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Aug 3 15

Citizen Science Program Coordinator

by Sara Gomez Garcia

North American Bird Phenology: Program Coordinator Position

The North American Bird Phenology Program houses a unique and largely forgotten collection of millions of migration observation cards that illuminate migration patterns and population status of birds in North America. These handwritten cards contain almost all of what was known of bird status from the Second World War back to the later part of the 19th century. The bulk of the records are the result of a network of observers who recorded migration arrival dates in the spring and fall that, in its heyday, involved well over 3,000 participants.

On each record, participants recorded their name, locality, and year, along with arrival and departure dates, date of abundance, and if it was a common species to that location. Many field report files are also found among the records which include more detailed information including species behavior, habitat, and a description of the sighting. The records are cataloged by species and locality, totaling approximately 900 species of birds ranging across North America. Many of the records have been scanned and displayed online where a network of volunteers transcribe each record. A custom-built system validates transcribed records. Once validated, all data are released to the general public and scientific community.

The information from this analysis provides critical information on bird distribution, migration timing, and migration pathways. There is no other program that has the depth of information that can help us understand the effect that global climate change has on bird populations across the country.

The work outlined here will support the management of the North American Bird Phenology Program.

Key Responsibilities
The contractor will support the needs of the North American Bird Phenology at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center with an understanding of general research, scientific, and data management principles. The contractor will support the online volunteer network to effectively transcribe and edit BPP records. The contractor will edit, assemble, and interpret data collections; check records for scientific and taxonomic accuracy, manage the BPP website and database, and work with researchers to access records.  The contractor will perform and initiate investigative research activities in an effort to understand, model, predict and preserve various in-house and collaborative research studies in relation to the BPP data.

Technical Requirements
Access to Information and Data
Provide access to BPP data through the current BPP website
Maintain webpages on BPP website, transcription screen, and training materials for volunteers
Provide volunteers with monthly E-Newsletter with updated program information

Manage and Populate database
Complete database QA/QC to maintain high degree of data quality
Transcribe and verify additional datasets associated to BPP; incorporate it into the BPP database

Support the use of BPP data in scientific papers
Answer requests for data and work with scientist to understand and interpret BPP data
Work with collaborating scientists to prepare scientific papers for publication

Recruit and Manage Online and Office Participants
Recruit new participants through listserves, presentations, and social media
Provide training and guidance to online participants
Manage office volunteers by providing projects, training, and oversight

·      B.S. or M.S. in Ecology, Wildlife Biology, Environmental Science or a related field or equivalent work experience
·      Strong data manipulation, management and QA/QC skills and attention to detail
·      Good writing and oral communication skills
·      Ability to work with a diverse audiences;  experience working with volunteers
·      Specific knowledge and experience in ornithology is preferred
·      Ability to work in SQL Server is preferred

Place of Performance
Data will come from existing databases and other sources.  Analysis will be completed at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland.

If interested, please send resume and cover letter to:
Jessica Zelt,
USGS/Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

Jul 15 15

Ecology Research Technician

by Sara Gomez Garcia

The Department of Biology at The College of New Jersey invites applications
for an Ecology Research Technician (20 hours/week). The position will begin
in late August 2015 and continue through June 2016. The Ecology Research
Technician will perform skilled technical work to support a faculty research
program in suburban forest ecology and the ecology of plant-pathogen
interactions. The technician will be involved in all aspects of the
research, including collection of field, greenhouse, and lab data, data
management and analysis, maintenance of greenhouse and field experiments,
ordering and maintenance of research supplies, and scheduling and
coordinating the undergraduate research team.

Qualifications for this position:
– Graduation from an accredited college with a Bachelor’s degree in one of
the following areas: biology, botany, ecology, forestry, environmental
science, or a related field.
– Coursework in ecology and/or botany.
– Past experience with field ecology research.
– Knowledge of or ability to quickly learn the flora of New Jersey.
– Evidence of interpersonal abilities that enable working collegially as a
team member with faculty and students.
– A demonstrated ability to work independently.
– Strong computer software skills including Microsoft Word, Excel, and
– Must be willing and able to work outdoors in all day in all weather, in
forested sites, and be able to do physical labor, for example installing
fence posts and sawing tree limbs.
– Valid driver’s license and personal vehicle to drive to field sites.

