Florida softshell turtle, Apalone ferox, photo by J.D. Willson

Herpetology Field Technician, GG-404-5

Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, USGS, USDI
Corvallis, OR
Closing Date
February 16, 2019

The U.S.G.S Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center is seeking a temporary field technician. The job is full-time and extends from March 25 through approximately September 15, 2019, with possible periods of part-time or intermittent work. The salary is $16.99 per hour.

This position requires significant physical exertion on a daily basis and a high degree of safety awareness at remote field sites. Physical exertion will take the form of heavy lifting/bending, wading through streams and ponds of widely varying size and complexity, and working under extreme weather conditions for long hours. Weather is highly variable, ranging from extreme heat to cold, rainy/snowy conditions. Exposure to stinging and biting invertebrates is common and should be expected.


Under the supervision of a Field Leader, candidate will conduct pre-designed field and/or laboratory experiments dealing with the population biology and survival of amphibians and reptiles.  Methods include visual encounter, mark/recapture, habitat quantification, trapping, fungal screening, snorkeling, and rafting surveys. Field work consists of overnight trips away from the duty station, 4-25 days in duration. Survey sites may be in remote areas, and candidate may be required to go on multi-day backcountry backpacking trips. Candidate is responsible for data entry and error-checking as well as any required gear and equipment maintenance.


Required Qualifications

Candidate must have 9 months of field experience OR 3 years of sub-professional work experience OR 3 years of college with courses related to the work of the position to be filled (equivalent to 90 semester/135 quarter hrs) plus 3 months of lab or field work experience. In addition, candidate must have at least 1 month experience in surveying amphibians. Candidates without 1 month experience surveying amphibians will not be considered.

Candidate must be 21 years of age or older (to comply with government regulations regarding off-road use of official vehicles) and possess a valid driver’s license and the ability to competently drive a government vehicle in urban, interstate, and off-road (4x4) environments.  Must have sleeping bag and other personal camping gear (we provide tents and camp stove), and be able to work in a small group or with one other individuals for several days at a time. Candidate must be able to hike long distances over rough terrain (e.g., sucking mud, large woody debris, lava fields) carrying personal gear and field equipment, and should be able to safely, accurately, and effectively navigate to and around study sites using compasses, topographic maps, and GPS units.  Candidate should be able to demonstrate good organizational skills and proficiency with technical equipment (including but not limited to GPS units, backpack electroshockers, and PDAs) and map reading/navigation.  Candidate must be willing to learn and perform marking techniques (including toe-clipping, PIT tagging, radio transmittering, visual elastomer implantation, and carapace notching).

Preferred Qualifications

Desired candidate will have amphibians or reptile field survey experience (including identification to species of all life stages), with Pacific Northwest ecosystems (including strong background in wetland ecology and biota), and with identification of fish, aquatic/terrestrial plants, and invertebrates.

Primitive camping and backcountry backpacking experience is highly desired.

To Apply

Apply online at www.emp.state.or.us/jobs/ (Posting #2289308, Agency Job #CRG-19-003). For application questions, contact Michelle Schatz, USGS FRESC HQ, at (541) 750-1040 or gs_nw_fresc_jobs [at] usgs.gov

The USGS is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Selection for this position will be based solely on merit, fitness, and qualifications without regard to race, sex, color, religion, age, marital status, national origin, non-disqualifying handicap conditions, sexual orientation, or any other non-merit factors. This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities.

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