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  • Everglades Wading Bird UAV Pilot - Florida

    Guest Lindsey Garner
    • Employer: University of Florida
      Location: Homestead, Florida
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 11/07/2022
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    UAV LICENSED PILOT FIELD TECHNICIAN (1) needed for ongoing wading bird research and monitoring in the Florida Everglades. The University of Florida’s Wading Bird Project focuses on long-term trends of wading bird nesting effort including Great Egrets, Wood Storks, White Ibis, Roseate Spoonbills and other species throughout the Water Conservation Areas of the Everglades. This position will be part of a field team comprised of 3 additional field technicians and Project Manager. Position begins mid-January and runs through late June 2023. Salary is $16/hour plus housing (located in Homestead area of FL) and benefits (https://hr.ufl.edu/working-at-uf/current-employees/temporary-employment-ops/). Primary duties (~65%) include assisting the project manager with all aspects of wading bird field research including: counting wading bird nests from small fixed-wing aircraft, operating airboats to reach field sites, assisting with daily UAV flights, and conducting daily nest checks in inundated tree islands throughout the Everglades. In addition, UAV technician will be responsible for conducting daily flights as Remote Pilot in Command over wading bird colonies from an airboat. Technician will also help project manager oversee daily UAV equipment prep, maintenance, and data management. Field teams and tasks will vary throughout the week. Non-field duties (35%) include data entry/proofing, equipment maintenance, small airboat repairs, and counting wading birds in aerial photos. Applicants are encouraged to review the project website to recognize unique Everglades working conditions. (https://everglades.weecology.org/jobs/).

    Successful candidates must have a current FAA certified Part 107 License, considerable experience operating small rotary or fixed-wing UAVs, knowledge of FAA rules and regulations, and basic understanding of UAV maintenance. In the field, technician must maintain a positive attitude, give top priority to safety considerations, be in excellent physical condition in order to contend with difficult working conditions (heat, sun, humidity, biting insects, thick vegetation, deep mud, stuck airboats, alligators, etc.), work and live harmoniously in shared space with coworkers, and show patience with short-notice schedule changes. Successful candidates will likely have at least 6 months of prior field research experience and must be US citizens. A valid driver’s license and good driving record are required. Training is provided, but some preference will be shown for those having experience with bird handling, driving 4X4 trucks, piloting powerboats, towing and backing trailers, flying in small planes or helicopters, familiarity with power tools, and/or engine repair. A portion of the 2023 field season will focus on UAV surveys, which generate large datasets. Therefore, applicants must be detail-oriented and willing to contribute to data entry, data management, and aerial photo analyses. While not required, experience with ArcGIS, Adobe Photoshop, Aggisoft Photoscan, etc. are a plus.

    At Weecology, we are committed to supporting and training a diverse scientific workforce. Current and former group members encompass a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds from the U.S. and other countries, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, military veterans, people with disabilities, and students who are the first generation in their family to go to college. We support and encourage students interested in a variety of career paths. Former Weecologists work at NGOs, teaching-focused colleges, research universities, and in the tech industry. We work hard to create a supportive and inclusive lab environment and expect all members of Weecology to abide by the lab code of conduct (https://www.weecology.org/lab-wiki/code-of-conduct/).

    Application materials must be received by Nov 7th. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and the position may be filled prior to the deadline. Please send cover letter, resume, and contact information of 3 references, in a single email attachment with the filename Yourlastname_app to Lindsey Garner (everglades@weecology.org) Feel free to contact via email with any questions.



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