Preferred qualifications:
– Demonstrated ability to manage large data sets.
– Coursework in statistics.
– Demonstrated ability to conduct statistical data analysis.
– Knowledge of SAS and/or R software.

Contact Information:
Applications consisting of a letter of interest, a curriculum vitae or
resume and contact information for three professional references are being
accepted via e-mail (Microsoft Word or PDF documents, please) at References will not be contacted without the candidate’s
prior knowledge and consent. Applications will be considered through July
31, 2015. Resumes received after that date will only be considered if a
suitable applicant has not been identified. Final offer of employment will
be contingent upon successful completion of a background investigation.

Founded in 1855, TCNJ is a highly selective institution that has earned
national recognition for its commitment to excellence. Emphasizing a
residential experience for it’s over 6,000 undergraduates, TCNJ is one of
Barron’s 75 Most Competitive American Colleges, and U.S. News & World
Report’s No. 1 public institution of its kind in the northern region of the

To enrich education through diversity, The College of New Jersey is an Equal
Opportunity Employer. The College has a strong commitment to achieving
diversity among faculty and staff, and strongly encourages women and members
of underrepresented groups to apply.

Jul 15 15

Field assistant at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Central Panama

by Sara Gomez Garcia

I am seeking a field assistant to conduct research on a project at the
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Central Panama. The project
addresses the potential impact of climate change on the ecology of ticks
and tick-borne disease in the neotropics. The position would entail
substantial field work duties in addition to laboratory duties. All
field work will take place in the Panama Canal region, and the assistant
would be stationed in Gamboa. This is a full-time volunteer position but
limited funds may be available to help defray the cost of travel and/or
living expenses.

Qualifications: applicants should have a B.S. or B.A. and should be
conversant in Spanish and English. Applicants should be able to drive a
manual four wheel drive field truck in very muddy conditions. Prior
experience working with arthropods is desirable but not necessary.
Applicants must be in good physical condition and willing to spend long
days in the field, often in adverse weather conditions.

Prospective applicants should send a cover letter describing their
research experience and interest in the position, CV, and contact
information for three references.

Dates of Position: The position will begin ASAP and continue until
January 31, 2016. However, exact dates are flexible.

Contact Erin Welsh at to send applications or for more

Jul 9 15

Research Internship | Desert Fish Population Genetics – Saudi Arabia

by Kris Pieper

We are seeking an intern (graduate or postgraduate student) for a 3-6 months stay in our  lab to work on the following project:

Rad-seq population genetics on Arabian killifish from the Arabian Desert

This project is aimed at understanding how natural populations of fish are adapted to  extreme environments. In the Saudi Arabian desert close to KAUST we can find ponds of  water (wadis) in which we find fish such as the Arabian killifish, Aphanius dispar, surviving harsh conditions. Our aim to start this project is to collect DNA of fish from a collection of different ponds and analyze the population structure of these desert fish. Also, we will be looking at the water conditions and local adaptations in these fish. This will allow observing the presence or absence of gene flow between these ponds through underground freshwater connections. Furthermore, it will be the first step to find
pond/condition specific variants that might reveal local adaptation to certain harsh conditions. The student will be involved in the field work, but also will learn about lab techniques, from DNA extractions to Rad-seq library preparation for high-throughput sequencing. Water chemistry analyses will furthermore be a part of the project as will the population genetic analysis and bioinformatics analysis of the high-throughput sequencing data.

The student will receive flights, housing, visa and a salary of 800$ per month.

