The Great Basin Institute, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is recruiting for a Research Associate (RA) to serve as a Biological Science Technician at the Ash Meadows Fish Conservation Facility, Amargosa Valley, NV. Primary duties include development and implementation of a long-term ecosystem monitoring plan for a 100,000 gallon refuge tank that simulates the Devils Hole spring ecosystem and provides habitat for a backup population of endangered Devils Hole pupfish, and assisting the aquaculturist/fish biologist in fish and aquatic invertebrate culture and care. The RA works directly under the supervision of the Facility Manager and with project partners and cooperators. Main duties include:
- Acts as lead technician on the inventory and monitoring of the refuge tank ecosystem. This includes conducting a wide variety of water quality tests to monitor biotic and abiotic parameters, such as water chemistries, nutrients, and bacterial loads. This also includes development, planning, scheduling, and implementing aquatic invertebrate surveys, fish surveys, and substrate and algal surveys.
- Continues the development and implementation of the currently in-progress ecosystem monitoring plan for the refuge tank ecosystem. This includes determining appropriate survey equipment, experimental design, database management, quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) of large datasets, statistical analyses, creating and updating SOPs, presentations, and reports to supervisors and cooperators.
- Assists in culture and inoculation of aquatic invertebrates in aquaria
- Assists with fish culture and care for desert fishes in aquaria.
- Works independently to maintain and troubleshoot environmental monitoring equipment such as Hach multiprobe water quality sensors, light meters, HOBO temperature loggers. Ability to reference O&M manuals, written and video-recorded SOPs, and other resources, as required.
- Accurately records and archives data and meticulously maintains and archives written records of laboratory and field activities, including by not limited to: water qualities, aquatic flora and fauna propagation and culture activities, environmental surveys, and all other work completed. The incumbent will keep these records in such a manner that they may be referenced and interpreted by internal and external regulatory agencies for the purposes of endangered species management for high-profile species.
- Follows SOPs and sterile technique procedures to ensure proper cleanliness, decontamination, and sterilization of laboratory and hatchery facilities, equipment, and sampling gear.
- Assists in the planning and execution of the planned program by making recommendations and ensuring communication are effective between facility staff and other partners and offices.
- Works cooperatively with various U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partners to address ecological, hatchery, and fish and invertebrate culture questions to further the successful propagation of native aquatic organisms in the southwest.
- Heads outreach, scheduling, training, and direct supervision to volunteers for facility activities.
- The work is completed in both indoor and outdoor locations, often in extreme conditions, and often working alone.
- Requires considerable physical exertion such as bending, crouching, stooping, stretching, reaching, lifting, and cleaning. Some weekend and odd-hour work may be required.
- Applicant must be comfortable working at a facility that is located in a semi-remote desert location.
Compensation and Timeline:
- Rate of Pay: $19.00/hour
- August 2015 – August 2016
- Full time, 40 hours per week
- ACA compliant health benefits
Ash Meadows NWR, one of the first wetlands in the United States to be designated a Wetland of International Importance, comprises over 24,000 acres of spring-fed wetlands and alkaline desert in the Mojave Desert of southern Nevada near Death Valley National Park. The Refuge was established in 1984 to protect threatened and endangered species and more than two dozen endemic plant and animal species. The Refuge also provides habitat for over 100 species of plants and animals that are considered sensitive, or are state protected or priority species.
The Research Associate must provide his/her own reliable transportation for non-work-related trips since the closest personal amenities and grocery stores are located approximately 30 miles from the Refuge in Pahrump, Nevada. The city of Las Vegas is located approximately 90 miles southeast of the Refuge.
- Bachelor’s and two years of experience or Master’s degree in biology or environmental sciences (e.g. ecology, fisheries, entomology, conservation biology, wildlife management, or related field) OR at least four years of full-time work experience in a closely related field.
- Experience in data collection and management and project reporting.
- Familiarity with and ability to use a microscope to identify micro, meio, and macro invertebrates
- Experience in working in a laboratory setting running water quality analyses and utilizing laboratory analytical equipment and methods including but not limited to spectrophotometry, balances, and microscopes.
- Education or experience in community and/or ecosystem ecology a plus.
- Willingness and ability to work in harsh desert conditions, including extreme temperatures, independently or as part of a team.
- Willingness, ability, and experience working in a scientific laboratory setting that involves frequent use of hazardous laboratory and industrial chemicals according to OSHA regulations.
- Experience or training in aquaculture, aquarium, or hatchery operations, or keeping aquatic animals in aquaria, a plus.
- Ability to communicate effectively, both written and orally, with a diverse audience.
- Experience in volunteer coordination a plus.
- Valid, clean, state-issued driver’s license and familiarity driving 4WD vehicles on- and off-road.
- Willingness to submit to a background check, and pass computer security and ethics training.
- Ability to lift a minimum 50 lbs. for short periods of time.
- Current SCUBA certification or willingness to obtain certification a plus.
How to Apply:
Qualified and interested applicants should forward a cover letter, their résumé, and a list of three professional references to Amy Gladding at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include where you found this position posted. Incomplete applications will not be considered. No phone inquiries, please.
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