residency status, or have been granted refugee status in Canada and legally entitled to work in Canada.
  • The intern cannot have participated as an intern in Science Horizons or any other Youth Employment Strategy (YES) Career Focus program before.
  • The intern must possess a valid, non-graduated Class 5 Canadian driver’s license.
  • Physically able to carry a heavy daypack while hiking 8-10 hrs. in mountainous terrain and grizzly bear country, even in inclement weather and colder temperatures.
  • Flexibility; ability to maintain a positive attitude while working and living closely with co-workers; ability to work long hours and odd schedules.

Hiring decisions will be made immediately. Please email Jodi Berg at jberg@ualberta.ca:

1)   A cover letter that explicitly addresses EACH of the following:

  •   why you are interested in working on the YHT Elk Project
  • how you meet EACH of the qualifications listed above

2)  Your resume/CV

3)  Phone numbers AND email addresses for three references that can speak to your ability to conduct yourself in the field and work as part of a team

Job openings with Beaverhill Bird Observatory

Beaverhill Bird Observatory is seeking a biologist/bander for May 1, 2015-March 31, 2016.  Applications are due by March 31!  If interested take a look at the link:  Job Posting Beaverhill Bird Obs head 2015

Additionally, BBO is seeking a seasonal field assistant for May 1-August 31, 2015.  Applications are due March 30.  Job Posting Beaverhill Bird Obs 2015 assistant

Job Posting: Ferruginous hawk field assistants

Field assistants needed for ferruginous hawk research project.

We are looking to hire 2-3 field assistants for an ongoing collaborative University of Alberta & Environment Canada study on the relationship between Ferruginous Hawks and industrial development in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Tasks include nest searching and monitoring, behavioural observation, capture, banding, automatic recording unit (ARU) setup. Additional duties will include landowner communication, identifying habitat characteristics, and other related tasks.

Applicants must have excellent note-taking skills (detailed and accurate), valid class 5 driver’s license with clean record, be capable of driving long distances, and cannot be afraid of heights, bugs, or heat.  Top applicants will possess: strong communication skills, raptor (and overall avian ID experience), some bird (raptor) handling experience, strong climbing ability, and aptitude for technology based work. Additional assets include driving 4WD trucks, vegetation identification experience, knowledge of Alberta’s Species At Risk, and navigational skills.

Pay rate for field assistants ranges between $2300 – $2800 CDN/month depending on experience.  Housing and food are included while in the field.  Work period typically consists of a 10 days on / 4 days off rotation; this is flexible, but overall work period amounts to 22 days/month.  Work terms starting in both early April continuing through July 31 with the possibility of extension.  Field work is primarily in southern Alberta, with some travel to southern Saskatchewan.

Apply early before the positions are filled! Applications will be accepted until March 6th, 2015. Please send a resume, cover letter, three references, and available start date to: Janet Ng (Janet.NgATualberta.ca).

Job Posting: Natural Area Manager

Here is a great opportunity with The Nature Conservancy of Canada:

The Nature Conservancy of Canada, Alberta Region is looking for two Natural Area Managers for central and southeastern Alberta.

Details are available on the NCC website at:

http://www.natureconservancy.ca/en/who-we-are/work-with-us/natural-area-manager-ab-central.html

http://www.natureconservancy.ca/en/who-we-are/work-with-us/natural-area-manager-ab-southeastern.html

These are full-time permanent positions, preferably located in the Red Deer and Medicine Hat/Lethbridge areas, respectively.

Resumes should be forwarded to careers@natureconservancy.ca.

Application deadline is February 20, 2015