The internship conditions and requirements can be found on this webpage:

Here you can find out more about the lab:

If you are interested or have any questions please write to

Jul 9 15

AmeriCorps Position | Frostburg Grows – Frostburg, MD

by Kris Pieper
Frostburg Grows is an innovative local food production, sustainable agriculture training center, composting operation, native tree nursery, renewable energy, and sustainable development project built and operating on a former coal mine site in Frostburg, Maryland, USA.
Note: The availability of this position is contingent upon funding.
This is a full-time AmeriCorps position with a one year contract. The member will serve a total of 1,700 hours over the course of a year (average of 35 hours a week). The member will receive a living stipend of approx. $12,530 and at the completion of the service hours will receive a $5,720 education award. Mandatory training for new members will be held in late August or early September 2015 in Frostburg, MD and the position will begin September 1, 2015 (pending final funding). As a member of the A-STAR! AmeriCorps program the member will be required to attend mandatory trainings throughout the year as well as take part in certain mandatory days of service or service events.
Major duties will be to assist with:
1. Operation and maintenance of high tunnel greenhouses and composting
2. Operation and maintenance of the shade house and tree nursery operations
3. Planning and coordination of volunteer work days and educational events at the site
4. Monitoring and data recording for tree seedling and food production and other operations
5. Providing education for community members on healthy living linked to growing, preparing and eating fresh local fruits and vegetables and sustainability
Link to apply to AmeriCorps:
Contact Dan Fiscus @ or Corey Armstrong @ or call 301-687-3136 for more info. Applications received by July 20, 2015 will be given priority. Apply online at the AmeriCorps website above, and email a CV and letter describing your interests, skills and experience to Dan or Corey.
For more information on Frostburg Grows, see:
Note: The availability of this position is contingent upon funding.
Funded in part by the Governor¹s Office on Service and Volunteerism and the Corporation for National and Community Service
Jul 9 15

Field Assistant | African Social Spiders – University of Pittsburgh (in Africa)

by Kris Pieper

Job Description:

We (Pruitt Lab at the University of Pittsburgh) are looking for two field assistants to join us in South Africa and Namibia to help perform and set up various short- and long-term experiments with the African desert social spider Stegodyphus dumicola. We will be investigating how intracolony behavioral variation leads to success in the field, and its role in defending the colony against ant raids. This job will require spending a lot of time both inside performing behavioral assays on spiders, and outside setting up and recording survival data on colonies in the field. There will also be a lot of driving, as we will likely be setting up studies in both South Africa and Namibia. You will be expected to be up early to assist with projects, and some projects may require surveying colonies during the night as well. Expect 10+ hour workdays.
This position will provide you with valuable experience designing, setting up, and executing research projects in the field. There may also be the opportunity for you to design and execute your own research project, depending on our time constraints.
We will cover all airfare costs as well as food and lodging while in Africa. Additionally, we will pay each assistant $500 per month. If your performance is outstanding, we will gladly provide glowing letters of recommendation for you should you need them.
2.5 months (from mid-September to early December)
We will be accepting applications from now until mid-August.
Seriously interested in pursuing a career in ecology
Excellent academic performance
Undergraduate or recent graduate
Be able to lift 80lbs
Must be able to stay for the entire 2.5 month duration
Must not be squeamish around spiders. These are medium-sized spiders, and one colony can have sometimes over 1,000 spiders inside it. You will be required to handle them often with bare hands. They will sometimes try to bite you, but their fangs cannot penetrate your skin. It does not hurt when they bite you. Please do not apply for this position if reading that made you queasy.
Limited dietary restrictions: food options where we will be staying are often quite limited, and it may not be possible to accommodate severely restricting dietary requirements. Vegetarians should be fine.
We will cover all airfare costs as well as food and lodging while in Africa. Additionally, we will pay each assistant $500 per month.
Apply for this position:
If this position interests you, please send your cover letter, CV, unofficial academic records including current GPA, and two personal references that we may contact to Colin Wright ( We are accepting applications NOW through mid-August.
For more information about our lab, please visit our lab¹s website at:
Jul 9 15

Research Assistant | Tropical Ecosystems – University of Puerto Rico

by Kris Pieper

September 1st through December 19th, 2015
Complete applications must be submitted by July 16, 2015

