The ASU SoLS/Phoenix Zoo Fellowship - Wildlife Research Assistant Program was established to provide opportunities for Arizona State University School of Life Sciences undergraduate and graduate students to work with researchers at the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation/Phoenix Zoo to gain practical experience in conservation science, wildlife ecology and research techniques. Participants in the Program are exposed to all aspects of the scientific method, including observation, experimental design, and data collection and analysis. The Wildlife Research Assistants participate in research, data analysis and publication and may have the opportunity to develop an independent project. These positions are designed to engage students across a wide breadth of projects and may require some knowledge of conservation research techniques, such as camera-trapping, animal tracking, GIS mapping and spatial analysis, water quality assessment, acoustic ecology, computer programing, among others. In addition, some field sites require advanced outdoor skills including but not limited to orienteering, mountaineering, tree climbing, kayaking/rafting, horseback riding, wilderness first-aid and rescue.
We are currently seeking to fill two (2) Research Assistant positions as part of a team to study wildlife connectivity patterns and human-wildlife interactions at sites in Arizona and globally. Successful applicants must be enrolled as undergraduate students in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. The position will be partially based at Phoenix Zoo, while the remaining time will be working in the field. The duration of the project is approximately six (6) months.
These positions, together with other Research Assistants and Technicians and the Field Conservation Research Director, will work together across a variety of landscapes, and specific job duties will be assigned based on the skills and interests of the successful applicant. We are seeking applicants specifically with relevant skills and interest in 1) camera-trap photo organization and basic analysis, 2) acoustic data organization and analysis, 3) conservation mapping (GIS/remote sensing) and 4) species detection, occupancy and habitat modeling. These Research Assistant positions will divide their time between field research (collecting data) (30%), organizing and managing data (60%), and some assistance with analysis and publication (10%). These percentages are estimates; actual time may be adjusted as needs change. Field locations will be remote and work will require basic knowledge of GPS to navigate, ability to program and deploy remote cameras and basic knowledge of Arizona/Sonora flora and fauna. Some sites may require the use of inflatable canoes, light aircraft, ATV’s and mountain bikes. Field trips will be from one to 4 days long (Friday-Monday during semester), including bikepacking, backpacking, car camping and remote lodging. Data sorting requires attention to detail, knowledge of land mammals and birds, and self-motivation. The Research Assistants will have the opportunity to work with other team members on specific issues to produce a small research poster or publication, either using our existing data or data gathered independently.
Provide quality guest service to both internal and external guests by maintaining a WILD (friendly, helpful, positive and professional) working attitude and appearance.
Participate in appropriate field conservation activities as assigned, specifically managing several camera trap networks. Field work will include driving, hiking up to 15 miles with gear and occasionally camping.
Participate in data sorting and analysis.
Opportunity to conduct at least one project/presentation about research, fieldwork and/or husbandry experiences.
Assist in field support and logistics (developing study designs, acting as safety support for field teams).
High school diploma or equivalent required.
Applicants must have a valid US Passport as this project is conducted internationally.
Enrollment at ASU as an undergraduate full-time (12.0 hours or more per semester) with a major in the School of Life Sciences OR as a Master’s or PhD student in SoLS.
Completion of at least 24 hours of college coursework.
Student in good standing with an overall minimum GPA of 3.0.
Willingness and ability to participate in field work, and ability to walk moderate distances (up to 15 miles) on and off trail in desert and mountain terrain.
Ability to lift up to 50 pounds, and carry up to 30 pounds for over 10 miles.
Ability to bend, stoop, crawl and walk on uneven surfaces.
Ability to work indoors and outside, often in extreme weather conditions.
Ability to work well in groups and independently.
Knowledge of basic scientific method and ability to conduct and develop an independent research project.
Knowledge or experience in at least one of the 4 focal areas: 1) camera-trap photo organization and basic analysis, 2) acoustic data organization and analysis, 3) conservation mapping (GIS/remote sensing) and 4) species detection, occupancy and habitat modeling.
Access to a vehicle will sometimes be necessary to meet team in remote locations.
Basic knowledge of Spanish language preferred.
Possession of a valid driver license.
Ability to pass pre-employment background and DMV check, drug test, and annual TB test.