Chainsaw Technician for Deer Study in Northeast Washington

April 20, 2015

Chainsaw Technician for Deer Study in Northeast Washington

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

Job Description: 1 temporary sawyer position is available for the 2015 summer field season (June 1st – August 21st). The sawyer will be part of a crew working on a nutrition and behavioral project comparing mule deer and white-tailed deer in the Colville National Forest of Northeast Washington. We will be collecting data on foraging habits of hand-raised, tractable deer in different forested stands.

The sawyer will be responsible for creating pathways in tree stands to construct temporary enclosures (~ 1 acre) for deer. This includes using a chainsaw and brusher to limb trees, remove obstructions and shrubs with the occasional removal of small trees. Chainsaw and brusher will be provided along with some safety gear (hard hat, face shield, safety glasses, ear protection, chaps, gloves) but the sawyer must provide additional appropriate safety gear for themselves (i.e. proper boots). IFPL Information must be followed when running the equipment. The second responsibility of the sawyer will be the construction and dismantling of the pens as well as coordinating fellow crew members during pen building. When not cutting lines and building pens, the sawyer will assist other crew members with measuring overstory forestry characteristics using standard vegetative sampling techniques (e.g., dbh, canopy height, basal area), identifying vegetation, and collecting observational data on the deer.

All crew members must be able to work in a fast-paced environment while maintaining a positive outlook and working as part of a cohesive team. All work is conducted outdoors in all weather conditions and sometimes rugged terrain. This region can be rainy in the spring followed by hot, dry summer days and cool nights. The crew will be camping at field sites during their working periods. Some basic camping supplies will be provided (tents, a communal camp stove and water jugs) but technicians will be responsible for their own food, additional water and personal gear suitable for working in the area. On busy days, crew members can expect to work upwards of 10 hours a day. Typical schedules will be 12 days on, 3 days off. Sites are located away from electricity, running water and on occasion cellphone service. Access to showers will vary while technicians are working.

• Only applicants with documented chainsaw experience will be considered for this position. Applicants must have at 1-2 seasons of chainsaw experience.
• Able to run a chainsaw for extended periods of time.
• Basic chainsaw maintenance safety, repair skills, and best practice.
• Preference will be given to applicants with an undergraduate degree in biology, natural resources, wildlife biology, or related field OR junior/senior in college with good standing.
• Flexibility to work varying length days and to adjust to changing schedules.
• Able to walk over rugged terrain carrying up to 50lb for short distances.
• Reliable vehicle to provide own transportation to and from field sites.

Preferred Skills:
• Comfortable driving trucks (potentially 4x4) on unmaintained gravel roads.
• Navigation skills (different maps, GPS).
• Long-term camping experience.
• Previous plant identification experience (preferably NE Washington or N Idaho).

Pay and Benefits: $750-850 every two weeks (DOE) with pay periods twice a month. Workmen’s Compensation will be covered by Washington State University. Personal vehicles will be used for transport to and from field sites and technicians will not be compensated for gas or vehicle wear since this is for personal use. Technicians will also be responsible for providing their own personal gear and enough food to last for days on.

How to Apply:

Interested applicants must submit a cover letter, resume and 3 references (phone numbers and emails). In the cover letter, please include why you are interested in the job, relevant work/education experiences and how you handle difficult field work experiences. The resume must include relevant experiences, degree and GPA. At least 1 of the references must be able to attest to the applicant’s chainsaw abilities. Applications will be reviewed as received until the position is filled.

Send application materials to Stephanie Berry at or mail to:

Stephanie Berry
Washington State University
School of the Environment
P.O. Box 642812
Pullman WA 99164-2812

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