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Carnivore Monitoring Crew Member – The Great Basin Institute
Shaver Lake, California
The Region 5 Carnivore Monitoring Program has been monitoring fisher and marten populations in the Sierra Nevada Mountains annually since 2002. The fisher population was recently listed as endangered with the USFWS, and assessing their population and its response to recent tree mortality is a U.S. Forest Service priority. Broad-scale monitoring will help identify how tree mortality and subsequent extreme fires are influencing fisher occupancy, density, habitat use, diet and connectivity across the southern Sierras. This information can be used to better understand how fishers are adapting to this changed landscape and guide management to promote continued population persistence while also addressing the need to reduce fuel loads to prevent catastrophic wildfires.
These are crew-level positions: Crews will receive instruction, guidance and training from GBI supervisors and the field coordinator. Crew members will focus on installing and servicing monitoring stations, conducting accurate data collection according to the field protocol, and processing data.
These physically demanding duties, primarily in remote locations, will provide crew members with rewarding exposure to California’s backcountry. These positions require extensive off-trail hiking in steep terrain at high altitudes (3,000-10,000 ft.) on a daily basis. This position requires a high level of physical fitness (capable of hiking 3-10 miles off-trail/day) and ability to cope with strenuous field conditions that include hot temperatures, steep terrain, dense vegetation, poison oak, inclement weather, and insects. Many technicians describe this as the most difficult field work they have conducted.
Overnight camping will be required for 3 nights/week for most of the field season as many survey locations are long distances from the crew office/housing. The field crew will receive field per diem for these overnight travel days.
Duties may include, but are not limited to:
- Hike and navigate off trail in rugged field conditions to install and check monitoring stations including trail cameras, track plates, and genetic sampling devices.
- Download, sort, and identify species in trail camera photos.
- Inventory and archive all field data including genetic samples, track sheets, and trail camera photos
- Conduct field data entry, proofing and summarization.