RESEARCH DESCRIPTION: The Environmental Science Department of the
University of Puerto Rico, together with the Dept. of Ecology, Evolution
and Environmental Biology at Columbia University, will carry out a tree
census in four forest stands of varying ages (~ 1 hectare each) in the El
Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico.  There will also be 2-3 weeks of
dendrometer tree band measurements, a project that allows for precise
measurements of diameter growth in our 16 hectare long term study plot.
For this project we need six (6) volunteer interns to help collect tree
census data and map tree locations.  Data will then be entered and reviewed
using database software.  Volunteers will work together in teams, spending
long hours in the field (8am until 4 pm, Mon-Fri, with weekends free),
often in very wet and muddy conditions.  In addition, the dendrometer
project will involve strenuous field work, requiring hiking and climbing
into trees with the help of ladders. While in Puerto Rico, volunteers will
have the opportunity to learn about diverse aspects of tropical ecology
from scientists involved in the Luquillo Long-Term Ecological Research

PERIOD: September 1st through December 19th, 2015.

STIPEND: $600 per month to cover food and general living expenses.

ACCOMMODATION: Free accommodation at the El Verde Field Station in Puerto
Rico.  Housing is communal using shared resources.  The field station is
relatively isolated and transportation is available on a limited basis.

TRAVEL: Refund of up to $750 towards a round-trip plane ticket from
mainland USA, if not already living in Puerto Rico.

NOTE: We are unable to provide any medical insurance.

REQUIREMENTS:  College graduates with background in biology, ecology, or
environmental science, preferably with field-work experience, knowledge of
plant identification, and excellent organizational skills.  Tropical
experience useful, but is not required.  We are currently only considering
US citizens and permanent US residents for these opportunities.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: Interested applicants must fill out the online
Application Form (
opportunities/lfdp-internship-application). (You may have to cut and paste
into address bar.)

The following additional materials must also be submitted via email to the
LFDP/Chronosequence Research Manager (Seth Rifkin) at

1) A letter of interest indicating why you wish to work in the tropical
forest and describing your relevant experience.  Include a statement that
you understand your application is for a volunteer position;
2) Full resume;
3) University transcripts (scanned unofficial transcripts are fine).

All email attachments must include the name of the applicant as part of the
file name.

Please email further inquiries to

Following phone interviews, we will inform successful applicants in late-
July, 2015.

For more information about the Luquillo LTER research program and the El
Verde Field Station, please see, and

Jul 9 15

Internship | Sustainability and Environment – CIEE

by Kris Pieper
The Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) in Monteverde, Costa Rica seeks two highly motivated interns for the semester abroad program in Sustainability and Environment (​).  
The primary responsibilities of Interns will include providing general assistance in teaching and supervising US university students participating in the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 programs, and helping with Program coordination and logistics.  Interns will be housed in Monteverde at the CIEE Study Center, travel on extensive field trips to remote communities and wild areas in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.  They will be expected to work long hours, sometimes under challenging or uncomfortable conditions in this very intensive study program, and get along with diverse personalities.   
We prefer candidates who have an undergraduate degree in a field related to ecology, environmental studies, or sustainability.  Strong candidates will also have good Spanish skills, be energetic and positive, have previously held a full-time job, and be organized and detail-oriented.  They should have demonstrated initiative and good judgment.  They will have great people skills, value being outdoors (even if hot, buggy, and muddy), and love to work hard as well as play hard.  
Compensation is room and board and travel expenses, including travel to and from USA-Costa Rica.  The selected candidates will also benefit from having the opportunity to work alongside a very dedicated and dynamic staff and enjoy the truly unforgettable and transformative experiences that this Program offers.
Interested?  Send a letter stating why you are perfect for this position and a recent resumé or cv to
May 28 15

Nature Advocate/Research Associate

by Sara Gomez Garcia

Job Description
– Are you passionate about protecting the natural environment?
– Do you love writing about nature and working with people?
– Do you enjoy inspiring others?
– Are you self-motivated and willing to challenge conventional wisdom?

