As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world. UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty. All of which has allowed the UW to be nationally recognized as a "Great College to Work For" for six consecutive years.POSITION DESCRIPTION:Working with the Center for Conservation Biology (CCB) PI, CCB Programs Manager, and Conservation Canines (Ck9) staff, the person in this position will participate in hands-on research and basic program management activities related to applying detection dog methodology to a wide variety of research projects. These research projects are often centered around wildlife conservation, but may include other scientific fields such as environmental toxicology, forensic science, or invasive species biology. Based near Eatonville, WA, the person in this position will be part of any number of internal CCB research projects, as well as research projects directed by external collaborators and clients such as government agencies, non-profit research groups, or private companies. The ability to work with detection dogs is a unique and highly specialized research technique that goes far beyond animal husbandry. The person in this position will have advanced to a stage of skill with this research technique that they no longer are considered apprentices, and are deemed capable of applying the research method independently in the field. SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES Research (60%) Effective application of scent detection dog methodology to the search for molecular samples:Continuous honing of dog ethology skills, including individual dog variation in change in behaviors related to target scent detection, non-target scent detection, motivation, etc.Understanding how terrain, wind speed and pattern, vegetation, and temperature simultaneously influence scent cones (odor emitted by scat sample)Using expertise in the above two skill sets to continuously assess, optimize, and direct the dog's search through each landscape encountered over the course of a field day. Assist with assessing (on the fly while in the field), how to most effectively use field days to achieve scientific goals of the research project (e.g. mark-recapture population estimation, occupancy modeling, landscape genetics, physiological effects of a heterogeneous environment, etc.). This includes knowledge of field survey designs for various statistical objectives, such as mark-recapture, one-zero sampling, or line transects. For example, an alternate survey design may be better suited to a specific terrain, vegetation, or daily temperature cycle, or observed species-specific scat deposition behavior may require targeted searches of specific microhabitat. Use past experience to identify and suggest improvements to sample collection protocols (e.g. swabbing external epithelial cells, drying vs freezing samples, etc.). For example, observed temperature or precipitation patterns may make one sample preservation method better than another. This is an especially important role, as many external project PIs are unfamiliar with the most up-to-date collection and preservation methods as validated by the CCB. Independent training of detection dogs on new species as need arises. Ability to work independently for long hours in remote field conditions for long periods of time. Data Collection and Management:Collecting molecular samplesFamiliarity with ODK and ArcGIS to the extent that they may assist with spatial data collection and visualization. . Collecting data related to sample location and condition, such as vegetation, microhabitat, canopy cover, terrain slope and aspect, weather, relative sample degradation/condition, visual inspection of content, odor, etc.Data organization and compilation into project-specific databases, as directed.Conducts experiments of sample detection, dog behavior, sample preservation, or other assorted research questions as they arise in the field, as directed. This may include taking measurements, recording observations, and data management, in addition to the primary responsibility of working with the detection dog. Technical proficiency with:Manual and digital pipettesContamination-free collection techniques of wildlife scat samplesMolecular sample preservation in liquid media (cell lysis and PBS buffer solutions) and dehydration techniquesDataloggersGarmin GPSInreach Satellite Emergency DevicesDetection dog equipment: harnesses, crates, cooling vests, floatation vests, foot protection, eye protection, and canine first aid kits. Project Management (40%) Assist the Manager with preparing for field projects (or taking primary role in the following as needed):Developing lists, procuring, and assembly of necessary supplies and equipmentEnsuring all dogs are up to date with veterinary requirementsWhile deployed on field projects:Maintaining health and wellbeing of detection dog while in the field.Tracking research expensesMaintaining a picture and video database to facilitate easy recovery and distribution of images from the field for project reports and papers. At conclusion of field projects:Contributing data and/or updates for use in reports and publications. Assist the Manager and the Project Leads with writing project status reports as needed.Prepare necessary spreadsheets and other paperwork related to expenses.During time not on deployment, at Pack Forest CK9 facility:Maintaining field supply inventory- ensure supplies are in good working condition, checked out & in by staff and replenished as needed.Recommending purchases for the CK9 facility. Works with the Program Manager to oversee housing rented from Pack Forest and communicates any needs regarding Pack Forest housing to the Program Manager, who oversees and ensures that CK9 and the CCB are meeting the terms and conditions of the MOU.Works with the Program Manager to ensure staff are maintaining rental house according to the MOU.Ensure scent detection dogs are up to date on all vaccines and vet recommendations. Ensure staff are in compliance with IACUC protocols and CK9 guidelines for exercise and training upkeep.Ensure all protocols for animals and staff are up to date, such as the Office of Animal Welfare (OAW), the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC), Environmental Health & Safety, and any/all other units within the UW that oversee animal care and use and health and safety issues.Evaluate and acquire potential scent detection dogs from various agencies, shelters and owner surrenders. Rehome dogs that do not pass CK9 training. Meet with leadership regularly to update on progress and challenges and obtain input on prioritization of activities and communicate decisions/tasks to project team.REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS:Bachelor's degree in life science or related field and one year of experience in a related area; some or all may be in relevant educational programs.Experience working with scent detection dogs.Demonstrated excellence in communication and interpersonal skills. Excellent planning and organizational skills including the ability to supervise others. Self starter with ability to work independently, as well as part of a team. Demonstrated ability to work cooperatively and productively with a variety of people including undergraduate students, graduate students, academic PIs, government agency representatives, field technicians, citizen scientists and volunteers, donors, and administrative staff. Flexibility with work schedule to anticipate and meet deadlines and the needs of the projects. This position may require long hours in the field to meet deadlines.PC and MAC literate Ability and willingness to learn new computer applications related to research and job requirements. DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS:Interest in conservation biology; experience with remote field work; experience with ArcGIS.Application Process:The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others. Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select "Apply to this position". Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your "My Jobs" page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.
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