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The Nantucket Conservation Foundation, Inc. Science and Stewardship Department seeks two seasonal field assistants to conduct ecological field work and stewardship activities for the 2022 field season. Candidates must have strong field work experience, excellent plant ID skills and an interest in wildlife ecology.
Field methods used in this position include vegetation community composition sampling, rare plant inventories, wetland surveys, crab trapping, wildlife radio telemetry, bat acoustic monitor deployment and potential songbird banding and shorebird monitoring. Candidates should be motivated, enthusiastic, self-reliant and able to learn quickly.
- Quickly develop a working knowledge of the island’s plant species;
- Monitor vegetation communities and rare plant species in connection with research and management projects using various sampling methods: (percent cover, line intercept, species counts, presence/absence, etc.) and in various habitats (grasslands, salt marshes, wetlands);
- Monitor horseshoe crab populations on harbor beaches during day and night high tides;
- Survey spotted turtle populations through trapping and radio telemetry;
- Assist with bat population monitoring through deployment of acoustic detectors;
- Salt marsh crab trapping and removal from key marshes;
- Survey salt marsh health with GPS technology and vegetation ID;
- Inventory state-listed plant species that currently or have historically occurred on Nantucket;
- Inventory, monitoring, and management of invasive plant species including hand digging and pulling and assisting a certified herbicide applicator by cutting stems, bagging and hauling away cut material;
- Assist in greenhouse-based projects such as native seed collection, propagation and out-planting for habitat restoration and native garden establishment;
- Occasional assistance with shorebird population monitoring (for the right candidate);
- Data entry and quality control;
- Occasional participation in environmental education and interpretive events as well as assisting with random tasks related to development and/or fundraising activities as needed.
- B.S. or B.A. in Ecology, Botany, Zoology, Wildlife Management, Natural Resource Management, Environmental Science, or a related biological/ecological field. One full season of field work experience required. Competitive applicants will have both strong plant identification skills and experience in wildlife handling and monitoring. Experience in vegetation community monitoring techniques and ecological field data collection. Experience using GPS units in the field and using Microsoft Excel for data entry. Interest in invasive species management and willingness to participate in manual aspects of herbicide management projects. Interest in shorebird monitoring. Strong observational, critical thinking and organizational skills are essential, as is the ability to accurately collect data and record field notes. Individuals must be able to work both independently and as a member of a team. A valid driver’s license is required.
- Familiarity with the flora of the northeastern United States and past plant taxonomy coursework. Experience with radio telemetry. Experience with shorebird monitoring and interest in banding songbirds.
Physical Demands and Work Environment:
- This is a field work intensive position and applicants must be able to tolerate adverse field conditions. Field work includes the possibility for inclement weather and variable terrain, poison ivy and biting insects (mosquitoes, deer ticks). Nantucket is an area with a high incidence of tick-borne disease so precautions to minimize risk are encouraged. The work involves hiking, standing, bending, kneeling, and hauling field gear on a routine basis. While field assistants will not be applying or working directly with herbicide, they will be working in the vicinity of herbicide application with precautions taken to avoid direct exposure.
- This is a full-time, temporary and seasonal position beginning in early to mid-May and ending in mid- to late- October; exact dates are somewhat flexible. Hours are 40 hours a week with daily hours variable depending on particular projects: early-morning and late-night field work will be required depending on project, weather, tides, etc. Weekend work will be required for certain field projects and non-profit events.
- Wage is $14 per hour based on a 40-hour work week. Housing is provided in shared, employee house. Work-related transportation is provided but is not available after working hours. No paid time off (vacation or sick time) is available to seasonal employees of the Foundation. The Foundation cannot offer employee benefits to seasonal employees.