JOB POSTING – 2020 Research Field Team Program
Position: Research Field Team Lead (Assistant to the Park Biologist)
Location: Quetico Provincial Park, Atikokan ON, P0T 1C0
Length of Employment: 16 weeks – early May to the end of August
Application Deadline: March 2, 2020 or when position is filled
Position Description: This is a 16 week summer employment opportunity funded by The Quetico Foundation from the Margery J. Warren bequest, to provide a student in a field sciences or natural resource related undergraduate or graduate program with an opportunity to gain valuable experience in their chosen field. The successful candidate will lead a small field team under the direction of the Park Biologist assisting with the collection and analysis of ecological field data in a wilderness environment. Considerable time will be spent in the field in canoe accessible backcountry locations for extended periods. Rate of pay will be ($20 per hour). Accommodation is available at the Quetico Provincial Park Staff House for $25 per week. Camping gear is provided, and food expenses incurred while on backcountry work trips are reimbursed.
Field work may include ecological monitoring in support of the long term ecological monitoring framework for the Park such as setting up remote data collection devices (song meters, cameras, and temperature loggers), fire history data sampling, fish population and aquatic ecosystem assessment, and vegetation community monitoring. Additional work may include collection of habitat data, invasive species surveys, and bathymetric surveys.
Responsibilities as a team leader include, backcountry trip planning, following field safety and communications protocols, making day to day navigational, work planning and safety decisions in the field and supporting an inclusive and positive team environment.
Office work for the Research Field Team Lead will depend on the experience of the individual and may include a variety of backcountry canoe trip planning, scheduling, analytical work, identification, report writing and data entry as well as administrative tasks.
Bats (bapakwaanaajiinh in Anishinaabemowin) are an important component of biodiversity, particularly as a
voracious insect predator. Five species of bat have been reported in Quetico, including three species of
migratory bats – Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinerius), Silver-haired Bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans) and Eastern Red Bat(Lasiurus borealis) as well as two non-migratory species – Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus) and Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus). In addition, Northern Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis), another non-migratory species, has been confirmed immediately north of Quetico but has not been identified from within the Park. However very little is known about their population status or habitat use in the Quetico Provincial Park.
Due to the high risk of White-nose Syndrome (WNS), non-migratory species which hibernate in colonies such as Little Brown Myotis and Northern Myotis have been classed as Endangered in Ontario. White-nose Syndrome is caused by a cold and damp-loving fungus (Pseudogumnoascus destrutcans) that causes a skin infection in bats. Discomfort from the infection causes hibernating bats to wake up more frequently during the winter when food and water is not available, causes bats to dehydrate and use up fat reserves prematurely, often resulting in death. Initially identified in North America in the winter of 2006-07, White-nose Syndrome was first observed in northwestern Ontario during 2014-2015 and has expanded across the region since then.
The purpose of this project was to determine the presence and abundance of Species At Risk bats (i.e. Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus) and potentially Northern Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis)) relative to other bat species in Quetico Provincial Park. and compare distribution of identified bat species along survey route.
During this season of giving and sharing please generously donate to help support the Quetico Foundation!
The Quetico Foundation is dedicated to the protection of wilderness with a particular focus on Quetico Wilderness Provincial Park since 1954. The Quetico Foundation primarily has two focuses; conducting ecological research and supporting academic studies to help protect the wilderness of Quetico Provincial Park, and helping students and young leaders connect to the beauty of Quetico’s wilderness, lakes and rivers through the joys, merits and benefits of wilderness canoe trips.
Please donate today to help the Quetico Foundation support protecting wilderness, connecting young leaders and students to Quetico via wilderness canoe excursions and wilderness research.
A plant or animal is considered a Species at Risk when it is in danger of being either extirpated (disappearing from an area it currently occupies) or becoming extinct. Species can also be considered of “Special Concern” if their populations are threatened, for example by significant loss of habitat. Species within Quetico Provincial Park that are listed as Species at Risk are protected under the Endangered Species Act and Provincial Park policies. The QPP Biologist assesses and monitors these species to develop management strategies that will support their habitat and existence in the Park.
Within Quetico Park there are bird, fish, reptile, and mammal species that are being monitored to help with their recovery or to prevent them from becoming further at risk. Quetico Foundation summer employees have assisted with long-term monitoring of several Species at Risk within Quetico, and their work has contributed to understanding of these species’ populations and determining what management actions need to occur to protect these important species.
Through nighttime acoustic bat surveys Quetico Foundation staff have worked to understand the populations of endangered bat species in Quetico. Non-migrating species of bat within the park are currently facing threats from White Nose Syndrome.
In mid-June the Quetico Park Biology team (Park Biologist Brian Jackson and the Assistant Biologists Jared Walter Stachiw and Cat Langillle) along with QPP Information Specialist Jill Legault surveyed the red pine forest stands along Agnes and Kawnipi Lakes for fire-scarred tree samples. When a fire injures a tree, it creates a scar at the base of the tree referred to as a fire scar. Fire scars record the exact year and season that a fire occurred, which allows us to figure out how many times fire happened in an area. Fire is a natural and necessary process in Quetico’s forests and provides opportunity for regeneration of pine species and rejuvenation of available nutrients in the soil (to name just a couple of the numerous positive impacts of fire in Quetico’s forests).
2019 Fall Quetico Foundation Dinner
This very popular dinner will be held at the University Club of Toronto. An exciting speaker has been booked. Adam Shoalts, author and explore-in-residence of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society is our speaker on Wednesday October 30th.
The Trustees are eager for you to SAVE the evening of Wed. October 30th in your calendar.
To reserve a seat at the 2019 Fall Quetico Dinner on Oct 30th email: email@example.com
Adam Shoalts, Explorer-in-Residence of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and #1 national best-selling author of Alone Against the North, will join us to tell us about his brand new book, Beyond the Trees: A Journey Alone Across Canada’s Arctic, which tells the story of his solo canoe journey across nearly 4,000 km of arctic wilderness. Shoalts will also share pictures from his adventures at the dinner and his new book will be available for purchase and signing.
A picture is always better than words so Adam’s publicist has provided me with this photo of him.
I just tried to check in with Adam, but his email account replied with “I’m in the wilderness at the moment with no access to email or phone until I return in the first week of September”. We hope he is safe and enjoying his time exploring an uncharted river in the far north!
Check out this interview of Adam by David McGuffin. Even listening to the first few minutes of this interview will leave you committed to attending the 2019 Fall Quetico Foundation Dinner.
As an assistant biologist in Quetico Provincial Park for the last three years, working on
behalf of the Quetico Foundation, it has been both my job and my pleasure to collect
scientific data in the remote wilderness of Quetico. The work I have done has been
varied, including vegetation surveys, bat monitoring, and dendrochronology, which has
provided me with innumerable, invaluable experience in my career path. The work done
by the assistant biologist supports the efforts of Quetico Park’s biologist to manage this
wilderness area with the primary goal of maintaining and/or increasing ecological
integrity. Being able to support this endeavour has given me immense personal
satisfaction as I feel like I am helping to manage this rugged corner of Canada that I
have fallen in love with.
Have you been to Quetico lately? We want to hear your stories and favourite Quetico experiences.
Please email us your favourite experiences with the Quetico Foundation with us or your favourite Quetico wilderness memories at firstname.lastname@example.org or post them with this blog.