Biological Field Technician

Expected Dates
September 29, 2014 to September 27, 2015
Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge
Position ID
The US Fish and Wildlife System’s Ocelot Research and Monitoring Program is an ongoing program  in which data are collected across  multiple topics related to ocelot biology and recovery at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge.  As data are collected, we are also in the process of streamlining our data management system, which requires organizing 30 years of data, as well as incorporating ongoing field research and data collection.

Primary duties, in conjunction with Field Research for the Ocelot Population Monitoring and Recovery Program, may include, but are not limited to:

1.       Setting-up and maintaining wildlife cameras for monitoring mammals

2.       Sorting literally 10,000’s of remote camera images

3.       Radio-tracking radio-collared ocelots and bobcats

4.       Setting and checking traps for ocelots and bobcats

5.       Handling sedated animals and releasing animals after trapping.

6.       Assisting with reports of wildlife occurrences from camera sites and radio-telemetry

Secondary duties, in conjunction with Data Management for the Ocelot Population Monitoring and Recovery Program, will include, but are not limited to:

1.       Organizing and standardizing the following databases for use in statistical analysis: Ocelot Sightings, Tracking/Location Data, Trapping Data, Remote Camera Data, and Road Mortality Data

2.       Data Entry in the aforementioned databases

Other duties may include miscellaneous tasks, as needed, to support the Refuge’s Biology Program.

Requirements - Applicants must:

1.       Have proof of U.S. citizenship

2.       Have a valid drivers’ license

3.       Commit to one year of work, dependent upon a one month probationary period

4.       Be able to pass an agency background check successfully

5.       Be able to complete agency computer, privacy, and records management training successfully

6.       Be able to complete Defensive Driver Training for Volunteers successfully

7.       Be able and willing to work in remote office

8.       Be able and willing to travel within the region

9.       Be in good physical shape (capable of carrying a 50lb pack for up to 2 miles)

10.    Have vehicle for personal use (work vehicle is provided by USFWS)

11.    Possess a bachelor’s degree and/or work experience in natural resource management, ecology, and/or wildlife biology

12.    Be tolerant of heat, mosquitoes, thornscrub vegetation, chiggers, ticks, and the presence of venomous snakes

13.    Live on the refuge full-time

14.    Have a positive, flexible attitude

Preference will be given to candidates with:

1.       Experience with radio-telemetry triangulation for location estimates

2.       Experience with camera-trapping and use of camera-based data

3.       Experience using handheld Global Positioning System (GPS)

4.       Experience handling/trapping medium-sized mammals

5.       Experience using ArcGIS

6.       Strong written and verbal communication skills

7.       Strong organizational skills and extremely detail-oriented work ethic

8.       Familiarity with Microsoft operating systems and Microsoft Office software

9.       Experience in data entry and management

10.    Spanish speaking skills

Duties may be carried out seven days a week with long hours and night and weekend work, especially during trapping season (generally October-May).  Time off will be granted, but this is not a standard Monday-Friday, 9-5 position.

  • Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is located on the southern tip of Texas along the Gulf Coast of Texas. This 98,000 acre refuge is the largest tract of natural habitat left in the Rio Grande Valley and is comprised primarily of dense thornscrub and coastal prairie. It is also home to one of the last breeding populations of the critically endangered ocelot (Leopardus pardalis albescens) found in the United States. In addition, the refuge provides habitat for the critically endangered Aplomado Falcon, serves as a home or temporary stopping point for nearly half of the bird species found in North America, and also hosts a diversity of other wildlife, including bobcats, white-tailed deer, and javalina.
  • Database management; ArcGIS; field techniques such as radio-tracking, remote camera trapping, live animal trapping and handling; ATV/UTV Operation. Intern may participate in other USFWS trainings such as wildland firefighting (redcard) and CPR.
  • snorkeling, scuba-diving, and even para-sailing. Educational opportunities include participating in the many outreach events that celebrate the great bird and wildlife diversity in south Texas.
  • Yes
Main Area of Focus
Wildlife Mgmt
Education, Training & Skills Expected
degree minor or extensive experience
Resource Management
degree minor or extensive experience
Data Entry
competent without supervision
Field Research
competent without supervision
some experience
Working with Animals
some experience
Data Analysis
competent with supervision