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

Herpetology Field Technician CRG-21-002

United States Geological Survey
Corvallis, Oregon
Closing Date
January 22, 2021

The Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center of the U.S.G.S. is seeking a herpetology technician for a temporary position extending from March 28 through approximately September 11, 2021. The position is full-time with possible periods of part-time or intermittent work. Compensation is $18.03/hr.

Under the supervision of a Field Manager, candidate will conduct pre-designed field and/or laboratory experiments dealing with the population biology & survival of amphibians & reptiles. Methods include visual encounter, mark/recapture, habitat quantification, trapping, fungal screening, and canoe surveys. Candidate is responsible for data entry & error-checking as well as any required gear and equipment maintenance. Candidate may often be required to work in excess of ten hours a day, occasionally and/or on weekends, and must have the flexibility to accommodate an unconventional schedule on short notice. Candidate must be aware of and follow personal safety precautions.

Most duties will be performed in the field environment, in or near wetlands, ponds, lakes& streams. Weather is highly variable, ranging from extreme heat to cold, rainy/snowy conditions. Exposure to stinging & biting invertebrates is common & should be expected. Field work consists of overnight trips away from the duty station & will include primitive camping conditions. Survey sites may be in remote areas, and candidate may be required to go on multi-day backcountry backpacking trips. Special safety precautions are required in many cases, & the employee may typically wear life jackets, special safety boots, waders, and special handling gear.


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.  Desired candidate will have amphibian or reptile field survey experience (including identification to species of all life stages), within Pacific Northwest ecosystems (including strong background in wetland ecology and biota), and experience identifying fish, aquatic/terrestrial plants, and invertebrates.  PRIMITIVE CAMPING AND BACKCOUNTRY BACKPACKING EXPERIENCE IS HIGHLY DESIRED. 

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 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).

Primitive camping and backcountry backpacking experience is highly desired. 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.

This position requires significant physical exertion on a daily basis & 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.  Must be able to hike long distances over rough terrain (e.g., sucking mud, large woody debris, lava fields) carrying personal gear & field equipment. Should be able to safely, accurately, & effectively navigate to & around study sites using compasses, topographic maps, and GPS units.

To Apply

Apply online at secure.emp.state.or.us/jobs/index.cfm (search for CRG-21-002). Make sure to indicate in your application the Job # CRG-21-002. All applicants must apply by following the instructions in the job announcements.

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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