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Dec 9 16

Community-based reforestation | Madagascar

by Marissa M. Donohue

Do you want to help save the world’s rain forests? What about lemurs,
do you like lemurs? Would you like to do something about climate change?
If, yes, please join the volunteer program with Omaha’s Henry Doorly
Zoo and Aquarium (OHDZA) and the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership
(MBP)!  We¹re looking for highly motivated volunteers to join our
on-going reforestation program in southeastern Madagascar.  This area is
home to nine lemur species, several of which are critically endangered.
Habitat loss threatens the remaining yet unprotected forest fragments,
but you can help.  We work with local communities to reconnect and
expand natural habitats over the mountainous terrain around Kianjavato
while sustainably benefiting the 12,000 area residents. This unique
partnership has planted nearly 1,000,000 trees thereby helping the
lemurs, their forest homes, and their human neighbors.

You¹ll have a dynamic daily work routine; you may be working at the
primary field station or at the multiple tree nurseries; you could be
collecting seeds within an established forest; or at a field site
preparing for a community planting event.  Duties may include sorting
compost, placing seedlings into growing bags, organizing the tree
inventory, transplanting trees with the local community groups or school
children.  The ultimate goal of the reforestation program is to plant
one million trees as a means to establish corridors between forest
fragments and restore ecosystem services.  In order reach this
substantial goal, there is a need for streamlining the reforestation
effort ­ from seed collection, germination, and transplantation ­ and
this is where the volunteers can make a significant and lasting
contribution to the project.

The schedule for the reforestation volunteer may vary, but will operate
during daylight hours, Monday through Friday, with members of the
reforestation team and nursery staff arriving at the job site around
7:00am.  You will typically work with three other volunteers and a team
of knowledgeable Malagasy field guides.  The reforestation team consists
of rotating OHDZA employees, Malagasy MBP field assistants and graduate
students, along with numerous nursery managers and assistants from the
local community.

Adequate physical fitness is required.  We prefer volunteers with at
least a BA or BSc in the biological or environmental sciences, tropical
restoration and forest management experience is a plus.  Some
independent research experience will be an advantage, as will work or
travel experience in tropical countries.  A willingness to work in
isolated conditions, the ability to solve problems independently, and
dedication to a positive and respectful working environment are

For a more details, please visit the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership

Term of Appointment: Entry is required under a 90 day tourist visa, thus
volunteers are limited to a 90 day stay.

Application Deadline: The positions will be filled by the first
qualified applicants. This in an on-going call for volunteers and we are
currently looking for volunteers throughout 2017.

Applicants should send a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and
contact information for a few professional references to Dr. Ed Louis
(mbp AT madagascarpartnership DOT org).

Dec 9 16

Summer Research Technician | Yosemite National Park

by Marissa M. Donohue

The Western Forest Initiative is hiring three field technicians for summer
of 2017.

Forest Demography and Fire Effects: These positions will primarily involve
the establishment of spatially-explicit forest plots in Yosemite National
Park. The crew will navigate to areas within or near the footprint of the
Rim Fire of 2013 (wilderness and non-wilderness) and then identify, measure,
and map trees and snags in plots. The crew will receive training in
mapping and demography in the Yosemite Forest Dynamics Plot and will work
with investigators from Utah State University, the University of Washington,
and the University of Montana on this Joint Fire Science Program funded

Duration: Late-May through mid-August, with the possibility for some staff
to extend the season. The work schedule is four, ten-hour days per week.
Because we don¹t work under inclement conditions, the crew will need to be

Salary: $12.50 per hour. Campground accommodations are provided. Personal
vehicle use reimbursed at $0.485/mile.

Qualifications: Previous experience taking vegetation research data,
working safely in challenging environments, and following complex data
collection protocols is required. Candidates should demonstrate the ability
to solve problems, to work both independently and in teams of two or three,
and to work with students and volunteers. Work will involve moving through
rough terrain carrying delicate and expensive equipment, as well as carrying
up to 15 kg of additional gear. Knowledge of western flora, tree pathogens,
and forest insects is helpful, as is solid experience with outdoor living.
Applicants must have a valid driver’s license and good driving history.
Applicants need a Wilderness First Aid certification (Wilderness First
Responder preferred) valid for the season.

