PROGRAM: Ecoinformatics and Climate Solutions/Antarctica Program
REPORTS TO: Annie Schmidt, Antarctica Program Director
STATUS: Full-Time, 6 month position
LOCATION: Petaluma CA and Antarctica
START DATE: October 1, 2023
APPLICATION DEADLINE: May 8, 2023.
ABOUT POINT BLUE
Point Blue Conservation Science is a growing and internationally renowned non-profit with over 160 staff and scientists based in Petaluma, California. Founded in 1965 as Point Reyes Bird Observatory, our mission and programs have evolved over time to include a broad range of conservation activities, from applied ecological research to restoration to environmental education to innovative work in the field of regenerative agriculture. We have a proven track record of scientific excellence.
We recognize that increasing racial, gender, cultural, and other diversity, equity, and inclusion factors at Point Blue and in our partnerships is essential for the success of our mission, vision, and strategy. We are actively engaging in a process to create lasting organizational change. We seek applicants from all backgrounds to join our teams. We strongly encourage applications from people with backgrounds that are under-represented in the conservation community.
This position will be based at Point Blue in the Antarctica Program and will be part of a multi-institution team that has been studying penguins and the Antarctic ecosystem for many decades. This productive collaboration between Point Blue, H.T Harvey, Oregon State University, and Arizona State University has led to the publication of more than 100 scientific journal articles; several of these articles were instrumental in justifying the need for the Ross Sea Marine Protected area, established in 2017 as one of the largest marine protected areas in the world. We continue to investigate questions such as: why are some colonies bigger than others, why do they occur where they do, what sort of environmental changes impact populations the most, and what is “normal” variability, with the goal of developing better understanding and sustainable management of the Antarctic ecosystem.
Emphasis during the Research Assistant’s term will be on the long-term effects of early life conditions on individuals as they mature and use of devices deployed on penguins to monitor environmental change and developing machine learning models to count penguins from UAV imagery. Field work will involve a deployment of ~3.5 months (November-February) in Antarctica (pending approval of NSF and medical clearance). While in Antarctica, the Research Assistant will be stationed at a small field camp (3-4 people) at one of the penguin colonies on Ross Island. The field crew works out of a small hut, sleeping in tents, accessible in good weather conditions only by helicopter from McMurdo station, which in turn is only accessible by military aircraft from New Zealand. Living conditions in the field are rustic, communal space is cramped, there is no running water (no showers). Temperatures range from -20 to +10 C, with intermittent severe wind and snowstorms. The Research Assistant will participate in several unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) surveys and may be required to obtain FAA certification as a remote pilot prior to deployment to Antarctica. The remainder of the position (~ mid-Feb 2024- March) will be based out of Point Blue headquarters in Petaluma, California. Shared housing is provided.
SKILLS / QUALIFICATIONS / EXPERIENCE
TERM / LENGTH OF ASSIGNMENT
This is a 6-month, full-time, term position starting on October 1, 2023.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
Starting salary is $21/hour commensurate with experience.
All expenses related to training and travel to Antarctica will be covered. Extreme cold weather clothing provided by the US Antarctic Program.
HOW TO APPLY/APPLICATION
To apply for the Research Assistant position:
Complete the online application questionnaire and submit a CV or resume.
Point Blue is an equal employment opportunity employer and does not discriminate against applicants or employees because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, 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.