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Research Assistant at Columbia’s eco-epidemiology lab

by Ivara J. Roth on March 1, 2019

The eco-epidemiology lab at Columbia University (Diuk-Wasser lab: http://blogs.cuit.columbia.edu/mad2256/) has three paid research assistant positions for the 2019 summer field season:

(1) Host associations of the Lyme disease agent on Block Island, RI;
(2) New York City coupled natural-human system (human dimensions);
(3) New York City coupled natural-human system (the natural cycle); and

We also have multiple unpaid part-time volunteer positions available in NYC. The time dedicated to the project is negotiable, but we request at least 1 full day a week.

Host associations of the Lyme disease agent on Block Island, RI
Research Assistant (1 paid position)

This research will examine mammalian and avian host specialization by the spirochetal bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi. We are recruiting motivated field technician(s) for field sampling from May 19-August 23, 2019 on Block Island, RI. Primary duties will include handling and processing (collecting blood, tissue, and ticks) samples from small mammals, sampling for questing ticks, and mist netting, handling, and processing samples from birds. Other duties include bird surveys (depending on skills), maintaining field equipment and data entry. This position will provide strong field training in tick species and life-stage identification, data collection and management skills, tick collection methods, and mark-recapturing of small mammals. Preference will be given to individuals with experience collecting blood samples, having knowledge of the New England avian fauna, and having experience conducting bird point counts.

NYC coupled natural-human system (human dimensions)
Research Assistant (1 paid position, multiple part-time volunteer positions)

This project examines the human dimensions of the coupled human natural system of Lyme disease on Staten Island, NY. During June and July, 2019, our research team will conduct household epidemiological surveys and tick dragging in residential properties to evaluate the human exposure to ticks and the risk of Lyme disease in urban areas. The responsibilities of the RA will include: conducting in-person recruitment and surveys to householders, conducting an ecological assessment of the property that includes tick sampling in the yard, and coordinating field logistics and data entry with a field crew of 3-4 students. The start date is negotiable, however we aim to start the position May 20th to run through July 31st, 2019. This position will provide strong training in conducting epidemiological surveys in the field, tick collection and identification, and data management skills.

NYC coupled natural-human system (the natural cycle)
Research Assistant (1 paid position)

This project examines the natural transmission cycle of the Lyme disease agent within the coupled human natural system on Staten Island, NY. During the summer of 2019, our mobile research team will collect samples from small mammals (blood, tissue, and ticks), sample questing ticks, and use camera traps in urban public parks to understand the ecological drivers of Lyme disease risk on Staten Island. Experience leading a field crew and small mammal trapping is preferred. The start date is negotiable, however we aim to start the position May 15th and run through August 30, 2019. Early morning and late afternoon hours, as well as Sunday evenings, are required. This position will provide strong field training in tick species and life-stage identification, data collection and management skills, tick collection methods, and mark-recapturing of small mammals with opportunities to trap mesomammals.

Relevant information for all positions

Housing, field equipment, and transportation will be provided. Jobs are full time, 35-40 hours/week.  Wage is commensurate with education and experience. Applicants should have interest in disease ecology/environmental health/epidemiology/public health, have strong leadership skills, and be highly organized with clear handwriting. Technician(s) must be in good physical condition and capable of working in unfavorable environmental conditions (e.g. rain, heat, tick infested forest). A valid U.S. driver’s license and clean driving record is required. If interested, please fill the google form where you can provide a list of three professional references and attach a single pdf document (with your last name in the subject) with 1) a cover letter (noting which position you are applying to) and relevant field experience; and 2) a CV/resume by March 15, 2019, for full consideration.

Link to the application: https://goo.gl/forms/R1pYMxHOmGZhyPb32

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