Farallon Program Biologist
Point Blue Conservation Science of Petaluma, CA is seeking applications for a full-time staff biologist in our Farallon Islands Program. The Farallon Biologist will spend a minimum of 18 weeks per year in three 6 week shifts living and working with a small group of volunteers and biologists on the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge.
They will oversee a small field crew and be responsible for all island operations. The great majority of this time, if not all of it, will be during the spring/summer seabird breeding season. On island accommodations are in restored lighthouse keeper’s housing, with a fully equipped modern field station to accommodate year-round occupation by biologists. When not in the field, the biologist’s time is dedicated to managing, analyzing, and interpreting data collected in the field, as well as preparing reports and publications. Additionally, the Farallon Biologist will lead, and help fundraise for, new science based on Farallon datasets to help meet the organization’s strategic goals. Non field time would be based out of Point Blue’s Petaluma office. Mainland accommodations are not provided. This position requires a minimum 3 year commitment.
Under co-operative agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Point Blue has conducted continuous research and stewardship of the unique natural resources of the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge since 1968. The Farallon Islands are 30 miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and just a few miles from the continental shelf in the rich coastal upwelling region of Central California. The islands host globally significant breeding seabird populations (over 350,000 individuals of 13 species), are a major haul out and breeding site for 5 species of pinnipeds, and a key feeding site for White Sharks. The islands also host a variety of migrant landbirds, an endemic salamander population, and unique plant and insect communities. Most research on the Farallones involves multi-decadal and continuous time series.
Essential responsibilities include but may not be limited to the following activities:
- Oversee field operations during the seabird breeding season focusing primarily on continuing collection of seabird population, reproductive success, diet, tracking and phenology data, and maintaining our long-term data sets. In addition to seabird studies, the biologist will oversee surveys of pinnipeds, cetaceans, salamanders, crickets and migratory birds.
- Conduct and oversee field data collection following established methods including data entry and proofing.
- Conduct landing operations using a small (~15’) boat in open water to transfer people and gear safely from the supply boat to the island.
- Train, mentor and supervise field crews of 3-7 long term volunteer research assistants.
- Maintain and repair all island facilities including small boats and outboard engines; photovoltaic power system; diesel generators; cranes and hoists; motors, pumps, water collection/filtration/purification equipment, housing facilities and anything else that can and will break.
- Analyze and interpret data collected in the field to determine trends and/or answer specific research or management questions.
- Write monthly and seasonal technical reports, conduct analysis and collaborate on publication of scientific papers, and present results at appropriate academic, public, and partner meetings.
- Represent Point Blue at relevant meetings and conferences.
- Develop fundraising proposals and help lead new scientific efforts to meet Point Blues’ strategic goals.
- Lead collaborative science efforts connecting Farallones work to broader efforts internationally.
- Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing and establish, maintain, and foster positive and harmonious working relationships with volunteers, staff, and partners, including the USFWS, Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries, other state and federal agencies, local universities, and other NGOs to advance climate-smart conservation and management of marine resources.
- Fulfill other tasks as needed to help Point Blue meet its goals.
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in ecology, biology, zoology, ornithology or a closely related field and one or more years of experience conducting research and supervising crews in a remote field camp environment. Preference will be given to applicants with advanced degrees (MS or PhD), and a proven track record of supervisory field experience, fundraising, and grant writing.
- Significant small boat handling experience (preferably in an offshore environment), and strong mechanical aptitude, including basic familiarity with mechanical, electrical, plumbing, outboard engine maintenance, computer, and construction skills.
- Ability to live and work in a remote setting with a small crew under potentially difficult conditions for an extended field season, including the ability to respond to emergency or unexpected situations effectively and calmly.
- Ability to read, understand, interpret, and utilize maps, administrative and technical reports and data, ordinances, codes, regulations, and other materials relevant to conducting scientific studies and island operations.
- Experience with data analysis, scientific writing, and publication.
- Ability to utilize personal computers and tablets for data entry, manipulation, and summary, including proficiency with statistical software.
- Experience with netting, capturing, handling, banding and performing morphological measurements on birds or other organisms.
- Possession of, or ability and willingness to obtain, an appropriate, valid Class C driver's license as well as all relevant certificates, permits, or licenses to conduct the required activities. These include wilderness first aid, CPR, motor boat operator’s certification, crane operator’s certification, hazardous communications training, banding and scientific collection permits.
Compensation will be competitive and dependent on experience. This full time position would receive a generous benefits package including medical and dental coverage, and 401k match, and accrued vacation and comp time for extended shifts on the Farallones.
Preferred Start Date
March 15, 2017
Send a cover letter, CV, and list of 3-5 references to the Farallon Biologist Hiring Committee: marinedirector at pointblue.org by January 15th, 2017. Please include references for all supervisory field positions you have held. If applicable, attach PDF’s of your publications and/or reports you feel are relevant to your application.
Point Blue is an equal employment opportunity employer and does not discriminate against applicants or employees because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, citizenship status, disability status of an otherwise qualified individual, membership or application for membership in an uniformed service, or membership in any other class protected by applicable law and will make reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities to complete the application and/or participate in the interview process.