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  • Northern Goshawk M.Sc. Position

    • Employer: Simon Fraser University; British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations
      Location: South Coast Region, British Columbia
      Country: Canada
      Last Date to Apply: 05/06/2018
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Northern Goshawk volunteer field assistant with potential MSc opportunity

    The BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD), in collaboration with the Simon Fraser University (SFU) Centre for Wildlife Ecology, is seeking a volunteer field assistant for Northern Goshawk research and inventory in summer 2018. Contingent on funding and suitability of the volunteer, this position may transition to a M.Sc. candidate position at SFU in fall 2018.

    The Northern Goshawk laingi subspecies is a forest raptor which is listed as Threatened under the canadian Species at Risk Act, primarily due to loss and fragmentation of  mature and old forests that provide nesting and foraging habitats. The Province of BC is responsible for ‘effectively protecting’ Critical Habitat described in the federal Recovery Strategy [1], but there is uncertainty regarding science-based criteria to accomplish this, including: a) effects of patch size on breeding success and territory occupancy, b) foraging habitat requirements, and c) how these factors may differ in the zone of overlap between the ranges of the coastal laingi and interior atricapillus subspecies (i.e., the ‘transition zone’). These issues will have key implications for management of this species, including the stand- and landscape-scale design of breeding area reserves.

    The volunteer position will be from approximately May 15 to August 15, 2018, and will involve assisting field crews and the project lead in inventory and monitoring of breeding territories, and a research pilot to test tagging methods to compare habitat use and behavior between goshawks occupying the coastal range and the transition zone.

    Applicant requirements

    • Able to endure strenuous field work in challenging terrain while carrying heavy loads
    • Willing to travel by boat and helicopter to remote field sites
    • Willing to camp for extended periods in remote areas frequented by predatory wildlife and prone to inclement weather
    • Strong academic record and interest in pursuing a graduate degree [2]

    Preferred experience includes:

    • Field identification of raptor species (particularly Accipiters)
    • Call Playback Broadcast surveys
    • Raptor capture and handling, including attachment of radio or GPS transmitters

    The project will provide transportation to and from field sites, all survey and safety equipment, and per diems to cover the cost of food and camping accommodation (or hotels if required). Local accommodations prior to the field season (FLNRORD office is in Surrey, BC) are not provided, and the volunteer will be expected to provide their own personal field and camping gear.

    Applicants should send a letter of interest, C.V. and undergraduate transcript to:

    Melanie Wilson, FLNRORD (Melanie.L.Wilson@gov.bc.ca) and Dr. David Green, Centre for Wildlife Ecology, SFU (djgreen@sfu.ca).

    [1] https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/environment/plants-animals-and-ecosystems/species-ecosystems-at-risk/recovery-planning/implementation_plan_for_the_recovery_of_northern_goshawk.pdf

    [2] Applicants will be expected to meet the prerequisites required for admission to the SFU Department of Biological Sciences graduate degree program for the fall 2018 semester.



    Edited by Chris Merkord

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