Apply: Please assemble the following into a single PDF file and email it to ­ 1) a one-page cover letter describing your reasons for
applying, specific dates of availability (including any planned mid-summer
absences, or a statement that you plan none), and confirmation of your first
aid certification, 2) a resume, no longer than two pages, 3) unofficial
transcripts, and 4) names, phone numbers and email addresses of three
references. Application deadline: January 31, 2017. Usually, we have made
our staffing decisions by early February. Exceptional candidates will be
selected earlier.

Additional information and background at:,, and the Facebook Group “Yosemite Forest
Dynamics Plot”

Dec 5 16

Zarin Machanda: How did a want-to-be astronaut veterinarian become a chimpanzee researcher and professor?

by huebel01

Zarin Machanda is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology. She has worked with chimpanzees for the past 2 decades studying social interactions and development patterns. She is also the Director of Long-term Research at the Kibale Chimpanzee Project, a long-term study of wild chimpanzees in Uganda.

As a child growing up, Dr. Machanda would’ve told you that she wanted to be an astronaut veterinarian. While the job prospects of that career became a little more evident as she got older, Dr. Machanda was able to find her passion in studying chimpanzees and their behavior.

Hannah Uebele: How did you get started in this particular field?

Zarin Machanda: I always wanted to work with animals, so there was a part of me that just always wanted to work with wildlife. I remember looking up “primatologist” when I was really little and I thought, ‘Oh that sounds pretty cool.’ So I think a lot of students throughout my childhood and even into high school (thought) the only job you did if you wanted to work with animals was a veterinarian. It just wasn’t very obvious that there were other things, especially if you were a good student who really liked science, it just seemed like instead of going to med school, you go to vet school. And so at 18 that’s just what I assumed I was going to do. So I went to McGill and I majored in biology, and to get this kind of animal experience that you need to apply to vet school, I started volunteering at this sanctuary that had these chimps and that was kind of it. Even when I was applying for PhD programs, I still applied to vet schools because it was still, so it was still a tough choice, I still had to make that decision between the two. There was a part of it that was the opportunity to do a PhD (in Human Evolutionary Biology) studying wild chimps was such a rarity, such a unique experience, that it was hard to turn down. It was also sometime in college when I realized that there’s so much more than just this straight kind of fields that we think about, that actually there’s so many departments or programs that are actually at the intersection of multiple things. So college was the first time I even realized there was a field called biological anthropology. McGill did not have biological anthropology so I actually ended up doing degrees in biology and in anthropology. Then when I applied for grad school, we were a department of anthropology at Harvard, and then halfway through my time there we became our own department of human evolutionary biology. There aren’t that many departments that just focus on biological anthropology or human evolutionary biology so it was this kind of interesting program where I could really just immerse myself in that.

Uebele: Is there something special that a person needs to have to be successful in this field?

Machanda: There’s a lot of luck to it as well. I can’t pinpoint why, ‘Why did I get to do this and other people didn’t?’ There are lots of people who love animals and who want to help them. I think people who do what I do are a little bit different. I love animals  but I love studying chimps. I don’t just love chimps, I love studying chimps and I think that’s the difference. I think if I just loved chimps and was very passionate about their survival then I would be a better conservationist. But I love studying them, so I think that’s partly what makes me a good researcher, because you can kind of remove yourself from that emotional tie to them. So I love the chimps that I study, but more importantly I love figuring out why they’re doing what they’re doing. I love going out and collecting data, I see something new every time I’m out there. It’s so much more than just having a passion for that animal, it’s about really wanting to understand.

Dr. Machanda explained how students need to be aware of this difference when figuring out which direction to go in their careers.

