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.
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.
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.
Bat surveys are done three times a summer with an ultra high frequency microphone that picks up bats ultrasonic calls. The survey crew, composed of Cat Langille and Jared Stachiw, canoe from The Pines on Pickerel Lake to the north shore of French Lake just after sunset, slowly following the shoreline to pick up bat calls while they do their evening hunting. Computer software is then used to identify the number and species of bats detected or “heard” along the route based on collected audio information.
The province, northern Ontario and jeopardized wildlife in Ontario need your help. Ontario’s government announced its intention to gut the province’s Endangered Species Act (ESA). Please send an email to your MPP, make your views on the ESA known through the Environmental Registry or through Ontario Nature’s petition here: https://ontarionature.good.do/esa2/sign/ or https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/013-5033.
It’s easy to believe in a world of simplicity, where being “open for business” trumps all else. We all have to deal with complexity in our lives, with nuance, with ambiguity. We all want to live in a world where human livelihoods and nature can coexist.
We know that’s important when, in this very week, the UN issued a devastating report. It demonstrates that extinctions of organisms are now occurring at rates “tens to hundreds of times higher than the average over the last 10 million years”. As many as a million species are at risk of disappearing in the next few decades – About an eighth of all Earth’s life forms. For a summary, see: popsci.com/un-extinction-report-stats-climate#page-2.
However, just last month Ontario’s government announced its intention to gut the province’s Endangered Species Act (ESA). The provisions include: allowing developers to pay into a fund rather than do what is necessary to ensure the survival of an endangered species on a site; allowing sweeping authorizations for developers to undertake harmful activities in multiple locations; removing the requirement of the Minister to consult scientific experts on endangered species; allowing the appointment of non-scientists to the technical panel on endangered species conservation (COSSARO); allowing the minister to ask COSSARO to reconsider its recommendations on an arbitrary basis and on… and….. on. A commentary by Ontario Nature can be found at ontarionature.org/endangered-species-act-review-top-ten/.
Enjoy creating wonderful inspired art in the wilderness of Quetico Provincial Park! Apply now to be a Quetico 2019 Artist in Residence, the deadline is March 31st. The Quetico Foundation can also pay for part of these travel expenses and initiated the artist in residence cabin. Please see https://queticofoundation.org/what-we-do/arts-culture/ for more information.
Do you love science and observing birds?
Read about Dave Elder’s sighting of black-billed magpies, a species typically found further west, in Atikokan as well and his contributions to the Atikokan Christmas Bird Count here: https://view.publitas.com/on-nature/winter-2018/page/6-7. Dave Elder is a former Quetico Provincial Park superintendent and a Quetico Foundation Trustee Emeriti.
Amazing work Dave!!!
Quetico Foundation Biology Interns, Jared Stachiw and Katie Tripp, featured in an Article Progress article about backcountry canoe expeditions to do biology and forest fire data research in Quetico Provincial Park.