Employment

Forest and Fire Ecology Field Technician Positions Now Open

Job Description:

The Stephens Wildland Fire Lab at UC Berkeley is seeking seven to eight employees, distributed across three crews, to assist with forest and fire ecology fieldwork in the Sierra Nevada for summer 2018. The crews will be working on the following projects:

  • Crew 1 will investigate: How do post-fire forest management treatments influence fire effects in a subsequent re-burn? This study will take place on the Plumas National Forest (NF). The crew will work with staff from the Plumas NF to establish monitoring plots in areas where treatments occurred after an initial wildfire but before the areas re-burned in a subsequent wildfire. The crew will be based in Plumas County; housing may be provided. Overnight camping will be required to access plots in more remote areas. A 3-person crew will be hired for early June through late August. There may be a possibility to extend into September or early October.
  • Crew 2 will investigate: How do post-fire forest management treatments influence forest recovery? This study will take place on the eastern portion of Plumas NF. The crew will establish pre-treatment monitoring plots across a range of forest stand conditions. The crew will be based in Plumas County; rustic housing and/or a long-term tent camping spot will be provided. A 2-3-person crew will be hired for early June through late August. There may be a possibility to extend into September or early October.
  • Crew 3 will investigate two questions: 1) How does frequent fire influence forest structure in Baja California? This study will take place from June through mid-July in the Sierra San Pedro Martir in central Baja California, Mexico. The crew will collaborate with researchers from UC Davis on this project, who will also be present in Mexico, and will collect data on tree density and stand structure that will be used to validate LiDAR data. Spanish speakers preferred for this crew. 2) How does forest structure change over time following fuel treatments? This study will take place in the Lake Tahoe Basin from mid-July through mid-September; housing and/or a long-term tent camping spot will be provided. A 2-person crew will be hired.

In addition, Crew 2 may spend up to three weeks on a separate project in Yosemite and Kings Canyon National Parks, investigating how wildland fire influences the forest water balance.  Results from this study may guide policy and fire management techniques to increase water yield and water security. The crew will assist with field preparation and participate in one or more eight-day backpacking trips to each National Park. The crew gather hydrology field data, maintain existing weather stations and assist with data management. Employees must carry up to 50 lbs. for six miles and be familiar with, or willing to learn, backcountry safety procedures.

The application period is from 1/18/2018 to 2/2/2018. Interviews will occur between 2/2/2018 and 2/16/2018 and continue until applicants are selected. Employees will be selected by 3/1/2018. Please send cover letter and resume as a single PDF to stevensjt@berkeley.edu with the subject “Forest and Fire Ecology Field Technician Position”. Applicants may specify a preference for one of the three crews in their cover letter. Pay rate will be approximately $18/hour, with some flexibility depending on prior experience and demonstrated ability to lead a field crew. Additional information at https://nature.berkeley.edu/stephenslab/

Employee’s Qualifications

Candidates must have a strong interest and demonstrated skill in: fire ecology, forests, and data management; Attention to detail and on-the-fly problem solving in the field, with computers, and in a team setting; Inter-personal skills and desire to work in a team; Backpacking for many days at a time, particularly for crew 2 (generally 8 day trips, but potentially up to 16 days); Spending long physically exhausting hours in the field; Enjoying the joys of field work (alpine sun-sets and swimming in creeks) and hardships (bushwhacking through shrublands) alike. Berkeley undergraduates are preferred.

Required qualifications

  • Coursework in either forestry, forest and fire ecology, or hydrology
  • Strong teamwork skills and flexibility are a must.
  • Must be able to operate a vehicle.
  • Flexibility will be essential; schedules will be variable across the season due to different responsibilities and project priorities.

Preferred qualifications

  • We prefer candidates with wilderness experiences including, but not restricted to backpacking.
  • Medical training such as Wilderness First Responder is preferred (strongly preferred for Crew 2), and experience using these skills on friends and colleagues is preferred.
  • At least two full years of undergraduate work completed

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