So you need to think about as a student, what is really driving your interest, and is it: do you love the study of it, do you love the academic side, or do you love the aspect of saving the species? I think that would give you a hint – one is maybe more conservation the other is more academic. There is a part of it that you have to be a pretty good student – I mean you have to like school, right? All of us are like these perpetual students who love learning, love being in this kind of atmosphere, don’t mind writing, so most people have some sort of fondness for school. I think you’d have a hard time being an academic without that kind of fondness. It’s not just an ability to do well school it’s about really liking what you’re learning. It’s about whether or not you can look at a body of information that’s maybe in a textbook and say, ‘Oh here’s what’s missing.’ So there’s kind of a way of thinking about the world that makes an academic successful.

Dr. Machanda then explained helpful steps students can take to help them get a better idea of where their interests lie. 

And then just practically what you can do – you want to invest in your education certainly. For what I do in particular, it helps to have experience and so getting some sort of hands on either fieldwork or work with the animal is really important. If you want to be a fieldworker, animal fieldwork or ecological fieldwork, something important you want to do is before you commit to that PhD, go get some field experience, go do something. The other thing that I would say, most students who I’ve seen be successful grad students and have had an easier time in graduate school, have done senior theses. If you don’t know whether you like research, it’s hard to know whether you’re going to like doing a PhD or being an academic. So having some sort of experience with your own independent research project is a good metric not just for someone else to see how good you are, but for you to know how much you like this, which is more important actually. I wouldn’t make the commitment to go to graduate school if you didn’t really like this.

Uebele: Looking back, is there anything you would do differently that you would want students now to be aware of?

Machanda: I think it’s all part of the journey, I mean I certainly don’t regret working hard in college. Universities are such dynamic intellectually stimulating places and I think it’s easy for us to get very much overwhelmed by all of the things that are potentially available to us. But I think that there is a lot of value to taking advantage of the resources at your university. You can not only learn a lot about a particular interest, but you get exposed to different people doing work in different departments, and I think that’s an incredibly useful thing. I feel like when I was an undergrad, you felt like you didn’t have time, you were like stuck in your department, rather than expanding your knowledge. So I would definitely think about what’s happening at the university and you only have four years, so think about ‘What can I take advantage of?’

Uebele: Any final advice for students wanting to pursue a similar career?

Machanda: I would say I don’t think a career in academia is for everybody. If it’s for you, it’s a wonderful wonderful flexible option, but there’s a lot of hardship and struggle with that kind of career that we don’t often hear about. I would definitely keep my eyes and options open. I think it’s a wonderful thing to get a PhD if you love a subject, but to kind of realize that what it is, is a qualification for all sorts of opportunities after that, that are not just limited to academia. You have to be realistic about the fact that, ‘Yes I’m going to get a PhD because I absolutely love this topic, and I love this field, but the reality of it is that I might not end up being a professor.’ And that’s okay because if you’ve loved doing your PhD, hopefully that will take you into all sorts of different arenas. You can’t necessarily think of this PhD as this linear path to academia. You have to think about it like, ‘Okay my next 7 years are going to be this’ and then hopefully keep a very open mind about what that degree can do for you, which is a lot of things. It’s a lot of things, I mean it can take you all sorts of really cool directions if you’re willing to see that, and to see those opportunities.

Nov 28 16

Research Assistant in Pollination Ecology – University of Illinois

by Marissa M. Donohue

How do bees use fragmented habitats? Dr. Harmon-Threatt in the Department
of Entomology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign seeks a Research
Assistant capable of both field and lab work to assist with addressing this
question. This 2-year position can begin as early as January 2016 but no
later than April 2017. Applicant must have a minimum of a BS in Biology,
Entomology or a related field. Experience with netting pollinators, bee identification,
GIS, R and field ecology are preferred but not required. Compensation will be
commensurate with experience. Unfortunately, we are limited to domestic
applicants due to funding.
For more information about the Harmon-Threatt Lab please visit or email Alexandra Harmon-Threatt

Please submit a single PDF with a cover letter with relevant experience, CV
and contact for 3 references who can be reached if necessary by December 9th to .

