Fisheries Biological Field Scientist (Seasonal) (McKinleyville, CA)

Pacific Watershed Associates, Inc.

1652 Holly Drive near Central Avenue

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compensation: Wage range: $22.00/hr - $28.00/hr. Final wage rate is commensurate with qualifications and experience.
employment type: full-time
job title: Fisheries Biological Field Scientist (Seasonal)
PWA is seeking Fisheries Biological Field Scientists to serve as seasonal members of our multi-disciplinary team. These positions are specific to collecting baseline data over multiple projects for use in limiting factor analyses to inform in-stream salmonid restoration designs. Our project areas are on privately owned properties under various management objectives, and we partner with local non-profit restoration organizations, private landowners, and tribal members. Work will be directed by the Fisheries Biologist and Biological Scientist, the Fisheries Biological Field Scientist will collect salmonid habitat data, conduct large wood and riparian inventory surveys, and assist with other aquatic surveys.

PWA is a full-service geologic and engineering consulting firm with offices in Humboldt and Sonoma Counties of northern California. PWA specializes in science-based management solutions for watershed, forest, riverine, and coastal habitats; and rural development projects. PWA includes a staff of 25 full-time geologists, engineers, geomorphologists, hydrologists, stormwater specialists, watershed scientists, biologists, technicians, and associated support personnel. PWA is committed to providing and maintaining a professional organization and working environment for all our employees, as well as supporting individual professional development and work-life balance. We aim to continue to grow our established organization, and further develop our fisheries biological capacity. We are committed to working collaboratively with a common purpose and vision to provide the very best services to our clients and our community and to conduct data-driven, environmentally beneficial projects.

These positions are primarily field-based and data collection includes terrestrial wildlife and aquatic organism observations and identification. There is a firm and absolute “No Dog” policy for all fisheries and stream surveys.

Typical Projects Include:
• In-stream and off-channel fish habitat restoration and enhancement projects
• Large wood structures, roughened channels, and other fish habitat designs
• Bridge, culvert, and other fish passage designs

Key Responsibilities:
• Conduct field-based surveys identifying and quantifying salmonid habitat
• Collect data on large wood and riparian composition
• Data accuracy and record keeping on data sheets and tablet
• Photographic documentation
• Data quality control/daily review for completeness
• Perform other surveys or data collection on aquatic ecosystems as needed

Required Qualifications
• Valid driver’s license
• A passion for the aquatic environment at a minimum
• In pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in fisheries biology, or having participated in volunteer efforts assisting graduate students or watershed groups in fisheries surveys
• The successful candidate will be good-natured and capable of working with others, a good communicator, and willing to follow directions from supervisorial fisheries biologists
• Ability to conduct project-specific surveys as per methods and training independently and without direct supervision
• Ability to take reliable, scientific notes with a high degree of accuracy
• Physically fit and able to hike within streams and access streams in areas with steep terrain
• Ability to work and use good judgment in adverse outdoor conditions, including heat, rain, cold, poison oak, etc.
• Be a good swimmer
• Be able to navigate in forested settings using topographic maps
• Demonstrated passion for watershed sciences, fisheries, and ecological restoration via education, job experience, project work, or recreational interests

Required Skills, Abilities, and Experience:
• Knowledge of anadromous fish freshwater life cycles and their habitat requirements
• Field identification of anadromous fish to species (primarily juveniles)
• Field identification of resident fish populations to family
• General knowledge of fish passage requirements
• Knowledge of the local rivers and streams
• High level of critical thinking and organizational skills
• Strong verbal and written communication skills

Preferred Skills and Abilities:
• At least 12 semester units in freshwater fisheries ecology, introduction to freshwater fisheries, stream ecology, or other related courses
• Ability to identify aquatic insects to order and/or functional group as larvae and adults
• Lamprey redd identification
• Species identification for other riparian-dependent organisms (e.g., dippers, king fishers, otters)
• Completion of a year-two Watershed Stewardship Program
• An understanding of process-based river and stream channel evolution
• Experienced instream habitat suitability and limiting factor identification for improving salmonid habitats
• Knowledge of salmonid population dynamics, criteria curves, and/or weighted usable area, in relation to declining stocks or stocks at risk, and independent of survey methodologies, to better quantify the existing conditions for the habitats salmonids are reliant on

Position Details:
• Seasonal position from June 1 through October 30 (August 15th for college students) Full-time hourly position for multiple salmonid habitat design projects
• Position available at the McKinleyville, CA office
• Car camping on-site will be required for some projects
• Out-of-town work required (northern California)

How to Apply:
• Please send cover letter, resume, and three references
• Write “Fisheries Biological Field Scientist” in the subject line
• Resumes without a cover letter or references will not be considered
• Position will remain open until filled

PWA is an equal-opportunity employer. See our website for more information about the organization: www.pacificwatershed.com.
  • Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.

post id: 7746895011


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