Jobs - Seasonal

Anicka using telemetry to track birds

Seasonal Field Biologist (Red-legged Frogs/Fritillary Butterflies; Posted 1/5/2016)

The Institute for Wildlife Studies (IWS) is seeking highly motivated applicants for a seasonal (~8-month) field biologist position as part of a project that aims to understand the relationship between climate-driven environmental variables and population demographics of northern red-legged frogs (Rana aurora), California red-legged frogs (Rana draytonii), and Hydaspe fritillary butterflies (Speyeria hydaspe). The overall goal is to determine what ecological and environmental factors make a species more or less likely to become conservation reliant due to climate change.

Position term: Roughly February 15th – September 30th 2015

Job description: A successful applicant will be part of a team of biologists conducting demographic studies on populations of red-legged frogs and Hydaspe fritillary butterflies throughout Oregon and California. The primary duties of this position would be to help collect demographic data on frog populations near Arcata, CA and Fort Bragg CA, and on butterfly populations near Arcata, CA and occasionally in the Sierra foothills near Emigrant Gap, CA. Demographic studies for the red-legged frog will be conducted from January through July or August, and from June through September for the fritillary butterfly. Some of the duties associated with conducting demographic studies include:

Red-legged frogs

  • Conducting egg mass surveys
  • Trapping and marking tadpoles for mark-recapture analyses
  • Trapping and marking adult frogs for mark-recapture analyses
  • Tracking adult frog movement at night using fluorescent powder
  • Maintaining drift fences, and disinfecting gear
  • Entering and managing data

Hydaspe Fritillary butterfly

  • Walking transects and catching and marking adult butterflies for mark-recapture analyses
  • Collecting eggs from female butterflies
    • Maintaining cages while females oviposit
  • Setting up and monitoring larval (caterpillar) rearing cages in the field

The position will be based out of Fort Bragg/Mendocino with frequent (once every week or two) travel to Arcata and occasional travel to Oregon and the Sierra foothills.

Position requirements: Successful candidates will have B.S. in conservation biology, wildlife biology, or related field. Experience working with amphibians, especially frogs, and/or butterflies is desirable, but not required. Must have a valid U.S. driver’s license and be insurable with IWS. The position will require driving on muddy and rocky roads in 4-wheel drive vehicles. The position will also require some hiking to sites while carrying heavy equipment, and working outside in wet and cold conditions. International applicants must already have a U.S. work visa to be eligible. 

Hours and compensation: Approximately $2,200/ month. Housing will be provided near Fort Bragg, CA. The position will require working some evenings and some longer than 8 hour days.

Application procedure: Please send a current CV, a cover letter highlighting relevant experience, and the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of at least three (3) professional references to Jessica Abbott ( Applications will be reviewed as they are received and the position will be filled as soon as a qualified applicant is identified, with an anticipated start date sometime in February 2016.