Nov 28 16

Development Coordinator position – Sustainable Nantucket

by Marissa M. Donohue
Sustainable Nantucket  – a grassroots, non-profit organization that is rebuilding the local food system on Nantucket Island — is seeking a Development Coordinator responsible for coordinating our  each element in our fundraising program, including: annual appeal, program fundraising campaigns, special events such as the Nantucket Grown Food Festival, and donor cultivation and stewardship. 

Seeking a highly organized, detail-oriented, energetic,  and creative professional ­ a team-player with at least 3 years of fundraising and event-planning & PR experience; facility in use of Microsoft Office; strong writing skills, excellent people skills, experience in managing volunteers and/or staff. This position is full-time, year-round. 

If interested, please email resume and cover letter to Michelle Whelan, Executive Director:

Nov 28 16

Fish Ecology Technician Position – University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute

by Marissa M. Donohue
DESCRIPTION: The Erisman ( and Yeager ( labs at the University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute (UTMSI) are looking for a joint technician to begin January 2017. Research in the Erisman and Yeager labs spans topics in marine fisheries ecology, fisheries management, coastal food web ecology, and landscape ecology. UTMSI is located in Port Aransas, which is on the Texas Gulf coast near Corpus Christi. A wide variety of environments is readily accessible from UTMSI, such as the pass connecting Corpus Christi Bay with the Gulf of Mexico, the continental shelf, and many bays and estuaries, including brackish estuaries and the hypersaline Laguna Madre. UTMSI also manages the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve, which at 185,708 acres is the third largest estuarine reserve in the nation. Extensive wet laboratory facilities with running seawater are available for maintaining marine organisms.
DUTIES: Key duties for this position will include field work from small boats in estuarine habitats, fish sampling with a variety of gears, deployment of data loggers in the field, hydroacoustic and ROV surveys in estuaries and offshore reefs, construction of artificial seagrass units, equipment upkeep and purchasing, data entry/data management, fish dissection, otolith preparations for age analyses, and tissue preparation for gonadal histology and stable isotope analysis. The technician will also assist the PIs on routine tasks associated with lab management. Opportunities to develop field and laboratory skills will be readily available. The technician will also be encouraged to pursue opportunities for intellectual development via attending public lectures/seminars and aiding other technicians/students at UTMSI and thereby sampling diverse research topics.
START DATE: January 15th, 2017 (or as soon as possible thereafter)
DURATION: We anticipate this will be a 12-month position with possibility for extension contingent on satisfactory performance and available funding.
MONTHLY SALARY: $2,253+ depending on qualifications
REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS: A BS/BA or MS degree in biology, zoology, ecology/evolution, environmental science, marine science, or mathematics is expected. Interest in a career in marine ecology, fisheries ecology, or the ocean sciences will be favorably considered. Willingness to work from boats and in estuarine waters for long hours and strong communication and organizational skills are required.
PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS: Previous field work experience, ability to operate small boats, familiarity with fishes of the Gulf of Mexico and estuarine ecology, experience with fish dissections, experience with data entry/management and QA/QC procedures.
APPLICATION: Interested candidates should submit an application through UT at:
Nov 21 16

Research Technician – Northern Arizona University

by Marissa M. Donohue

The Ecological Restoration Institute (ERI) at Northern Arizona
University in Flagstaff is searching for a Research Technician to help
support scientific studies of forest restoration on landscapes of the
western United States. Candidates should have strong technical skills in
forest measurements, ecological data collection, data management,
dendrochronology, and laboratory assistance. The ideal candidate will
have experience leading summer field crews and working with public land
management agencies (e.g., US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management,
US Park Service), and familiarity with flora of upland forests of the
Southwest. This position will be responsible for a full range of
technical and professional support activities.

