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

Herpetology Field Technician, GG-404-7

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 $21.05 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 the Project Leader, candidate will plan logistics and schedule daily activities for project field crew and coordinate activities with state and federal biologists and managers. Candidate is responsible for high-quality data collection and the welfare of lower ranking field members away from the duty station. Candidate will use established techniques to locate, identify, and record information on amphibian and reptile populations, and conduct pre-designed field and/or laboratory experiments dealing with 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, and will collaborate with project leaders to compile, interpret, and tabulate field data according to established project protocol. Candidate may occasionally be called upon to lend support in aspects of training lower ranking field members in survey/sampling techniques, equipment/electronics use, study specimen identification, etc.


Required Qualifications

Candidate must have 2 year and 9 months of field experience or 5 years of sub-professional work experience or 5 years of college with courses related to the work of the position to be filled (equivalent to 120 semester/180 quarter hrs) plus 3 months of lab or field work experience. In addition, applicant must have at least 3 months experience with sampling either amphibians or reptiles specifically including experience with marking techniques (including toe-clipping, PIT tagging, radio transmittering, visual elastomer implantation and/or carapace notching).  Applicants without at least 3 months experience as listed above will not be considered. 

Candidate must have substantial amphibian or reptile field survey experience (including identification to species of all life stages); have a working knowledge of Pacific Northwest ecosystems (including strong background in wetland ecology and biota); have experience with marking techniques (including toe-clipping, PIT tagging, radio transmittering, visual elastomer implantation and/or carapace notching).

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); be able to work in a small group or with one other individuals for several days at a time; 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 effective navigate to and around study sites using compasses, topographic maps, and GPS units. Candidate must possess a strong work ethic having good judgment, leadership, dependability, and time management skills, and be proficient with technical equipment (including but not limited to GPS units, backpack electroshockers, and PDAs) and map reading/navigation.

Preferred Qualifications

Desired candidate will have experience identifying 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 #2289297, Agency Job #CRG-19-001). 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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