Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. (WEST), a dynamic medium size consulting firm with offices across the United States and Canada, is looking for a temporary full time, detection dog handler to help investigate the impact of solar farms on waterfowl in Wisconsin. Since 1990, WEST has grown to be one of the premier environmental and statistical consulting firms in the United States. WEST has a permanent core of professionals with broad experience in basic and applied ecological studies and the sophisticated analysis of natural resource data.
Do you have a bird dog looking for out-of-season work? WEST is looking for a motivated self-starter who has experience training and working with their dog for waterfowl or upland gamebird hunts, or field trials. This is a great opportunity to join WEST’s team of 20+ detection dogs and their owner/handlers and contribute to important wildlife research. The successful candidate for this position will have a dog that enjoys training, searching, and having a “job” to do. Candidates with previous experience working outdoors, especially completing other types of wildlife surveys, are preferred.
- Number of positions available: 1
- Location: Wisconsin
- Project Duration: Approximately August 15 – October 31, 2022
- Schedule: Full Time
- Compensation: $21-25 per hour DOE
- Housing: Housing provided
- Additional Details: Mileage will be reimbursed at standard government rates for travel to/from and around the project area in a personal vehicle
Primary duties include:
- Successful completion of WEST designed scent discrimination trials, allowing you and your dog to work as a team assisting fatality monitoring research at solar projects
- Search areas around solar arrays for bird fatalities with your dog
- Collect data on bird fatalities
- Provide routine care and sound risk management for your dog while working, such as following a vaccination protocol, proper use of equipment, and basic first aid administration under field conditions
- Willingness to work a varied schedule that sometimes includes weekends and sunrise start times
Secondary duties include:
- Participation in trials to measure sources of bias in estimating fatalities
- Summarize and enter data into a tablet, spreadsheet or paper datasheet as needed
This a general description of the functions for this position and is not inclusive of all the duties which may be associated with this position.
- Ownership of a suitable candidate dog(s) and completion of WEST's Scent Training Program for Wildlife Detection Dogs prior to the extension of a formal offer of employment (WEST provides a scent training protocol and guidance during training prior to the extension of a formal offer of employment)
- Ability to record and share training videos of you and your dog(s), as well as completion of training logs and assessments throughout the pre-employment dog training period is mandatory
- Demonstrable knowledge of dog behavior and rewards-based training is required; knowledge of learning theory and scent theory preferred
- Candidates with experience conducting biological fieldwork will be given preference
- Strong organizational skills and the ability to follow protocols in the collection and management of data
- Ability to work independently, as well as communicate and coordinate effectively and professionally with other crew members, site management, WEST supervisors, and landowners
- Flexibility, a high degree of self-motivation, a tolerance for doing repetitive tasks, and an ability to thrive under challenging field conditions are essential
- Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Resources, Wildlife Management, Biology, or an equivalent degree preferred; candidates without a degree, but with a suitable dog(s) and sufficient experience training and handling dogs for hunting or detection are encouraged to apply
- Candidates must be able to walk 6-9 miles a day over uneven terrain with sometimes extreme vegetation cover
- Candidates must be able to maintain a positive attitude during long work days (8-12+ hours) in the outdoors, and exposure to at least one of the following on a daily basis: ticks, chiggers, mosquitos, biting flies, poison ivy, hot humid weather, wet freezing weather, mud, strong winds, or rain
- Candidates must be comfortable with hazards typical of rural environments (e.g., unpredictable wildlife, unrestrained dogs, dust, mud, and poorly maintained roads)
- Candidates must provide and be equipped with, their own suitable safety-toed footwear (rugged hiking boots, etc.) and field-appropriate clothing
WEST is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for everyone and highly recommends all prospective hires be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to their start date. While WEST does not currently require vaccinations, please be aware that WEST has a mandatory vaccination policy in place should local, state or federal law require vaccinations. Additionally, WEST has certain clients that require all personnel to be vaccinated prior to working on their projects, so individuals will be required to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination prior to working on those projects. As an exception, employees may also request a Medical or Religious exemption from the vaccine requirement and the request must be supported by a doctor for a medical exemption or by a statement from the employee outlining a sincerely held belief to qualify for a religious exemption. Please contact us if you have any questions.
After an offer of employment is made, the candidate must successfully pass a pre- employment background check, drug screening, and a DMV records check that meets WEST’s minimum criteria to operate a motor vehicle on behalf of the company. A valid driver’s license will be required.
WEST provides equal employment opportunities to all individuals regardless of their race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status, genetics, and any protected veteran status, and any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. Further, WEST takes affirmative action to ensure that all individuals are treated fairly, and without discrimination, for recruitment, selection, advancement and every other term and privilege associated with employment.