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Mountain Ecosystem Research | University of New Mexico

by Grace L. Schumaker on April 27, 2018

Job Description:
We are looking to recruit 2-3 individuals interested in alpine research on mountain ecosystems, their
wildlife, and their relationship to weather and other environmental conditions. The project focuses
particularly on the factors underlying the distribution and abundance of American pikas (Ochotona
princeps) across northern New Mexico, but we collect data on all bird & mammal species we encounter,
as well as quantify vegetation cover, microtopography, etc.  We are seeking enthusiastic individuals that
are interested in working in high-elevation settings for ~3 weeks this July (starting 3 July).

This work is very strenuous because it involves high-mileage hiking in remote, high-elevation areas
(7,800 – 12,500′), typically off-trail, and involves early mornings and late nights (to match activity peaks
in our study species).  However, if you love the mountains, amazing scenery, and searching for
charismatic animals, then the payoff is huge! We are seeking three overarching traits in applicants: 1)
navigation experience on and off trails, 2) excellent physical condition (6-20+ miles of hiking at high
elevations, each day), and 3) positive attitude, solid decision-making skills, and mental stamina under
challenging conditions in remote areas. We are looking for applicants with strong, proven leadership
skills. Selected applicants *must* have their own transportation to and from Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Required Qualifications:
-Highly motivated individual
-Must possess a current, valid U.S. driver’s license
-Can work independently, in addition to as part of a team
-Great physical condition, for work in mountainous terrain (2.5-3 mph sustained pace)
-Experience hiking/backpacking
-Detail-oriented, for data collection
-Strong problem-solving skills
-Most importantly, energetic and positive attitude under challenging conditions!

Preferred Qualifications:
-Experience in identifying trees and shrubs
-Basic hiking gear, such as your own overnight and day packs, strong but comfortable boots, water
bladders to carry 3-7 liters, etc.
-Orienteering experience with GPS units & topographic maps

Technicians will receive extensive training on use of all field gear (e.g., compass, clinometer, GPS unit,
laser rangefinder) and field methods, as well as a comprehensive discussion and materials explaining
the justifications and background for the study.  Technicians will have transportation and lodging
expenses covered, and will receive a daily stipend for food and other expenses.  Technicians will also
get the rare experience of being in remote areas of Bandelier National Monument and in Valles Caldera
National Preserve, the latter of which was recently made an NPS park unit.

To Apply:
Please send a current resume or CV, along with a cover letter describing your experience, skills, and
interests and especially how they make you a great fit for the position, as well as information for 4
references (name, email, phone #, how they know you) to Marie Westover at the University of New
Mexico ( Decisions will be made on a rolling basis, starting 9 May 2018.

Thank you for your interest and we look forward to hearing from you!

Short video about pikas: v=cqtm9dkAu4o

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