RAY Conservation Diversity Fellow: Antarctica Program Biologist

The Point Blue Conservation Science RAY Conservation Diversity Fellow program is now accepting applications for an Antarctica Program Biologist. This fellowship was created to increase and facilitate environmentally-related career pathways for emerging leaders of color, and the chosen fellow will gain experience in biologging, data management, field methods, drone surveying, and conservation outreach. 

Apply by March 26th for consideration. Begin your application here.

Date published: 2021/03/09

About the Roger Arliner Young Diversity Fellowship 

Inspired by efforts to increase racial diversity in conservation and clean energy, the Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Diversity Fellowship Program aims to increase and facilitate environmentally-related career pathways for emerging leaders of color. The RAY Fellowship Program is a paid fellowship designed to equip recent college graduates with the tools, experiences, support, and community they need to become leaders in the conservation and clean energy sectors—one that, in our visions of the future, fully represents, includes, and is led by the diverse communities, perspectives, and experiences of the United States.

Position Summary

The RAY Fellow will be part of a team that studies Adélie penguin breeding and wintering ecology with the objective of increasing our understanding of population structuring of this and other species through time. Emphasis during the Fellow’s term will be on the long-term effects of early life conditions on individuals as they mature and use of devices deployed on penguins to monitor environmental change. Field work will involve at least one deployment of ~4 months (October-February) in Antarctica.

While in Antarctica, the Fellow will be stationed at a small field camp (2-4 people) at Cape Crozier, Ross Island. The field crew works out of a small hut, sleeping in tents, accessible in good weather conditions only by helicopter from McMurdo station, which in turn is only accessible by military aircraft from New Zealand. Living conditions in the field are rustic, communal space is cramped, there is no running water (no showers). Temperatures range from -20 to +10 C, with intermittent severe wind and snowstorms. The Fellow will participate in several unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) surveys and will be required to obtain FAA certification as a remote pilot prior to deployment to Antarctica.

The remainder of the position will be based out of Point Blue headquarters in Petaluma, California. Working from home is supported.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • This position will participate in all aspects of the project from field work and field-logistics, data management and analysis, literature review, and preparing manuscripts for publication.
  • Responsibilities while in the field (up to 4 months of the year)Collect data on many aspects of the species’ breeding and wintering ecology including:
    • Searching for banded (known-age) penguins and recording their nesting status
      • Deploying and maintaining automated scale and PIT-tag reader
      • Deploying biologging devices on individual penguins to track movement and behavior
      • Measuring chicks and recording observations of chick diet
      • Surveying for whales and pinnipeds
      • Conducting UAV surveys to photograph and census nesting adults and chicks
      • Data entry and proofing
  • Non-field responsibilities
    • Data management (50%)
      • Data quality assurance
      • Annual summaries and reports
      • Maintain existing long-term databases
      • Develop and maintain data collection and entry protocols
  • Additional projects and activities as developed with supervisor (40%). Examples include:
    • Independent research project
    • Literature review
    • Attend and present at scientific conferences
    • Create outreach materials
    • Contribute to ongoing analysis and manuscript preparation in partnership with the leadership team
  • Project administration (10%)
    • Safety and permitting
    • Sample curation
    • Scheduling
    • Ordering supplies
    • Shipping project cargo

View the full position description, responsibilities, and qualifications here.

Apply Now:

To apply for the RAY Fellowship Program, applicants must:

1. Complete the online application survey on the RAY Fellowship Program website: https://rayfellowship.org/apply

2. Follow the instructions on the linked application webpage to submit a curriculum vitae or a resume, responses to one essay, one visioning, and one short answer prompt, and a letter of support.

Applications must be submitted to the RAY Fellowship Program no later than March 26, 2021. Transcripts and additional writing samples are not required. Questions about the application process can be submitted to the RAY Conservation Program Manager, Guilu Murphy, via email at [email protected].

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