If your answer to these questions is an enthusiastic yes, then please keep

Position Description
A job at the California Chaparral Institute, a research/educational/advocacy
non-profit, is unlike any other you will ever have. You’ll be challenged as
well as inspired. You’ll apply what you have learned in college and learn
more. You’ll have the opportunity to change lives and shift public policy.
Working closely with the Institute’s director, you will be advocating for
and writing about California’s most characteristic, extensive ecosystem, the
chaparral. You will be responsible for co-designing, coordinating, and
expanding an innovative naturalist training program, monitoring public
projects that threaten native shrubland habitats, co-authoring influential
comment letters to government agencies, assisting in field research, and
inspiring others to love nature as much as you do. You will be responsible
for managing tasks across multiple projects simultaneously. Most
importantly, your creativity will be allowed to expand in ways that
challenge convention and yourself.

This is a full-time position for at least one year, located in Escondido,

Do the following activities inspire you?
– Collaborating to produce a program
– Writing
– California native plants
– Botanizing, bird watching, watching a colony of harvester ants go about
their business
– Teaching
– Fighting for a cause
– Photography
– Video production/editing
– Hiking

Are we looking for YOU? Yes, if you…
– Have strong organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills.
– Can work for extended periods of time in a basement office with four
windows and a door that’s open with it’s warm out.
– Are willing to crawl under and through the chaparral.
– Have competent writing and public speaking skills (with the desire to
become excellent).
– Can present a compelling personality on film.
– Are willing to travel and attend conferences/workshops throughout the state.
– Enjoy research.
– Have competent (or willing to learn) video editing/photography skills.

Education and Experience
– A Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies or Life Sciences, or in need
of a break after 2 or 3 of years of full-time university-level study in the

– Competitive salary for a environmental, non-profit organization (enough
for an apartment, food, gas, and weekend escapes)
– Retirement savings account
– Casual, environmental-advocate dress
– Meeting senior leaders in environmental/science fields

To Apply
Become familiar with our work by visiting our website at
1) a sincere answer (500 words or less) to the following prompt: Why is
nature important?
2) resume with photo

Send your materials via email to:
or if you prefer mail:
The California Chaparral Institute
PO Box 545
Escondido, CA 92033

May 28 15

Internship at The Medford Office of Energy & Environment

by Sara Gomez Garcia

The Medford Office of Energy & Environment is looking for 2 or more unpaid interns for the summer.  Some years we have the funding to pay interns, but this year we were less successful than usual in securing funding. We are hopeful that some area college-age students would be interested in this resume-building opportunity.

It is expected that an intern would work a minimum of 10 hours a week, during our office hours, in order to provide consistency. We are able to be designated as a work-study location and thereby employ students who have federal work study funding that they can use this summer.

Position 1:
A motivated individual is needed to help organize the City’s 6th annual Harvest Your Energy Festival. This year’s festival is scheduled for Saturday, October 3, 2015. The Energy Festival Coordinator will work with the Office’s Director to contact exhibitors, organize volunteers, maintain financial records and perform the tasks necessary to coordinate the festival. The coordinator works out of Medford’s Office of Energy & Environment and will help with general office tasks including fielding resident requests, as needed.

Position 2:
Work with the Medford Bicycle Advisory Commission to develop a Bicycle Infrastructure Master Plan. The Commission has been in existence for two years, and recently held a public workshop to provide direction for the Master Plan. The intern would be expected to take the lead in converting the raw material from the workshop into a draft master plan, including:
1. Review prior work done in the City related to bicycle infrastructure, including the raw material from the workshop
2. Develop an outline of a master plan document, working with Commission members
3. Perform field work to verify existing conditions, including photographs and measurements
4. Develop draft recommendations based on meetings with Commission members, supplemented by independent research with respect to standards and common practices elsewhere.
5. Prepare a draft master plan document, including text and graphics, and respond to comments by the Commissioners.
Other potential tasks, if time allowed, would include developing a marketing and communications plan to bring about behavior change in regard to: cyclist behavior and compliance with rules of the road, pedestrian safety, and driver awareness of cyclists and pedestrians.
Students interested in either position should send a cover letter and resume to Alicia Hunt, Director of Energy and Environment, City of Medford at