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  • Antarctica Program Biologist

    Guest Annie Schmidt
    • Employer: Point Blue Conservation Science
      Location: Petaluma, California and Antarctica
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 05/08/2022
      Open Until Filled: No

    POSITION TITLE: Antarctica Program Biologist

    PROGRAM: Ecoinformatics and Climate Solutions/Antarctica Program      

    REPORTS TO: Annie Schmidt, Antarctica Program Director

    STATUS: Full-Time, 12 month position with full benefits                 

    LOCATION: Petaluma CA and Antarctica

    START DATE: On or after July 15, 2022




    Our mission is to conserve birds, other wildlife and ecosystems through science, partnerships, and outreach.  We have been assessing changes in our environment and advancing conservation through bird and ecosystem studies since our founding as Point Reyes Bird Observatory in 1965. Point Blue’s 140+ staff work to maximize nature’s benefits for wildlife and people in our rapidly changing world.

    Individuals from underrepresented communities in science and conservation are strongly encouraged to apply. Increasing diversity, equity and inclusion at Point Blue and in our partnerships, is essential for the success of our mission, vision, and strategy. The work of diversity, equity and inclusion is not separate from our programmatic work or how we work at Point Blue; it is an integral part of our work every day.

    This position will be based at Point Blue in the Antarctica Program and will be part of a multi-institution team that has been studying penguins and the Antarctic ecosystem for many decades. This productive collaboration between Point Blue, H.T Harvey, Oregon State University, and Arizona State University has led to the publication of more than 100 scientific journal articles; several of these articles were instrumental in justifying the need for the Ross Sea Marine Protected area, established in 2017 as one of the largest marine protected areas in the world. We continue to investigate questions such as: why are some colonies bigger than others, why do they occur where they do, what sort of environmental changes impact populations the most, and what is “normal” variability, with the goal of developing better understanding and sustainable management of the Antarctic ecosystem.



    The Program Biologist will be part of a team that studies Adélie penguin breeding and wintering ecology with the objective of increasing our understanding of population structuring of this and other species through time. Emphasis during the Biologist’s term will be on the long-term effects of early life conditions on individuals as they mature and use of devices deployed on penguins to monitor environmental change. Please see the research page on www.penguinscience.com for more specifics about the current project. Field work will involve a deployment of ~4 months (October-February) in Antarctica (pending approval of NSF and medical clearance). While in Antarctica, the Biologist will be stationed at a small field camp (2-5 people) at one of the penguin colonies on Ross Island. The field crew works out of a small hut, sleeping in tents, accessible in good weather conditions only by helicopter from McMurdo station, which in turn is only accessible by military aircraft from New Zealand. Living conditions in the field are rustic, communal space is cramped, there is no running water (no showers). Temperatures range from -20 to +10 C, with intermittent severe wind and snowstorms. The Biologist will participate in several unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) surveys and will be required to obtain FAA certification as a remote pilot prior to deployment to Antarctica. The remainder of the position will be based out of Point Blue headquarters in Petaluma, California. Working remotely outside the field season is supported.


    The Biologist will benefit from exposure to key concepts and skills in the following areas:

    ●       Field methods in ecology and conservation biology

    ●       Broader context of polar biology and climate change

    ●       Safety and logistical challenges of working in Antarctica

    ●       The scientific process and the role of natural history observation in guiding meaningful research and conservation

    ●       Critical thinking and evaluation of research and conservation

    ●       Climate-smart conservation

    ●       Science communication

    ●       Data management and analysis



    This is a one-year, full-time term position starting on or after July 15, 2022

    For more details on the position and how to apply, see: https://www.pointblue.org/careers/antarctica-program-biologist/



    Starting salary is $41,603 commensurate with experience. Point Blue Conservation Science offers a competitive benefits package as well as training and professional development opportunities.

    Benefits include 100% medical, dental and life insurance premium coverage for employees, and partial coverage (80%) for dependents including domestic partners. Other optional benefits include long term care insurance,  vision, supplemental life insurance, short term and long-term disability, flexible spending account, and a 401k plan with an employer discretionary match. Full time employees accrue up to 3 weeks paid vacation, 3 personal days, 12 sick days and  8 holidays each year. All time off benefits are  prorated based on the employee’s date of hire.

    All expenses related to training and travel to Antarctica will be covered (including FAA remote pilot certification and Wilderness First Aid certification). Extreme cold weather clothing provided by the US Antarctic Program.


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