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  • Snail Kite Assistant Crew Leader

    • Employer: University of Florida
      Location: Kenansville, FL
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 07/12/2021
      Open Until Filled: No

    The Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit is based out of the University of Florida in Gainesville and oversees several ongoing wetland-related research projects. We are monitoring the Snail Kite population via mark-recapture surveys and extensive nest searching/monitoring adhering to stringent protocols.


    Field work for this project is conducted throughout the wetland ecosystems of central and south Florida from the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes in the north (near Orlando) to the Everglades in the south (near Miami). The field work involves the extensive use of airboats. Applicants must be willing to work long, flexible hours in a hot, humid environment and maintain a positive attitude in adverse conditions. Some days involve working from sunrise to sunset. Field work involves regularly entering chest-deep water, sometimes in close proximity to alligators and snakes. All of the necessary training will be provided including airboat operation and maintenance. Applicant must be comfortable and willing to learn to drive and repair airboats which are loud, finicky, require acute awareness, and can be very dangerous if not properly respected.


    We are seeking a highly experienced and motivated candidate with crew leading or supervisory experience to assist with the long-term research of the endangered Snail Kite. The ideal candidate will undergo a probationary period of approximately 4 months during the “off-season” that will consist of nest monitoring and airboat training, after which they will assume responsibilities of Assistant Field Crew Leader once the survey season begins in late January 2022. Following the 2022 field season the candidate will be promoted to Field Crew Leader and lead the project until late summer of 2023.


    Duties include operating airboats throughout diverse wetlands, mark-recapture surveys that include re-sighting banded snail kites, nest searching and monitoring, banding and handling nestlings, data entry, and maintenance of field equipment and boats. Applicant will be responsible for assisting with the logistics of operating two synchronous two-person crews conducting field research throughout southern and central Florida.


    Salary is $13/hr including free housing that will be provided at the Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area south of St. Cloud, FL. Applicant should be comfortable living in a field house with only a few other coworkers.

    Qualifications: Bachelor's degree in Ecology, Biology, Environmental Science, Wildlife, or a related field. Applicant must be able to read color bands. Previous experience leading a field crew is strongly desired. Previous experience handling and banding birds is required; ability to comfortably handle and band wild raptors is preferred. Basic mechanical repair skills and engine troubleshooting knowledge is also preferred. Experience with boating and trailering is a plus but not required. Applicant must have a valid U.S. driver's license.


    This position starts August 9th, or earlier depending on availability. This is a two-year position with a commitment until summer 2023. Interested persons should send a resume with a cover letter and contact information for three references to Lara Elmquist (EM: snailkites@gmail.com). For questions see our website www.wec.ufl.edu/coop, or contact Lara Elmquist via email.

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