TWYGS Research Assistant (PO-00734048)

The research assistant will provide technical, logistical, and research assistance for the Tongass-Wide Young Growth Studies (TWYGS) project, a research-management partnership investigating forestry practices, plant communities, and wildlife habitat on the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska. Duties for the position include preparing field materials and equipment, serving as a field crew leader for one crew during the field season, managing data, and providing overall technical, logistical, and research assistance for TWYGS. Examples of technical logistical assistance may include developing training materials, preparing GIS site maps, programing/maintaining data recorders, and processing tree cores. Data management will include compilation, quality assurance/quality control, and data summary. The Research assistant will support the development of scientific, technical, and popular publications by conducting literature searches, creating original tables and graphs, editing photos, formatting manuscript drafts, and possibly assisting with writing and sharing authorship on publications. Housing will be provided at US Forest Service bunkhouses and camping will be required to access some work sites. This position lasts ~1 year and includes 40% field and 60% office work.

Research Assistant Qualifications:

– Knowledge of basic professional ecology and forestry concepts and principles, such as would be acquired through a bachelor's degree program in forestry, ecology, botany, wildlife biology, biology or related natural resources field.

– Education or experience using basic forestry and ecology field tools, including compass or GPS, measuring tapes, tablets or dataloggers, clinometer, laser range finder, digital camera, or remote sensing tools.

– The ability to lead and work as part of a team in the field with the goal of high quality data collection and based on the values of interdependence, inclusivity, safety, and mutual respect.

– Skills or experience in data management including the use of spreadsheets (such as Excel), GIS (Geographic Information Systems), and databases.

– Ability to express thoughts both verbally and in writing, including writing summary reports.

– Physical ability to enjoy working in a forested environment, with prolonged walking over rough, uneven, or steep terrain under all weather conditions (from hot and dry to cold and wet including rain and wind); recurring periods of standing; recurring periods of bending, crouching, stooping, stretching, and reaching; encountering biting or stinging insects; lifting of moderately heavy items weighing up to 50 pounds.

– The work requires substantial travel by motor vehicle and requires a valid state driver’s license and clean driving record.

Research Assistant Minimum Requirements:

– Completion of a 4-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university in forestry, ecology, botany, wildlife biology, biology, or related natural resources field.

– US citizenship or permanent residency. Participant must undergo a government background check if selected.

– Must submit a resume and cover letter describing interest in the program and qualifications.

Compensation amounts: 

  • $315 – weekly living allowance
  • $1,600 – one time RT travel allowance
  • $150 – one time PPE/gear allowance
  • AmeriCorps eligible ($6,495 education award and health insurance if elected)
  • Housing

*All allowances subject to applicable federal, state, and local taxes

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

Position ID: PO-00734048

Expected Dates: February 26, 2023 - February 24, 2024

11175 Auke Way
Juneau, AK 99801

Training Provided: Interns will receive training in wilderness first aid, CPR, aircraft and boat safety, shoreline survival, defensive driving, bear behavior, pepper spray use, and radio use. Additional training is provided on the use of field research equipment.

Educational/Recreational Opportunities: There are many recreational opportunities in Juneau, including hiking, biking, fishing, sea kayaking, wildlife viewing, and many others.

Handicap Accessible?: Yes

Main Area of Focus: Natural Resources Mgmt

Further Details

AmeriCorps Eligible: Eligible

Driving Logistics: Not needed

A personal vehicle is NOT mandatory, but it does open up a lot of recreational and entertainment opportunities, particularly during the winter months.

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

In Juneau, we have several apartment-style bunkhouse accommodations located 3.6 miles from our lab. Each apartment has two shared bedrooms with two beds each, two bathrooms, kitchen, and living room. The apartments are fairly new (2007) and fully furnished. The bunkhouse is adjacent to a paved bike trail and the city bus route. A government vehicle may be available for commuting.

Indoor/Outdoor: Combination

US Citizenship: Yes

Student Conservation Association