The Great Basin Institute, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is recruiting for a Research Associate (RA) to serve as a Biological Science Specialist at the Ash Meadows Fish Conservation Facility, Amargosa Valley, NV. The AMFCF is the home to the only captive population of endangered Devils Hole pupfish, including a 100,000 gallon refuge tank that simulates the Devils Hole ecosystem and provides habitat for a backup population of the endangered Devils Hole pupfish. Primary duties include implementation of a long-term ecosystem monitoring plan for the refuge tank, and assisting with daily fish care and captive breeding efforts. The RA works directly under the supervision of the Facility Manager and with project partners and cooperators.
· Acts as lead technician on the inventory and monitoring of the refuge tank ecosystem. This includes planning, scheduling, and implementing a wide variety of protocols to monitor biotic and abiotic parameters, such as water chemistries, nutrients, substrates and algae, aquatic invertebrates, and fish.
· Acts as lead technician on management of predaceous diving beetles in the refuge tank ecosystem.
· Serves as data manager for the refuge tank monitoring programs including database management, quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) and management of large datasets, statistical analyses, creating and updating SOPs, presentations, and reports to supervisors and cooperators.
· Works independently to provide daily care for endangered desert fishes in aquaria, monitoring the appearance and behavior of fish for any changes indicative of illness, disease, or stress; changes in physical condition or environmental factors that may be cause for concern, and takes action accordingly.
· Assists in aquaculture of fish and aquatic invertebrates in aquaria.
· Works independently to maintain and troubleshoot environmental monitoring equipment such as YSI sondes and HOBO temperature loggers.
· Accurately records and archives data and meticulously maintains and archives written records of laboratory and field activities. The incumbent will keep these records in such a manner that they may be referenced and interpreted by internal and external regulatory agencies for the purposes of endangered species management for high-profile species.
· Follows SOPs and sterile technique procedures to ensure proper cleanliness, decontamination, and sterilization of laboratory and hatchery facilities, equipment, and sampling gear.
· Works cooperatively with various U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partners to address ecological, hatchery, and fish and invertebrate culture questions to further the successful propagation of native aquatic organisms in the southwest.
· The work is completed in both indoor and outdoor locations, often in extreme conditions, and often working alone.
· Requires considerable physical exertion such as bending, crouching, stooping, stretching, reaching, lifting, and cleaning. Weekend and odd-hour work may be required.
· Applicant must be comfortable working at a facility that is located in a semi-remote desert location.
· Up to 65-week appointment, October 2021 – December 2022
- Full time (40 hours/week)
Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, one of the first wetlands in the United States to be designated a Wetland of International Importance, comprises over 24,000 acres of spring-fed wetlands and alkaline desert in the Mojave Desert of southern Nevada near Death Valley National Park. The Refuge was established in 1984 to protect threatened and endangered species and more than two dozen endemic plant and animal species. The Refuge also provides habitat for over 100 species of plants and animals that are considered sensitive, or are state protected or priority species.
The Research Associate must provide his/her own reliable transportation for non-work-related trips since the closest personal amenities and grocery stores are located approximately 30 miles from the Refuge in Pahrump, Nevada. The city of Las Vegas is located approximately 90 miles southeast of the Refuge.
Compensation and Benefits:
- Wage: $23.50 per hour
- Onsite housing may be available in a shared bunkhouse
- Paid leave and holidays
- Eligible to enroll in company 401K plan with match contributions (following 90 days)
- Medical, dental, and vision insurance available at no cost
· Bachelor’s and two years of experience or Master’s degree in biology or environmental sciences (e.g. ecology, fisheries, entomology, conservation biology, wildlife management, or related field) OR at least four years of full-time work experience in a closely related field.
· Ability to plan and conduct a wide variety of complex investigations including the design, collection, and analysis of biological data.
· Experience or training in aquaculture, aquarium, or hatchery operations, or keeping aquatic animals in aquaria. Ability to monitor fish species in order to observe and accurately distinguish between normal appearance and behavior and changes that require intervention. Ability to recognize signs of illness, stress, common diseases, and general physical condition in fish in order to take action accordingly, up to and including reporting observations to supervisor.
· Education or experience in data compilation, relational database structure, and statistical data analysis in order to develop and maintain biological databases, synthesize and analyze data.
· Problem solving skills sufficient to recognize critical trends in natural resources; assess, select, and make optimal use of precedents and available data; and draw sound conclusions for recommended actions.
· Experience in working in a laboratory setting running water quality analyses and utilizing laboratory analytical equipment and methods including but not limited to spectrophotometry, balances, and microscopes.
· Education or experience in community and/or ecosystem ecology, a plus.
· Experience or training in invertebrate identification, a plus.
· Willingness and ability to work in harsh desert conditions, including extreme temperatures, independently or as part of a team.
· Ability to communicate effectively, both written and orally, with a diverse audience.
· Willingness, ability, and experience working in a scientific laboratory setting that involves frequent use of hazardous laboratory and industrial chemicals according to OSHA regulations.
· Valid, clean, state-issued driver’s license and familiarity driving 4WD vehicles on- and off-road.
· Willingness to submit to a background check, and pass computer security and ethics training.
· Ability to lift a minimum 50 lbs. for short periods of time.
· Current SCUBA certification or willingness to obtain certification a plus.
Successful applicant must complete a Department of Interior (DOI) Background Investigation (BI) or submit paperwork to USFWS human resources indicating an active and fully adjudicated BI has already been completed prior to beginning position. If you already have a fully adjudicated BI, please let us know in your application.