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Field assistant for small mammal research

Volunteer Field assistant for research on small mammals and plague

Agency: Idaho Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Idaho Location:Adams County, Idaho Job Category:Temporary/Seasonal Positions Salary:$45/day per diem plus free housing Start Date:04/05/2017 Last Date to Apply: 1/16/2017



The northern Idaho ground squirrel (Urocitellus brunneus) is federally threatened under ESA. We are using field experiments to assess the presence and effects that plague may have on northern Idaho ground squirrel populations and other small mammals associated with them.

We capture and mark ground squirrels using PIT tags and ear tags from April through August.  We compare demographic parameters among treatments, including capture-recapture analyses to assess population attributes (e.g., survival rates).  We anesthetize small mammals (Columbian ground squirrels, northern Idaho ground squirrels, chipmunks, and mice) to collect fleas (a plague vector).

Housing will be provided for the applicant during the field season.

Field housing may be rustic.  Housing may be a camp trailer, a cabin, or a wall tent.  Applicants must be willing to live for 5 months without daily phone and email access.  Field work will include various types of weather conditions (rain, snow, and heat), long hours, odd schedules, and physical work.  We will provide a vehicle for work to transport technicians between housing and the field sites.

Skills you will acquire:

  • Trapping, handling, and processing small mammals (northern Idaho ground squirrels, Columbian ground squirrels, chipmunks, and mice)
  • Use of anesthesia in the field
  • Experience working with a listed species


  • Demonstrated oral and written communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and within a group setting
  • Previous experience hiking/camping
  • Excellent skills in time and data organization/management
  • Must be in good physical condition and have the ability to walk on uneven terrain throughout the day and carry heavy traps for short distances (less than 1 mile)
  • Must have a valid US driving license
  • Must be a US citizen or possess a valid US green card
  • Must be available for employment by 5 April 2017 through 15 August 2017

Apply by sending a cover letter, CV, copy of college transcripts (unofficial are ok), and the email and phone numbers for at least three references in one document (PDF or Word) to Amanda Goldberg ( . Please write “plague volunteer” in the subject line.

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