This is an exciting opportunity to make a significant contribution to conservation of the eastern black rail, an imperiled marsh bird, in South Carolina. This position is responsible for planning and implementing a habitat management project at the Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center in South Carolina as part of a multi-state effort to provide breeding habitat for black rails. The project will involve the experimental implementation of a new habitat management strategy expected to improve the breeding success and survival of this fascinating bird. This is a full-time, three-year term position to work with SCDNR’s Black Rail Project, which is pioneering monitoring approaches and developing management strategies to contribute to the recovery of this federally threatened subspecies. Click here for more information about our work. This position is best suited to a highly motivated self-starter with experience in waterbird ecology, habitat management, and deciphering user manuals.
· Create and maintain optimal habitat conditions for breeding black rails by installing and maintaining solar-powered irrigation systems.
· Make frequent trips to project sites to maintain optimal conditions. Travel to project sites by canoe, bicycle, and ATV when necessary.
Black Rail and Habitat Monitoring
· Monitor water levels and black rail occurrences. Conduct call-response surveys at current and potential project sites. Survey vegetation and other habitat variables. Install and maintain water level monitoring stations, camera traps, autonomous recording units, and other monitoring tools.
· Participate in study design. Summarize and analyze data. Develop data management and analysis protocols and procedures.
· Prepare grant and funding reports. If appropriate, communicate research results by writing manuscripts for publication and presenting information at professional meetings.
· Perform or secure maintenance on vehicles and all field equipment. Maintain equipment and supplies in good condition. Adhere to safety protocols and maintain a safe operating record.
Minimum and Additional Requirements
A master’s degree in biology, wildlife ecology and/or natural resources management (or equivalent); or a bachelor’s degree in related area and two years of experience relevant to the job.
· Seeking a candidate with the skills, aptitude, and enthusiasm to implement intensive habitat management and stewardship for a federally threatened species. The ideal candidate will be passionate about black rail conservation, enjoy being part of a collaborative team, have exceptional problem-solving capabilities, a strong work ethic, and the determination to see the project through to completion.
· Knowledge of wetland ecology, habitat management, and marsh bird conservation. Ability to identify birds by sight and sound. Experience applying research techniques and tools such as avian point counts, vegetation surveys, camera traps, autonomous recording units, and water level loggers.
· Excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Demonstrated ability to work independently, with minimal supervision, and to work cohesively with team members. Commitment to work collaboratively with co-workers, colleagues, and partners.
· Must be detail-oriented with extensive experience in following field protocols, data collection, and data entry. Experience managing and analyzing data. Familiarity with ArcGIS, R, and Microsoft Office including Access.
· Demonstrated experience performing field work in challenging coastal conditions including high heat and humidity, abundant biting insects, and in the presence of venomous snakes, alligators, and spiders. Must be able to swim and to safely use a canoe. A valid driver’s license is required.
· Must be able to work a variable schedule including early mornings, late evenings, and occasionally on weekends when necessary to complete habitat management, surveys, and other job duties. Must be physically able to lift and carry 30 lbs. while walking on difficult terrain including saltmarsh habitat.
Salary for this position is $40,365 (not negotiable) plus benefits, including health and dental insurance, retirement and savings plan options, and paid vacation and sick leave. For details, search for “Wildlife Biologist” at the below link.
Applicants must apply for this position online at www.careers.sc.gov. A cover letter and current CV are requested to supplement the required state application. Contact Christy Hand at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about the position. Applications will close at 5pm on August 12, 2022.
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