Job Specification

Position Title:
Wildlife Research Technician
Job Code:
41102 - Resource Technician 2
Job ID:

Purpose of Position :

Under the general direction of the Research Scientist or Research biologist, provides assistance in the delivery and maintenance of technical phases of a variety of wildlife research and monitoring projects.

Duties / Responsibilities :

Under the supervision of a WRMS Coordinator and working in a team environment they will use their biological and technical knowledge and experience to assist in program delivery by:
Capturing, immobilizing and handling wild animals to collect biological samples (e.g. teeth, blood, oral and glandular swabs, DNA etc.), take body measurements, and affix markers such as ear tags, leg bands, and radio/GPS telemetry transmitters.
Processing carcasses in the field and in the lab to obtain biological material for further analysis by MNRF and other agencies, e.g., extracting reproductive tracts, ovaries, blood tissue, stomach contents, hair, fecal material, brain tissue, salivary glands, tooth and bone tissue, and counting uterine placental scars and properly storing such tissue in appropriate media in order to maintain integrity of samples; ensuring that necropsy data is accurately transcribed (data forms, computer) and relates to the correct specimen.
Sectioning tissue using an isomet saw, mounting sections onto microscope slides, staining and preserving those samples.
Ensuring safe and proper disposal of refuse from carcasses after necropsy;
Packaging and transporting biological tissues in a safe manner, according to Transportation of Dangerous Goods regulations, to laboratories such as Canadian Food Inspection Agency, cooperating universities;
Conducting ground and aerial surveys to locate / count animals either through visual or auditory observation, by radio telemetry, or by their tracks, scats, nest and bedding sites, or other signs of their presence;
Performing physical measurements of habitat and documenting conditions at den and nest sites, predation sites and other important habitat locations
Establishing and maintaining remote monitoring stations such as weather and snow stations, barbed-wire hair tagging stations, automated cameras, audio recorders, etc.
Liaising with hunters, trappers, land owners and other co-operators through correspondence, telephone, questionnaires, MNRF district contacts and group presentations, e.g., slide shows, demonstrations etc. to obtain specimens such as carcasses and blood samples of wildlife disease vector species or to present our research results.
Preparing and distributing kits to co-operators for specimen collection and instructing co-operators in the proper method of specimen collection and handling, e.g., freeze carcass, take blood samples, swabs, etc.
Ensuring appropriate accounting of specimens submitted by co-operators to guarantee and regulate payment to the trappers
Collecting specimens (pig, raccoon, fox, skunk, or other cadavers and tissue) from co-operators and return to central laboratory at regular (daily, weekly, monthly) intervals, as required.

Assisting with program delivery by:
Transporting staff, equipment and supplies to baiting sites;
Re-packaging baits in freezer units and load baits unto aircraft in preparation for bait distribution; disposing of all refuse in regulated manner;
Flying in aircraft and loading baits safely onto bait dropping machinery;
Traversing predefined routes by foot or vehicle to deploy baits by hand.
Ensuring data is collected accurately and securely on data sheets or electronic devices, Compiling field and laboratory data and organizing that data in spreadsheets or databases.

Performing basic mathematical analyses of data.

Providing logistical support to the program including:
Inventorying existing items and estimating future requirements; requisition required items, ensuring receipt and maintaining records of items purchased.
Ensuring basic maintenance, upkeep, and secure storage of program vehicles and equipment.
Providing training and group leadership of unclassified staff as required, in various aspects of the technical program.

Staffing and Licensing :

Valid 'G' class drivers licence.
Willingness to be vaccinated against the rabies virus.
Capable of working in inclement weather conditions (rain, snow, heat, cold').
Be available to spend extended periods of time away from your headquarters during research projects throughout the province of Ontario.

Knowledge :

Knowledge of wildlife research & management techniques & principles to conduct wildlife and habitat surveys ;
Knowledge of general lab & field techniques including use of live traps, isomet saws, and autopsy equipment to capture immobilize and take samples from wild animals
Knowledge of mammalian anatomy to conduct necropsies and collect biological samples;
Knowledge of computer software used in word processing, data entry and preliminary data summary and analysis to enter and compile data, prepare summary reports
Understanding of basic statistics to complete preliminary data reports;
Knowledge of worker responsibilities as outlined in the OH&S Act to conduct work safely.

Skills :

Interpersonal skills to work as a team member or group leader;
Communication skills, both oral and written, to contribute to scientific presentations and publications, respond to inquiries and develop written work instructions and provide instruction and guidance to other to field staff
Ability to work with minimal supervision.

Freedom of Action :

Work is performed under the direction of the Research Scientist or Biologist in accordance with predetermined methods and procedures, with some latitude for decision and action on program practices.
Job requires ongoing updates to supervisor and other team members through regular meetings, discussions and periodic reviews to deal with project issues.
Project issues to be referred to supervisor on best method of resolution.
Work is regularly checked and monitored for progress by supervisor to ensure project objectives and timelines are met.

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