Wildlife Conservation Society Fields Assistant


Seasonal Field Assistant Needed for Study of Breeding Birds in Wetlands of Southern Yukon,

May 26 – August 1

Job Title: Field Assistant
Department and Program: WCS Canada
Office/Project: WCS Canada Whitehorse office
Reports To: Lila Tauzer
Supervises (Direct supervision only): None
Job type: Full-time for 10 weeks
Location: Various research sites between Whitehorse and Teslin, Yukon
Closing date: Position will stay open until a suitable candidate is found
Start date: 26 May 2014
End date: 1 August 2014
Compensation: $2,600-3,600/month based on experience. Travel to the Yukon is not included.
Accommodation provided.
Position Summary:
Wildlife Conservation Society Canada is seeking one (1) field assistant for a study of breeding birds in
wetlands of southern Yukon. The project will be conducted in the Southern Lakes ecoregion of Yukon,
between Whitehorse and Teslin. Connected by the Alaska Highway, the region is largely wilderness with
broad valleys, rolling hills, mountain plateaus and numerous large lakes. It supports over 100 bird
species in the summer and intact populations of large mammals.
The project will be based out of Whitehorse (housing provided) but the work will entail travelling among
study sites and car camping in remote locations (truck provided).

Position Objectives:
The goals of the study are to examine the use of wetland habitats by breeding birds and to develop best
management practices for land use developments, such as forestry and agriculture, that occur in or
adjacent to wetlands.
Principal Responsibilities:
Responsibilities will include bird point count surveys, vegetation sampling, and data entry as part of a 2-
person crew. More specifically, the field assistant will have the following duties and responsibilities:
 Navigate to study plots using GPS and compass
 Conduct bird point-count surveys (June) and assist with vegetation sampling (July)
 Maintain accurate data records using data sheets and field books
 Enter data into computer database, as time allows
 Follow project protocols in all field activities; ask for clarification when protocols are unclear
 Maintain field equipment and be responsible for lost or broken equipment
 Operate vehicle (truck) according to all relevant laws and regulations
 Adhere to field safety protocol

Required Qualifications:
Candidates must be able to identify birds by sight and sound (preferably Yukon or western boreal) and
have experience navigating with maps, GPS, and compass. Candidates must be physically fit and willing
to hike long distances under difficult conditions (cold, heat, rain/snow, biting insects). Valid first aid
(wilderness-level certification preferred) and driver’s license are required. Experience hiking, camping,
and/or working in rugged terrain in the presence of bears is desired, as is previous point-count survey
experience. Candidates should be prepared for early (surveys start at 4 AM) and sometimes very cold
mornings (it can be below freezing!). Candidates must also be comfortable working alone (within radio
contact) in remote areas without cell or internet connection. Bear safety training and previous off-road
driving experience are preferred.
To apply:
Please send as a single document (either PDF or Word) a cover letter (including description of
experience, qualifications, dates of availability), resume, and contact information for three references to
Lila Tauzer (ltauzer@wcs.org). Position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate is found. We thank
all applicants for their interest, however only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

About WCS Canada
WCS Canada was established as a Canadian conservation organization in July 2004. Our mission is to
conserve wildlife and wildlands by improving our understanding of and seeking solutions to critical
problems that threaten key species and large wild ecosystems throughout Canada. We implement and
support comprehensive field studies that gather information on wildlife needs and then seek to resolve
key conservation problems by working with a broad array of stakeholders. We also provide technical
assistance and biological expertise to local groups and agencies that lack the resources to tackle
conservation concerns. WCS Canada is independently registered and managed, while retaining a strong
collaborative working relationship with sister WCS programs in more than 55 nations, including an
integrated North America Program. The Wildlife Conservation Society (www.wcs.org) is a recognized
global leader in conservation and for more than a century has worked in North America promoting
actions such as bison reintroduction, pioneering field studies, parks creation, and legislation to protect
endangered wildlife.