The Ecological Restoration Institute (ERI) at Northern Arizona
University in Flagstaff is nationally recognized for mobilizing the
unique assets of a university to help solve the problem of unnaturally
severe wildfire and degraded forest health throughout the American West.
The ERI collaborates with land management agencies and communities by
providing comprehensive focused studies, monitoring and evaluation,
technical support, and education. The mission of ERI is to serve as an
objective leader in science, scholarship, and education, and in
collaborative efforts to plan and implement restoration treatments for
frequent-fire forest and woodland landscapes of the West.

As a member of the ERI’s Research and Development team, the Research
Technician will:
-Lead crews of students and seasonal employees during the summer (May-
August) to conduct forest measurements and collect ecological data at
both local and remote sites. Field trips often require staying in the
field for eight consecutive days.
-Prepare field samples such as tree increment cores, tree cross-
sections, soils, and plant specimens for analysis.
-Participate in dendroecological analysis of field samples.
-Assist in data management activities including data entry, quality
control and assurance, archiving, and basic data analysis and summary.
-Assist in coordination of study activities and implementation with
public land management partners. This work may include securing special
use permits and scheduling of activities such as tree thinning and
prescribed burning.
-Assist Director of Science Delivery in science translation and outreach
-Participate in secondary science activities including searches and
extraction of data from published literature.
-Assist in preparing and presenting reports for various audiences
-Participate in a broad range of laboratory and field duties to support
ecological restoration research projects as needed

Minimum Qualifications:
-Bachelor’s degree in forestry, biology, environmental science, natural
resources, or similar field; or,
-Four years ecology research or forest field measurement experience; or,
-Any equivalent combination of experience, training and/or education

Application Deadline: Open until further notice.

To see full posting and directions on how to apply, please visit:

Nov 21 16

Part-time Farm Manager – Needham, MA

by Marissa M. Donohue


Needham Community Farm, Needham, MA – Part-time Farm Manager

Needham Community farm is seeking a part-time, year-round Farm Manager/Gardener.

Needham Community Farm (NCF) promotes food justice by increasing access to fresh, sustainably grown produce for food insecure individuals and families; practicing and encouraging environmental stewardship; and deepening our community’s connection to the food system through educational, volunteer and youth leadership programs. We grow on two sites and distribute produce through food access partnerships with a community food pantry and four affordable housing sites, provide support and guidance to multiple affordable housing community gardens, offer opportunities for learning through our family gardening programs, and partner with local organizations to provide youth programs focused on food sovereignty, nutrition, and gardening.

Position Focus:

The Farm Manager will be responsible for managing NCF’s 1.25-acre primary site, as

well as the smaller pilot site. This includes completing tasks needed for crop production

and harvest, organizing and leading volunteers to carry out needed field work, as well

as coordinating the distribution of produce to our food access partner sites. Because the

mission of the Farm emphasizes food access, education and community outreach, the

crops, farm layout, and growing methods are integrated with a variety of educational

and volunteer programs that take place on the farm. The part-time Farm Manager will

work closely with the Outreach Program Manager, the Board of Directors, our partner

organizations, and with seasonal contract educational and program staff to meet the

food access and educational goals of the Farm.

Schedule: Hours vary depending on the time of year, from 5 to 30 hours per week

depending on the month of the season. For the months of July through October, the

position will average 30 hours/week. Over the course of the year, the position averages

out to a half to 2⁄3 FTE position.


● Develop and present to the Board for approval an annual crop plan that

prioritizes crop rotation, soil fertility, and crop needs for community engagement,

educational programming and food access distribution.

● Determine and make supply, seed, tool, and equipment purchases as needed.

● Manage all growing and harvesting of crops on NCF’s two sites using organic

practices: not limited to but including greenhouse seeding and seedling care,

direct seeding and transplanting, weed and pest management, soil fertility

management, irrigation, harvest, and post-harvest management.

● Coordinate volunteers, lead volunteer groups of a variety of ages and

backgrounds, lead the food access harvests, and work with volunteers on all

aspects of maintaining the farm (with support from the Farm Board).

● Oversee fiscal needs for the farm (farm operations budget and purchases).

● Participate in program planning and curriculum development as needed in the

non-growing season.

