Fishery Technician Placement (PO-00734406)

The ideal candidate for this position is looking for an immersive experience working in the fisheries field in remote Alaska. The work and field conditions will be challenging at times, but there will be no shortage of wildlife, breathtaking scenery, and rich culture along the way. In this position, you will learn about salmon, freshwater ecology, remote fieldwork, fisheries data collection, boats, bears, Alaskans, and our rich way of life. Please submit an application, if that sounds like a fun summer for you.

Work duties
The primary responsibilities for this position revolve around operating a remote fish weir to enumerate adult salmon escapement. Regular duties include construction and take down of fish weirs, collection of fish scale, length, and weight samples, application of fertilizer to the lake, recording field data, operating outboard motorboats on the ocean and lakes, and data quality control. Additionally, you will occasionally collect zooplankton and phytoplankton samples, water samples for nutrient analysis, and limnological field data, such as, temperature, dissolved oxygen, and light penetration profiles. You will also be responsible for helping with field camp maintenance and operations which will include operation of equipment (pumps, gasoline and propane fueled equipment and power tools), cutting firewood, etc.
On rare occasions you may be asked to help with other Sitka Ranger District projects, not associated with weir work, which may include working with Sitka Ranger District staff to help conduct wildlife, fish, or habitat surveys, implement watershed and fish habitat improvement projects, removal of old structures, assisting with the kids’ fishing derby and other educational outreach programs.

Working conditions
This position is based out of Sitka Alaska, but the primary work for this position is based at a remote field camp. Field stints will typically last 6-10 days with a maximum of 12 days in the field. The SCA interns will live (2-4 people at a time) with other forest service staff in a mixed-gender, one-room cabin. The cabin amenities include electricity, an outhouse with a view, and wood heating, but there is no running water or shower. Cell phone coverage is limited or non-existent and there is no internet, while in the field. Field camps are provided with USFS radios and inreach devices for communication with the USFS office and in case of emergencies. You will frequently see other folks at the work site, who have travelled to the area to fish for the day.
Typically, SCA interns and USFS staff will work 8-10 hours a day with a maximum of 12 hours per day. Work is conducted in all weather conditions (Sitka is nestled in a rainforest), around coastal brown bears and pesky bugs. Weir work requires walking on uneven surfaces that can be wet and slippery, standing or snorkeling in cold, sometimes fast-moving water (waders and drysuits will be provided), and carrying up to 40 pounds over moderate distances.

Desired skills

  • Willingness to learn
  • Good communication
  • Ability to maintain a positive attitude in adverse conditions
  • Ability to work and live with a diverse team
  • Good sense of humor
  • Emotional intelligence to resolve social and emotional disagreements with field crew members
  • Previous firearm experience is a plus, but not required
  • Proficiency in swimming

Compensation amounts:

  • $1,500 – RT travel allowance
  • $300 – weekly living allowance
  • $200 – gear allowance (for boots)
  • AmeriCorps eligibility ($1,718 education award)
  • $250 – monthly housing allowance (4 months) to be used by SCA member to pay for USFS housing. 

Note: This is a rifle carrying position. ALL candidates will be required to take a drug test and carry a rifle in the field (bear and rifle safety training will be provided).

*For SCA's COVID-19 guidance, please refer to  

Position ID: PO-00734406

Expected Dates: May 18, 2023 - September 6, 2023

204 Siginaka Way
Sitka, AK 99835

Training Provided: First aid, CPR, bear and firearm safety, boat and seashore survival

Handicap Accessible?: No

Main Area of Focus: Wildlife Mgmt

Further Details

AmeriCorps Eligible: Eligible

Driving Logistics: Not needed

Housing or Stipend Provided?
A. Partner will provide suitable housing for the member

Interns will be provided a room at one of our fully furnished bunkhouses. 

Indoor/Outdoor: Outside

US Citizenship: Yes

Student Conservation Association