[MARMAM] Volunteer Research Assistants on the Farallon Islands Winter 2016-17

Ryan Berger rberger at pointblue.org
Wed Aug 17 09:46:00 PDT 2016

Volunteer Announcement: Point Blue Conservation Science Winter Farallon Program 2016-2017
Point Blue Conservation Science (formerly PRBO Conservation Science and Point Reyes Bird Observatory) of Petaluma, CA is seeking applications for 3-4 volunteer research assistants for our Farallon Islands Program. Point Blue is an independent, scientific research non-profit whose mission is to conserve birds, other wildlife and ecosystems through innovative scientific research, partnership and outreach. 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 just a few miles from the continental shelf and lie in the rich coastal upwelling region of Central California. The islands host globally significant breeding seabird populations (over 300,000 individuals of 13 species), are a major haul out and breeding site for 5 species of pinnipeds, a feeding ground for many cetaceans, and a key feeding site for White Sharks. The islands also host a variety of migrant landbirds and an endemic salamander and cricket population.
Point Blue is seeking volunteers to assist with its winter activities on the Farallones. Research during this period focuses primarily on breeding elephant seals, but there are a variety of other biological studies conducted. Accommodations are in restored lighthouse keeper's quarters, with a fully equipped field station to accommodate year-round occupancy.
On Island Work Duties
The field season is early December to mid March on Southeast Farallon Island, a rugged 120-acre island National Wildlife Refuge 30 miles offshore from San Francisco, California. Responsibilities include: continuing the long term demographic studies of northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) which includes tag resighting of breeding animals (adult males and females), pelage dye marking of individuals, flipper tag application of animals and weaned pup restraint for tag application; conducting surveys for arboreal salamanders (Aneides lugubris farallonensis), Farallon camel cricket (Farallonophilus cavernicolus), birds, other pinnipeds and cetaceans (using new technology - Spotter Pro App). There is also opportunities to aid in burrowing owl surveys, removal of invasive plant species, Cassin Auklet breeding checks, Common Murre band resighting and assist with routine maintenance of island equipment. Research assistants will also aid in standardized data collection, entry, and proofing, and management of long term datasets (Access, Excel and other Microsoft programs, Photo-ID, paper filing).
Applicants must be able to live and work effectively in a remote setting with a small crew under difficult weather conditions for an extended field season (approximately 3 months without leaving the island). On island work is conducted 7 days a week throughout the entire field season, often for extended hours with no time off. Applicants must be in good physical condition as island terrane is rugged and can be hard on knees, ankles and backs. Research assistants must participate in cleaning and maintaining housing facilities as well as rotating cooking duties for dinner each evening.
Online media
Video of winter season: http://openroad.tv/video.php?vid=37 (copy and paste into url)
Blog of biologist's work on island and video link on left: http://losfarallones.blogspot.com/
Overview of all research projects on island through Point Blue: http://www.pointblue.org/our-science-and-services/conservation-science/oceans-and-coasts/farallon-islands-research/
This is a volunteer position and no compensation will be awarded. Point Blue does not pay for travel costs to San Francisco/Petaluma, CA where research assistants will meet to make the trip to the island. However, once on the island all food and housing costs will be provided. Reliable phone and internet services are available.
Start - End Date
Early December to middle of March.
Send a cover letter, CV, and list of 3-5 references to Ryan Berger, Farallon Program Biologist: rberger at pointblue.org.

Interview process will begin the last week in September for top candidates. Position selections will be made by the second to third week in October.

Ryan Berger, M. Sc., Farallon Program Biologist
Point Blue Conservation Science
3820 Cypress Drive, Suite 11, Petaluma, CA 94954
Fax: 707-765-1685
www.pointblue.org<http://www.pointblue.org/>  | Follow Point Blue on Facebook<http://www.facebook.com/PointBlueConservationScience>!
Point Blue-Conservation science for a healthy planet.

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