● Participate in periodic Board meetings as needed, and regular meetings with

contract education and program staff and farm oversight committees.

● Work closely with the Gardening Classes Instructor, affordable housing

gardening program instructors, and YMCA program facilitator on weekly planning

for classes including making sure all needed materials are available.

● Keep up-to-date and detailed records/spreadsheets on planting schedule,

produce distribution, and volunteer tracking.

● Provide assistance with data for grants as needed during fall and winter.

● Make limited public speaking appearances as needed for partnership building,

program advancement and fundraising purposes.


Compensation is hourly and depends on experience.

To Apply:

Please send a resume and cover letter to Debbie at For more information about NCF go to

Nov 21 16

Editorial Assistant – Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

by Marissa M. Donohue

CLOSING DATE: December 4, 2016

The Ecological Society of America seeks an Editorial Assistant to help
produce Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, a high ranking monthly
journal focusing on ecological and environmental science. The Editorial
Assistant will manage the online peer review system, copyedit manuscripts,
check page proofs, run the twitter account, plus do a little bit of design
and occasional writing. The ideal candidate will be detail-oriented,
focused, able to work cheerfully and accurately under pressure, and will
have experience of Microsoft Office, Twitter, Photoshop, and WordPress.  A
relevant Bachelor’s degree is a must (eg Ecology, Environmental Science or
Conservation) plus one to two years’ editorial experience. Downtown
Washington DC location; competitive salary (commensurate with experience)
and benefits.

Email cover letter, CV, and contact information for three references to Dr
Sue Silver, at – Put “Editorial Assistant Search” in the
subject line.
Closing date December 4, 2016.

Nov 21 16

WINTER Development Intern – Heritage Radio Network

by Marissa M. Donohue


Heritage Radio Network | Bushwick, Brooklyn Winter 2017

Heritage Radio Network is looking to fill a part time position for a Development Intern. This is a six-month internship, 15 hours weekly (2 days per week), to begin mid-September. This position is unpaid, but can be applied towards school credit.

About Us:

Heritage Radio Network is a grassroots, action-oriented non-profit Internet radio station focused on creating a food world that is more sustainable, equitable and delicious. Our network boasts 35+ entertaining and informative weekly food- focused programs, and a division of writers who produce stories on topics including Advocacy & Food Policy, Agriculture, Hospitality, Science & Tech, Beverage, and more.

Working at HRN means making a serious commitment to improving the food system and helping to create an exceptional workplace. We are a passionate group of hard workers.

Position Overview:

You will be assisting with research, donor management and cultivation efforts reporting directly to the Deputy Director. This position will work both on events and one-off campaigns as well as HRN’s bi-annual fundraising drives. The ideal candidate would be familiar with data manipulation, proficient with CRM software, demonstrate an enthusiasm for outreach, with a keen eye for creating personal touches through written and in-person communication.

Performance Expectations:

  • Researching prospective major donors
  • Creating fundraising materials through writing and content generation,

    assisting with appeals for donors at the middle donor level

  • Assist in acknowledging and thanking donors
  • Helping to maintain donor records and data hygiene in donor database
  • Assist in editing grant proposals or reports and stewardship pieces,

    compiling news briefings and blog posts, and designing communications

    pieces, as needed

  • Attend events and table on behalf of network

    Additional responsibilities dependent upon experience and interests.

    Success Patterns:

  • Familiar with Google Docs
  • Previous experience working with databases preferred
  • Experience with graphic design and use of Adobe Creative Suite software


  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Exceptional planning and organization skills
  • Professional and thorough
  • Engaging storyteller
  • Ability to make quick and accurate decisions
  • Adaptable, and comfortable with the evolving demands of a small,

    grassroots media organization

  • Self-starter able to set priorities and work independently
  • Demonstrated interest in food and farming issues

    Desired Personal Characteristics

  • Fun and creative
  • A love for radio/podcasts!
  • Ability to set priorities and follow-through in an environment that changes all the time
  • Flexible with a strong work ethic





Please submit resume, cover letter and short writing sample to: