Manomet is a nonprofit committed to science-based decisions for humans and nature.

Our scientists and staff work from Alaska to Argentina. Our headquarters are located on a 40-acre waterfront campus in Plymouth, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod Bay, 45 miles south of Boston. We have a satellite office in Brunswick, Maine. With an annual budget of approximately $5M and more than 30 scientists and staff, Manomet offers an entrepreneurial atmosphere of dedicated professionals who support each other toward a common vision of creating a more sustainable world.

Open positions

Blue-spotted Salamander Surveys, 2022

POSITION SUMMARY:

The Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program (NHESP) of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife seeks to fund survey efforts targeting the state-listed, Blue-spotted Salamander (Ambystoma laterale) as part of an ongoing study of local and regional population distributions. Experienced field biologists are needed to lead and/or assist with trapping surveys in southeastern Massachusetts (Bristol and/or Plymouth counties) and with egg-mass surveys in other parts of the state (Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, and/or Worcester counties). Work will occur between late February and late April (possibly extending into early May), depending on regional climate and local breeding phenology of Blue-spotted Salamanders.

Minimum duties will consist of sampling adult Blue-spotted Salamanders via funnel-trapping during inbound breeding migrations and taking standard measurements and photos of captured individuals. Duties may subsequently shift to egg-mass surveys, which will require wading into wetlands and taking high-quality photos of eggs observed. Detailed field notes on trap captures and egg-mass observations must be recorded at the time of each survey. The duration and continuity of the trapping period can vary from 2 to 5 weeks, depending on how quickly objectives are met (as influenced by weather patterns, salamander population density, and degree of synchrony in salamander migrations). As time allows, egg-mass surveys will follow for a period of 2 to 3 weeks thereafter. Sites to be surveyed will be identified and prioritized by the NHESP.

The successful applicant(s) will work in close consultation with the NHESP to plan and implement surveys to achieve preferred survey effort at each site over a desired sampling period. The successful applicant(s) will be expected to have reliable transportation, pay close attention to detail, be able to work independently in adverse weather conditions, and meet the physical demands of rigorous field work (see last bullet in Preferred Qualifications). The successful applicant(s) must also provide the following personal equipment for use during surveys: durable chest waders, GPS unit, waterproof/submergible point-and-shoot digital camera (not a phone camera), polarized sunglasses, weatherproof field notebook, and any necessary apparel for protection of hands from repeated submersion in icy water during adverse weather (cold, wind, rain).

LOCATIONS

Trapping Surveys:  Plymouth Co., northern Bristol Co.

Egg-mass Surveys:  Essex Co., Middlesex Co., Norfolk Co., eastern Worcester Co.

POSITIONS AVAILABLE

Up to two.

FUNDING AVAILABLE

Up to $7,200 per contract (hourly rate of $25.00 – $30.00/hr., maximum 240 hrs.)

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Experience conducting aquatic funnel-trapping surveys for Blue-spotted Salamander and other pool-breeding amphibians.
  • Demonstrated experience capturing Blue-spotted Salamanders.
  • Thorough understanding of Blue-spotted Salamander movement behavior as it relates to timing and duration of breeding migrations, and to weather conditions.
  • Experience conducting biological field work under adverse weather conditions (cold, wind, rain).
  • Flexible schedule, as it relates to accommodating the timing, duration, and frequency of survey work necessitated by local weather conditions and related salamander activity; generally available to work between late February and late April, and available to work intensively (daily) during a 3-week period once salamander migrations commence.
  • Able to provide own chest waders, GPS unit, submergible/waterproof point-and-shoot digital camera (not a phone camera), polarized sunglasses, weatherproof field notebook, and any items related to personal comfort in cold and/or wet conditions.
  • Comfortable working alone in the woods.
  • Physically capable of carrying a stack of 20 funnel traps (~25 lbs.) and personal equipment while traversing through the woods on foot, hiking up to half a mile through dense underbrush (including greenbrier), and wading through mucky and/or densely vegetated wetlands with submerged (and often hidden) woody debris.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Services of the successful applicant(s) will be retained through the NHESP’s contractual relationship with the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences.
  • The successful applicant(s) will need to obtain a Scientific Collection Permit from the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife prior to commencement of work.
  • The NHESP will provide traps, data forms, equipment for measuring salamanders (scale, calipers), and some training.
  • Egg-mass surveys may require extensive travel and will require cleaning and decontamination of equipment (i.e., waders, boots) with a diluted bleach solution (or other approved product) among sites.

TO APPLY

Please submit an application consisting of (1) a cover letter that directly addresses the preferred qualifications listed above, (2) a resume/CV, and (3) contact information for 3 references. [Note: references are not required if the applicant has worked on the NHESP Blue-spotted Salamander project previously.]  Applications should be sent in either hard-copy or electronic format to: Karen M. Dolan, Finance & Projects Administrator, Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, MA 01581 or karen.dolan@mass.govPreference will be given to applications received by January 21, 2022; final application deadline is January 28, 2022.

For questions regarding application submission, please contact Karen at 508-389-6349, 508-330-2097 or at karen.dolan@mass.gov.

For information about specific aspects of the project, please contact Jacob E. Kubel, Conservation Scientist, at jacob.kubel@mass.gov.

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