Sawyer/Field Technician for Black-tailed Deer Study in Western Washington

March 5, 2013

Job Position(s): Field Technician for Black-tailed Deer Study in Western Washington – Sawyer (1 opening) - Temporary

Project Title: Nutritional Ecology of Black-tailed deer in Western Washington

Hiring Organization: School of the Environment, Washington State University, Pullman, WA

Job Description:

This announcement is for 1 position lasting 3 months— position to begin May 27, 2013 and last through the end of August (exact start dates/end dates to be determined).

This study examines how habitat and habitat management influence diet quality for black-tailed deer in western Washington. We will collect data on foraging and nutrition of tame, captive black-tailed deer in natural habitats and the abundance and quality of vegetation.

The primary responsibility for this position will be to coordinate the construction/dismantling of temporary 7-foot tall pens (each ~1 acre in size) to house the tame deer during the trials. The Ph. D. student in charge of the project will flag lines for the perimeter of the pens in advance and the worker in this job position will safely clear branches and woody debris from the lines with a chainsaw and then assist the field technician crew (4 members) in pen construction. In general, while one pen is in use by the deer, the next pen will be constructed and the previous pen will be dismantled.

All technicians for this project will be required to live in the field and build pens at a variety of sites in Washington Coast Range and Cascadian forest habitats. Living accommodations consist primarily of camping out beside pens in relatively remote areas of western Washington. Clearing lines and building pens is the priority for the sawyer but other duties will include data collection with the rest of the crew via close observations of activity patterns of the deer and measuring forage abundance and forest overstory characteristics using standard vegetative sampling techniques.

Working conditions occasionally may be extreme and physically strenuous. This region is very wet even in the summer and may be warm and humid or raining and cold. Technicians are expected to be prepared for wet weather conditions with heavy rain gear. Workdays often will be long. The study sites are located far from power sources and other such amenities. There will be opportunities for showers approximately once a week in locations 10 to 20 miles from the study areas. During intense data collection times, typical work schedule is 12 days on with 3 days off. Schedule varies during other times. Technicians may be traveling to and from the field sites in work trucks or may be taking personal vehicles. Technicians will need to be prepared to pack their gear and food for 12 days for either situation.

Applicants should have with at least 1-2 seasons of experience operating chainsaws in the dense forests or clearing lines. An understanding of chainsaw safety, repair and best practices is required and the technician will receive additional safety training at WSU before entering the field. Class B Sawyer certifications (or equivalent) is required. A chainsaw, related tools and materials, and safety equipment (hearing, eye, head, and leg protection) will be provided by the project. Experience coordinating a crew and constructing enclosures is also preferred but not required.
Also necessary is a reliable personal vehicle to frequently move among multiple study locations/campsites and to and from town. Travel will be on a mix of maintained and unimproved gravel and dirt logging roads.

Pay and Benefits: $800-900 every two weeks (depending on experience) with pay periods twice a month. Workmen’s compensation will be covered by Washington State University. Personal vehicles will (if at all) only be used for travel to field sites and technicians will not be compensated for fuel costs or vehicle wear since it is for personal use. A tent and camp stove will be provided for use in the field, but the technician will be responsible for providing all other personal camping equipment.

Documentation Required:

Cover letter-please address the following points:
- Why you are interested in the job
- Relevant work and education experiences
- How you have handled difficult field working conditions in the past

Resume documenting relevant work and education experience. Please include your GPA and email and phone numbers for at least 3 references (preferable those associated with past work experiences, no character references)

Due date and contact: Applications will be reviewed as they are received and will be accepted until March 15, 2013. Application materials can be sent by e-mail or in the post to Amy Ulappa at:


Mailing address:
Amy Ulappa
Washington State University
School of the Environment
P.O. Box 646410
Pullman WA 99164-6410

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